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!

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