Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fountains, sort of. . .

Well, today I only took eight pictures (that's how exciting my day was), but I bought this awesome cook book which is absolutely adorable!  I've already picked out a recipe for tomorrow and have my shopping list written out, so tomorrow I'll share pictures of my delicious Italian food!

But, for now, I'll just share some pictures of the fountains we went to today. . .

The first one we went to was the Fountain of the Moor (1575), in the Piazza Navona.  Supposedly, the Moor is the brother of Neptune (who is featured on a fountain on the other end of the Piazza).

The next fountain we wanted to go to was the Fountain of Four Rivers, in the center of the Piazza, but they were filming a movie, so we had to go to the Fountain of Neptune at the opposite end, second. . . this fountain was partially completed when the fountain of the Moor was done, but the statuary wasn't done until 1863.

Then we went back to the centeral Fountain of Four Rivers, which depicts the four "greattest" rivers from the "four" continents.  The Nile from Africa, the Danube from Europe, the Rio della Plata from the Americas (not the Amazon because of politics and territories), and the Ganges from Asia.

After the Piazza Navona fountains, we went towards the Pantheon, and stopped by the Fontana Libri, which was a 1926 revival fountain.  Designed to represent the 8th district of Rome, where it is located, it is a nice, small fountain, used quite often for drinking and washing.

The last fountain we went to today was the fountain in front of the Pantheon, the Fountain of the Piazza Rotunda, designed in 1575 as well.  Actually, the base of this fountain is the same shape as the bases of the fountain of the Moor and the fountain of Neptune.  Also, it was made in some ways to imitate the Fountain of the Four Rivers, with the obelisque on top.

Then we did Esther's version of sketching (really, drawing very accurate diagrams, plans, sections, elevations, etc., of places) for the rest of the morning.

Then, I went and bought my cook book!

Isn't it lovely?  I can't wait to try it out tomorrow, yumm!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jeffery's Tours Part III

Today our theme was Renaissance and Boroque Palazzi.  It was very interesting to see these old and beautiful palaces, especially with their courtyards.  But, the whole time, I kept thinking, why are these courtyards paved?  I would want a lovely garden in mine. . . with a fountain, definitely. . . but I guess that's just not how it was done back in the day!

The first Palazzo we went to today was one I had already been to on my first day, but I didn't know what it was.  Now I do!  It is the Palazzo della Cancelleria, which was built in 1485.  Even though its not part of Vatican City itself, it technically is part of the Vatican, so when we went into the courtyard, we technically weren't in Italy anymore; we were in the Vatican.  Pretty funny!

The second one we stopped by was the Palazzo Caffarelli-Vidoni, which was built in 1515, and possibly designed by Raphael and definitely by Lorenzetto.  It has been remodeled, added to, subracted from, etc., a number of times, but has some beautiful rustication on the bottom floor:

The next one we went to was the Palazzo Maccarani, built in 1520 by Giulio Romano.  This was one Palazzo that got me thinking. . . if I could live in a building like this, I could live in Rome!

After that, we had our "coffee" break, I bought a delicious little pastry called crostatina, with apricot in it!  Mmm. . . . I love these Italian pastires : )

The next building we stopped by was the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva church, which is cool because of the plaques which they have on the wall, recording the levels of various floods of the Tiber. . . I now realise I should have gotten a picture with me standing under them, because the lowest one is about as high as I am tall!

We went to several other Palazzi, too, but in such tight quarters, its hard to get good pictures of them, so I'll just tell you about the last two, which are big and beautiful!

The second to last one is called the Palazzo Farnese.  This was built in its current state in 1534 by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger.  The Farnese family was so rich (because of their family's cardinals and popes), they wanted to have their Palazzo have a street coming straight at the entrance and they wanted it to have a piazza in front of it, so they bought up all the land where they wanted these things, and just tore down the buildings that had been there.  Crazy!  Now its the French ambassador's official residence. . . so I just need to become a French citizen and have Clint become the amassador to Italy, then we can live there!

It also has this amazing back garden, in addition to its courtyard:

The last Palazzo we went to was the Palazzo Sapada, which was built in 1556, and designed by several people in cluding Giulio Nerisi da Caravaggio. . . it is the best example of a sculpted palazzo. . .

