Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cultural Week Day 1

Well I apologize for the length of this post but we have been riding (err...walking) hard and fast. See, this week is cultural week, which means entry to all the museums is FREE! We saved about 75 Euros in museum fees today alone. So look for lots of entries this week.

Our first stop today was the church of Santa Maria di Loreto. This church was completed in the 1580's and is located right near the Imperial Forum. It commemorates the transportation of Our Lady's house in Nazareth to Loreto, Italy, where it miraculously appeared out of the sky. The house itself isn't here, (it's in Loreto) but the church has the transportation of the house as its theme. The facade is rectangular, but the actual church is octagonal. Here is the church looking at it from outside.

Inside is this really nice crucifix surrounded by relics.

Here's the organ inside the church. Note the words of the Ave maria in the mosaics around the wall. Also note the brass work of the house being carried by angels on clouds.

Continuing with the same theme, the tabernacle has a motif of the house as well.

This is the interior of the church looking down the nave.

On the back of the church above the door is this fresco of the angels carrying the house. I thought it was really nice, the house looks so heavy, and the clouds look so light.

We went outside and Alex stopped in this shop that sold reproduction Etruscan and Roman artifacts. There were a lot of interesting things here...Isaac and Nathan you'll want to come here!

Next we went to the church of Santa Mara dell'Anima. This was the church for Germans in Rome and had many Germanic and Austrian patrons. During the occupation of Rome by Napoleon the church was plundered and used as a horse stable. This candlestick was donated by Emperor Franz Jozef.

Next we went to the church of San Nicola dei Lorensi where we found these French Benedictines saying their office.

After we were done with the church of San Nicola we went to the Napoleonic Museum. This was a very nice museum, mainly related to Napleon's family, and his occupation of Rome. Here is a picture you will recognize, the very famous portrait of Napoleon at Wagram.

And this would be a painting of Napoleon's horse Marengo. To be honest, Napoleon had many horses, but Marengo was the most famous. Napoleon was an avid horseman, and preferred Arabian horses because of their smaller size (he was very short) and excellent stopping ability.

This is a card game Napoleon played when he was exiled to St. Helena.

And this is me in front of a bust of the Emperor.

This would be a couch or bed belonging to Napoleon's wife.

And this is Alex in front of a bust of Napoleon's brother Joseph, whom he made ruler of Spain.

After we left the museum we stopped in at this Murano glass store where mom got some earrings and a vase.

Then we went to the Colosseum. We had not yet been in it because of the entry fees, but since it was cultural week, in we went. In this picture, you can see the cages where animals and prisoners were caged. The grey shafts are the pulley shafts which raised the cages up to the arena level.

This is a shot of me standing on the second level of the Colosseum.

This is a mosaic depicting gladiatorial combat dating to the 2nd century AD.

This picture shows the stone placard carved with the name of one Senator Marcellus, who had a "season ticket" of sorts reserved in the amphitheatre. Ancient PSL's Mr. Dinneen!

Looking out across the arena into the stands, capable of holding more than 70,000 people.

This is a shot of the gang.

And this is a weird picture, but I found it really interesting because of the conglomeration of arches and angles shown. You've got arches, buttresses, arches that also function as buttresses, and lots of different angles.

We had spent all day in town and Augustin was so tired he fell asleep on the train home!


DelGrosso said...

How great to have cultural week with no fees. What a treat! These are awesome sites. The Colosseum is really something to see. Thanks for tour!

Aggie said...

See Kathy has is right, all the money that is spent on museum admissions can be used to buy earrings. I really liked the multi angle shot Anthony, you got a good eye.

Aggie said...

Correction, all the money that would have been spent. So what expensive admission saving place are you seeing tomorrow. One can never have too many vases. Hi to Jim in Budapest.

Aggie said...

Ok call me a blog comment hog.
Re: the picture of the crucifix with the relics all around it- even all the way up the wall. I've never seen that before is that common, have you seen that in other churches yet?

Granny Ruth said...

Have really enjoyed all the pictures. You are doing a fantastic job. You need to put all this in book form. Keep up the good work.

rica said...

That's horrible about the cages. How much for the sofa? r

Aunt Pat said...

All of these wonderful things you are soaking up.. the culture, the architechure, the art, the history... It goes beyond awesome. You are doing a wonderful job of being the eyes and ears of the poor wretched Americans who are bound to thier mundane existances. Thanks HUGS