Halfway There

We are exactly at the midpoint of our 16 weeks in Rome. In eight weeks, we’ll be on a plane home to Philadelphia. Spring Break is over for me and I was sad to see it pass so quickly.

Mom sitting on the ruins in the Forum

The last few days of break were spent at the Colosseum, the Forum, the Spanish Steps and a quick tour of Temple Rome’s Villa Caprioni. Temple Rome is located in the Caprioni family villa and two members of the family still live in the upper two floors overlooking the Tiber River. Caprioni was an airplane designer and amassed quite a fortune to build this spacious building in a wonderful location. It was fun to show Mom and David where I go to class when I’m not drawing or photographing around Rome.
Mom & Pat at Temple Rome

But the week came to an end too quickly without seeing everything and I sadly escorted them to the airport Saturday morning. Then it was time to get caught up on all the homework assigned over the break.

Realizing we are at the halfway point was part of the impetus that drove Patty and I out on Sunday to catch a couple more churches. I had hoped to take Mom and David to San Pietro in Vincoli (St Peter in Chains) to see the Michelangelo Moses, not to mention the chains that were supposed to have been worn by St Peter, but we ran out of time. I needed to do more photographs for a project with my observation of metal and this seemed as good a place as any to start.

Michelangelo's Moses

And we ran into a media circus. There were film crews and tour groups. We only had about five minutes in the church before Mass started, an American Cardinal was giving the sermon apparently. So we wandered off and found a few more less crowded churches, including Santa Maria Maggiore, another of the Papal Basilicas. We also found St. Pudenziena, the oldest place of Christian worship in Rome. Unfortunately it had just closed, so we looked around the outside and decided we have to get back there, too.

Today my drawing class met at the school and we had a figure model. Pat and I came out of the session with some lovely drawings. I was really in a groove and thoroughly enjoyed this session since I don’t get much opportunity to do figure drawing these days.

Figure drawing

Patty’s daughter and her boyfriend arrived today. They’ll be here in Rome for a little bit before they move on to Florence. After dinner and homework, we all started down to the Vatican to watch for the “Pope Smoke” from the first round of voting since the Conclave of Cardinals started today. We were a little late though. En route, we saw on Twitter that the black smoke had been spotted. We deftly changed course and made our way to the 24 hour bakery so as not to waste our trip out in the damp night.

We do plan to try to catch the crowds in St Peter’s square at least once over the next few days, figuring this conclave will last at least until the weekend. I’m sure there will be some photos to share. I’ll keep you posted.

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