Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rome


Rome.  Oh what to say about Rome.  This city completely caught me by surprise and overwhelmed my artistic sensibilities in every direction I looked.  I could hardly turn my head without seeing another amazing work of greatness staring me in the face.  Here are the main thoughts and feelings that struck me about Rome.  First, the size.  Every building, every statue, every painting is huge.  And not just large, but it seems to envelope and completely dominate the space you're in.  How could I not feel the greatness of this ancient civilization just by the mere size of everything they did?  I felt small in a way that makes one contemplate their own significance on a universal scale.  (Really).  Even as I stood there snapping pictures, I knew the sheer size and vastness of space would be lost in photographs.  Second only to the scale was the beauty and the absolute perfection to which everything was completed.  Yes we saw a lot of famous structures like the Colosseum, The Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica and the Pantheon but even the ones that weren't particularly famous were amazing.  Precise.  Flawless.  The statues, the reliefs, the columns, the boarders, were so detailed and perfect I couldn't comprehend how it was ever accomplished.  I wondered aloud more than once, where were their terrible art school projects that weren't exactly precise and all perfect looking?  Surely someone must have screwed up an important relief detail somewhere.  All I know is that we couldn't replicate it today.  What we've gained in technology we've lost in craft and skill.  Anyway, I'm skipping a lot of dialogue and labels here and instead just present you with a post full of pictures.  Viva Roma!  














 The Pantheon









I will stop here to say that one of my very favorite things on the whole trip was seeing the Sistine Chapel.  You're not allowed to take photos inside, and you are asked not to speak.  The fact that many people disobeyed both those requests irked a little, but not enough to take away my enjoyment of those masterpieces.  As you're often told in art class when viewing slide after slide of famous artwork, It's better in person, it's better in person.  I have found this to be true on occasion and also false on occasion.  In this case, it was true, true, true.  And I'm actually glad we couldn't take photos.  The greatness of being there was being there.  It's remembering that I was blown away to see this perfection in person because you realize part of the great feat was the perspective--painting it at close range while knowing it was to be viewed far away on the floor.  Seeing such amazing detail and vibrant 500-year-old-colors, not in a photo but in person.  It was inspiring and nothing short of a miracle.  And no photo would have done it justice.  Not to mention, being consumed with getting a great shot can often take away from the experience of just being there.  I was so glad I could just be there.      


 St. Peter's Basilica






Oh Rome...til we meet again.  

8 comments:

  1. Ah...bellissima Roma! :)

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  2. Rome is one of the places I would love to visit not just because of its marvelous landmarks, but most especially because of its rich culture and history.

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  3. Oh, more Rome, please!!! Tell what you ate! Anything special you bought that you can't find at home? Any good places to relax and just take in the spectacle? We're headed there in 5 weeks -- our first trip outside the US with kids (they are 15, 12 & 9) and I'm so nervous about flying and everything but your photos helped me refocus on what is in store. Tell me more!

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    1. Jillbert! How wonderful! Traveling with kids, especially when they're a bit older, sounds so dreamy. I think they'll LOVE Rome. I wish I could give you more details, but we spent only 2 whirlwind days in Rome. We saw what I considered the essentials--day 1, The Colosseum, The Roman Forum (ruins), and some other sights just down that area. The next morning we saw the Pantheon, then had a 3 hour tour at the Vatican which included St. Peters Bascilica, and Sistine Chapel. That evening we saw the Spanish Steps and Trevi fountain. We also took a stroll through the Villa Borghese--which is beautiful and as you asked, this is a great place to relax and just take in the spectacle--great view overlooking the city! (I hear they do segway tours through there...perhaps your kids would like that). We ate at a couple places that were recommended by locals we stopped to ask and I don't remember the names. I do remember the famous gelato place next to the Vatican--Old Bridge Gelateria. Worth the line!

      The great news, is there is SO much to see (my essentials might not be everyone's essentials) and with sites like Trip Advisor you can't go wrong. Living in NYC I really learned to schedule things in the same area together--you probably know that, but just to reiterate. The Vatican was the only place we scheduled an actual tour, but I'm so glad we did. We learned a lot and by booking online early (you book online, pay when you get there) we avoided some long lines...which I hear are crazy during peak season. Have fun!

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  4. Thank you for the pictures! I was in Italy 5 years ago and what struck me was how the pieces of history are allowed to stay put, even if they are damaged. Americans would be in a big hurry to bulldoze and demolish these sights to make something "better". What a history Italy has compared to our short 250 years! I hope to return again someday and share it with someone new!

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  5. You mentioned how beautiful and perfect some of the sites you visited were. I read that the people that created these beautiful works did so for the glory of God. They did not think of themselves or becoming famous etc. They wanted to glorify God and please Him with their work. It says a lot about how much these people put into their work.

    I visited Rome (and much of Europe) when my twin sister and I graduated from high school many, many years ago. It seems to have retained all its beauty. I look forward to bringing my husband and two boys there in a few years. Of all the countries I visited, Italy was my favorite. Thank you for sharing!

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  6. Oh ROME! You are so entirely lucky! It looks beautiful. I'm finding myself jealous of taking a trip with a girl friend. That sounds good right about now! I'll have to plan one of these... perhaps to somewhere FUN like Rome!! YOU, my dear, also look AMAZING in every shot!! Love ya!

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