Today we took a trip with our friend Theodore who is visiting us to the Museum of Musical Instruments. I guess our Italian was good enough to convince the lady at the desk we were EU residents because Alex and Andrew got in free and I got the reduced rate of 2.00. Hehehee.
We were the only people in the museum; it was deserted. This made it very pleasurable to view the exhibits but it meant we were the only prey for the 3 eager "no photo" policewomen to swoop upon. All 3 followed us around, but I still managed to snap pictures of everything I wanted to. I had Alex and Andrew with me, what can I say?
The first exhibit was an African one. These two African mandolins were made out of Armadillo shells.
The Mary Kate Olsen and Nicole Richie of violins. I don't know why they were so thin, the card didn't say.
This is actually a working pipe organ that they used to put on a bier and carry during processions. Theodore couldn't resist posing for this picture.
Another interesting exhibit was the one showing various Etruscan instruments. This statue is from the 4th century BC and shows an Etruscan holding a lyre.
And here's a herald's trumpet from the 14th century.
This is a contraption that the Turks used to carry into battle. It had lots of bells and rattles on it that they would use to inspire fear in their enemies. That didn't work too well once I guess. An unidentified army captured it and placed the Hapsburg Eagle atop the Muslim crescent. Kaching!
Then we took a short trip into the church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. This church is right near the Lateran, and was built in 325. The foundation was covered in dirt from Jerusalem, hence the name. It was modified in the 16th century, and looks similar to the Lateran.
Here's the interior of the church.
The church was built to house the relics of Christ's Passion which had been brought from Jerusalem. Today they are still in place, in a chapel to the side of the church. On the left is a large piece of the Good Thief's cross.
Top row, L-R. St. Thomas the Apostle's finger that he stuck in the side of Christ, a reliquary containing pieces of the Sepulchre, and two spines from the crown of thorns.
Middle row. Reliquary containing piece of the True Cross.
Bottom row, L-R. Nail used during the crucifixion, and a third of the tablet placed on Christ's cross. You could still see the three lines of text, in Aramaic, Greek and Latin.
Last stop of the day - GELATO!