Roma Spring

The trees are coming into full flower here. We have less time left in Rome than we’ve been here, so I guess we could say it’s all downhill from here with a little over six weeks left. I know I’m running a little late on my weekly update but since there were two last week, I’m sure you’ll forgive me.

One museum that was on my list before coming here is the Capitoline. These are two buildings that straddle Michelangelo’s Campidoglio piazza connected by a tunnel underneath. The ruins of an ancient temple of Jupiter are part of the museum since it was built on top of Capitoline hill. The original Marcus Aurelius statue, the only ancient Roman bronze equestrian statue to survive is inside. It was mistaken for many centuries as a figure of Constantine and was therefore never melted down for other things, the fate of most ancient Roman bronzes. It sat for a long time outside the Papal Basilica of St. John in Lateran (San Giovanni), which Constantine built for the church. But when it was discovered that the statue was not Constantine, it was moved. The original guilding and the structure were affected by the long years in the weather, so a replica was created and put in the piazza in 1992 and the original is well protected inside.
Actual Marcus Aurelius Statue

The dying Gaul and the Capitoline Aphrodite were pieces I wanted to see in the museum, but I also found many, many other wonderful statues that I enjoyed photographing.

Caracalla & pals

This week had some occasional traffic disruptions due to “new Pope” Activities. Sunday there was the first papal blessing along with the Roma Marathon, so there were lots of closed streets, transit detours and..oh another 150,000 people cramming in and out of St Peter’s square for Pope Francis’ first papal blessing.

Then Tuesday there was Pope Francis’ Inaugural Mass. Tuesday is our Drawing class. Pat and I had to be across town at the Campidoglio at 8:30 am. We hopped on the 30 bus with plenty of time to spare and then the bus turned off the route a few blocks later. No one on the bus was expecting it, the Italians on board all started talking with some of them headed to the front to talk to the driver. I remembered about the mass as we approached the Vatican area and took a tunnel to avoid the blocked roads. A bit of a detour later and we arrived in plenty of time. However the city was filled with VIP motorcades, hovering helicopters and crowds. Drawing class took in the forum, the Marcus Aurelius statue in the piazza and then a beautiful overlook of the domes of the city before we returned on the bus as well which also detoured, but we made it home just fine.

Helicopters Hovering

Gwen spent several frustrating days in the Fresco studio, only to have to knock her hard work off the wall when it seemed the mix wasn’t right. She spoke to the teacher and he asked an enthusiastic former student come in to help with the whole class on Thursday. Gwen realizes now what was wrong and the result is she has a lovely giornata (a day’s worth of fresco) to begin the fresco.

My Inside Italian Design class went on a field visit to the Parco Della Musica. These are three auditoriums in a single complex in Rome. They were completed in 2002. The outer shells are cherry wood with lead cladding and the insides are all cherry wood. The acoustics in the largest one, Santa Cecelia, were so amazing when we toured it that I really would like to go back and hear a concert in there. While I was looking at their website, I also discovered that there is a museum of musical instruments at Santa Cecelia as well. Another destination added to my list of things to do in the next six weeks.

Parco Della Musica

This week’s photography project is to take self portraits. I’ve started with a couple and I plan to troop around Rome with my tripod and remote shutter switch to see what I can do.

Coriander and Mason have left Rome for Florence for a couple of weeks and Gwen’s dad is coming into town for her Spring break. Time is flying and I know this incredible experience will end before we know it. Sometimes I’m very homesick, but I pick myself up and realize that not to enjoy this time is pure folly. I can feel my subconscious trying to figure out a way to return to this incredible city again and again. For now, I’m enjoying every moment and hoping that you are enjoying my sharing some of those moments.

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