During our tour with Jeffery, he suggested that we go to the Jesuit church and watch this "show" that they do every evening at 5:30.  So, a couple of us went and watched it.  It was so cool!  They played baroque music (which is when the church was built), and had lights and some Italian narration talking about different parts of this one side chapel, which had a picture of some Jesuit saint (I don't know which one).  The painting wasn't all that great, but what is really awesome is that the picture descends and behind it is a sliver statue of this same saint all encrusted with tons of jewels.  And with the lights on it, it absolutely shines and is really amazing!

Well, tomorrow we're going on our fountain tour (not with Jefferey, alas!), so I'll tell you all how it goes then!  Ciao!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday, Monday!

Today we did our first site visit!  But first we went to the San Clemente church, which is really cool, because they have excavated below the church and found two entirely different structures under the existing church, one right on top of the other!  The lowest portion is an ancient Roman house, then the middle part is a Mithreum temple/ancient slave place of worship, and the the top is the current church, which was built in the fourth century.  We were only allowed to take pictures upstairs, though. . .

After San Clemente, we went to our site, which is the Basilica Santi Quattro Coronati.  It is a really awesome site.  The building was built in the 4th or 5th century, incorporating the ancient wall of Rome, so it looks really imposing, but inside it has a number of really beautiful spaces, both inside and out!

I'll be going back tomorrow (after Jeffery's Tour Part III) to take some measurements for studio. . .

After we went to the site, we went to the oldest baptistry in the world (on the right) and St. John Laterine's (on the Left)

St. John Laterine's is the actual Cathedral for Rome (most people think it's St. Peter's), so that's pretty cool. . . and it has these awesome bronze doors (which were repurposed from an ancient Roman building). . .

Whew!  I'm all caught up, so now I'll just have to do one post per day, and one for the entire weekend of Assisi, I think!  Yay!  One week down, seven to go!

Sunday, Sunday

Sunday was a quiet day for me, I took the subway to church, then ate lunch at the Spanish steps, and went into theTrinita dei Monti church at the top.

After that, my friend and I went to try and see some paintings at a church, but there was a wedding going on, so we went to a park to wait until it was over. . .

(Love notes to Clint!  I think it says, "After one year together we celebrate our love here", Oh!  How I wish you were here to celebrate with me!)

When we got back to the church, they were having mass. . . So we'll have to see those paintings some other day!  We walked past the Trevi Fountain on the way back to our apartment, too.  It was so much bigger than I thought it would be!

Well, anyway, that was my nice, relaxed Sunday!

Vatican Muesum!

I decided to go to the Vatican Muesum on Saturday since I thought we were going to go on Friday, but then didn't. . . it was really great!

Here I am waiting in line to get tickets to the museum. . . I waited for about an hour. . .

When I finally got into the museum itself, it was amazing!

In order to go to the Sistine Chapel, you have to follow a set route which takes you through the map room. . .

through a hall with tons of tapestries (it was dark, but absolutely stunning!). . .

through some Greek stuff, and through the Raphael rooms, which were pretty much amazing!

 through modern religious art, and finally you get to the Sistine Chapel!  Of course, you're not allowed to take pictures of it. . . sorry!

Anyway, after you come out of the Sistine Chapel, you go through a room with some early Christian artifacts, and these old pieces of scripture were really lovely:

I also went through the carriage pavilion where I saw this guilded monster:

Then there was the picture gallery, which had the most beautiful paintings.  It was so interesting to see the different ways Biblical scenes were portrayed through the ages. . . most of them came out pretty dark, but with a little photoshop magic, I think they look pretty good!

You can slay a dragon for me any time, Clint!

Also, I went through the Greek area (when you're going toward the Sistine Chapel, you only go through part of it). . .

And I went through the Egypt area as well. . .

I also went through the part about the Vatican City mail and money, but it was boring, so I didn't take any pictures. . . then I went through the Sistine Chapel again, and it was even better the second time!  Mostly because I found myself a spot on the bench and sat down and really looked at everything for as long as I wanted to!

This is me leaving the Vatican Museum (I forgot to turn the flash back on at first!)

The double spiral staircase was really neat, I think it was designed by Michelangelo, but don't quote me on that!  And the last is outside the walls of Vatican City. . . the end of my (first) museum trip in Rome!