Monday, October 06, 2008


Here are some photos of Roma.

The Spanish Steps, at about 8am before the hordes of Romans arrive to eat their breakfast pastries. Italian breakfasts are almost useless - you tend to eat them standing up (or else pay more) and they consist merely of a croissant (chocolate-filled if you're lucky) and a cup of coffee. Unfortunately I'm not keen on pastries or coffee so I've been resorting to muesli bars. I miss my cereals...

The Villa Borghese - site of the most fantastic statues I have ever seen.

No photos were allowed so I'll just have to describe them. All three were masterfully created by Bernini in the 1620s. He is regarded as the best sculptor ever. Here are pictures from another website, but please realise that these do not do ANY justice to these amazing pieces of art.

"The Rape of Persephone" - the texture of the skin and the dramatic dynamics make this sculpture absolutely stunning. The photo does no justice at all.

"David" - just before he slays Goliath. You can't see the sling in this picture but the tension contained in this work is astonishing. When you see it you immediately expect David to unwind instantaneously and violently, sending the lethal stone into Goliath's skull. Another amazing sculpture.

"Apollo & Daphne", or why Sun God's shouldn't chase after Nymphs because they turn into trees...

All of these sculptures look amazing from any angle. If you visit Roma, PLEASE go and see the sculptures at the Villa Borghese.

A bridge over the Tiber.

This is the Belvedere Torso in the Vatican Museums. It's supposed to be the most important piece of art held within because Michaelangelo used it as inspiration for many of his works, including the Sistene Chapel. He didn't sculpt it himself, but apparently he used to blindfold himself and feel it up with his hands...

The 120 metre long "map hall" in the Vatican Museums. Those frescos on the walls are maps of various regions of Italy. This corridor was extremely crowded.

The ceiling above part of the Map Hall. All 120 metres is decorated like this. Astonishing.

A Swiss Guardsman I assume. No doubt he has a Toblerone hidden under that cloak.

The front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. This photo really doesn't illustrate just how huge the building is.

Same building, better view. The obelisk is supposedly the last witness to the crucifixion of Peter, even though it is a pagan Egyptian column.

Yes, we did get to see the Sistene Chapel. We had an excellent guide who ran us through all the symbology beforehand, so we knew what we were looking at. The story behind the Chapel is quite interesting, and led to numerous accidental and deliberate mistakes within the frescos. Lots of 'in jokes' are present if you know what to look for.

1 comment:

rivery said...

The frescoes and sculptures look amazing!! I'm so jealous!! I gotta go there!! need to save money 1st :S