Saturday, January 21, 2006
Journaling is the same as the previous layout about Rome. Paper from Club Scrap.
The Pantheon was a Roman “Temple to all the Gods”. In the middle ages it became a church. This amazing structure is a symbol of Rome itself! The huge dome has the same height and diameter. It has only one hole on the top through which light comes in. The Pantheon was designed by Emperor Hadrian (AD 118 – 125). The famous artist Raphael is buried there, as are many of the modern kings of Italy.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
The tower is built on sandy soil which is why is started tilting even before the third floor was built. The tower is the bell tower for the Duomo of Pisa. And both the Duomo and the Baptistery are also inclined, but not as much as the tower.Unfortunately, we did not climb to the top this time, but as I always say, we will be back! In the mean time, thanks to the millions of tourists, like Lily, holding it up, the Tower still stands!
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Excellent example of Renaissance style gardening, the Boboli gardens were laid out in 1549 for the Medici family, who then had bought the Palazzo Pitti. Starting from the palace, the gardens are laid out symmetrically uphill. It is very enjoyable, but hard work, walking along the cypress lined avenues, which lead to the top of the hill behind the palace. Ricky Singh commented that Boboli must have been a very athletic guy indeed! We climbed all the way to the top, where there is a museum of porcelains.
Florence was the home of the Medici family for many years. Between 1865 and 1871 Florence was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. The Medici family was extremely rich and they patronized the Arts. Today many streets, churches and palaces in Florence are filled with examples of fine Renaissance work of the artists who flocked to Florence, and its wealthy patrons.
We wanted to see the Palazzo Pitti but because it was Monday, it was closed and we settled for the Boboli gardens instead. A word of advice – avoid Florence on a Monday! I am so sad because I wanted to show you the ‘Madonna of the Chair’ by Raphael, my favorite painting of all time. The original is in this building! This is a beautiful city that needs to be visited many times to discover all its beautiful art and history.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Here we are at the entrance to the Capitoline museums. Among other interesting things we saw lots of statues with their penises cut off – on orders of some extremely holy Pope in the 15th century. We saw a huge statue of Marcus Aurelius on a horse. Also here are the famous Lupa or She-wolf of Rome and the Spinario, an exquisite statue from 1st century BC, of a little boy removing a thorn.
From the back of the Palazzo dei Conservatori w had a fabulous view of the Roman Forum, which we had already visited a day earlier.The Forum was the centre of Ancient Rome. Today one can see ruins of basilicas, temples, Arches, which the Emperors built to glorify themselves and other important buildings. The excavations are still going on at the Forum. As we walked around we could imagine how grand and important the city must have been two thousand years ago. The buildings are huge and the size of the columns makes one wonder how they managed to move these behemoths without any machinery. Ricky is standing in front of the Arch of Titus.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Our hotel Raphael, all covered in ivy and full of antiques, was just off Piazza Navona. So we spent a lot of time there, especially while we waited for the Singh family to join us. The Piazza Navona is in a Baroque style.
The Piazza has Bernini’s famous Fountain of Four Rivers, among other beautiful fountains. I was amazed to see Ganges depicted as a male. There are many cafes around the piazza where is the food is really good. And there were many painters and street performers. Lively and colourful, it is the perfect place to spend a few hours.