Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

What better title for an initial post on our recent vacation trip to Italy--a spaghetti Western title!
It has taken me a bit of time to get to viewing and paring down my photos from our trip to Rome and southern Italy. We began in Rome, and these photos are from that eternal city.

These brief remarks summarize our trip. Some ten plus years ago, we had done a trip to Italy that began in Rome and took us to places north--Venice, Florence, Assisi, Verona, Sienna, Bologna, and Pisa. We loved our views of Italy from that trip, so we anticipated this trip.

Rome was...well, Rome. It is such a wondrous mix of antiquity and modernity. The colors of Rome that we remembered from our first trip--that deep sun-washed mustardy yellow--were still there. And, that monstrosity that no Roman guide will speak well of that ruins the color scheme--the Victor Emanuel monument, a white confection of a tomb plopped within sight of the Flavian Amphitheater--was still there. On our first trip to Rome, our local guide was named Vera (pronounced Vay-ra). And she was most precise. She practically spat when she pointed out the Victor Emanuel Monument.

Of course, we took in the usual ancient sights--the Flavian Amphitheater, maybe you know it as the Coliseum or the Colosseum; the place where the Forum once stood; the place where Julius Caesar was cremated; the gardens of the Vestal Virgins. We also went to St. Peters, all of one week after John Paul II's beatification. So, posters hung everywhere with his smiling face. Almost made me feel bad for Benedict. We also visited the Pantheon, and Piazza Navone.

One real bonus in visiting St. Peters on this trip was the more leisurely time there. When we had previously been in the Sistine Chapel, it was high summer and the whole place was being restored so scaffolding hid part of those amazing Michelangelo paintings. This time, all scenes were completely in view, and no one hurried us through. So we stood, craned our necks, turned in circles and took it all in. I still think Michelangelo paints like a sculptor. He really needed to work on his anatomy of women, but...oh well.

I think all the things in Rome definitely fit under the rubric of "the good."

Fear not, dear reader. I will get to the bad and the ugly soon enough, in a future post.

The fabled pines of Rome.

Around the site of the ancient Forum.

Outside the Coliseum.

Remnants of the Vestal Virgins gardens.

I liked the sunburst view of the Coliseum.

Original Roman road paving stones--these are big...would have made for a rough chariot ride.

Now to St. Peters--the Papal balcony from which blessings are dispensed.

And of course the dome seen in the distance from many points in Rome.


Jayne said...

It's always interesting to get a different perspective on a city when told by those who live there. I'd love to crane my neck at the Sistine Chapel!

Anvilcloud said...

I've enjoyed the good and anticipate the rest.

NCmountainwoman said...

Can't wait to hear more. Your photographs make me want to watch the HBO series "Rome" again.

Climenheise said...

Looking forward to more pictures. I have a friend who visited Rome on academic business, and ended up inside the Vatican -- the Pope was not at home, but my friend was invited in by some of those who live in the Pope's residence and were part of the same conference, so he got a very different view than we do from outside.

Ruth said...

Looking forward to the next installment in the series.