Tuesday, May 8, 2012


We spent most of our Easter vacation in the beautiful, bountiful, city of Rome.
As one of the hottest tourist cities in Europe, many of the most spectacular views are quite well known. The Colosseum and the Vatican are of course among those most well known and seen.
 Inside the Vatican itself, one will find countless exhibits of all of the beautiful sculptures, paintings, and artifacts that are in the Catholic Church's possession. There is a large area filled with articles from Ancient Egypt, and many rooms with Roman and Greek works.
 Religious art has always fascinated me. It takes a great deal of drive and dedication to make the kinds of paintings found on the ceiling of a church. More impressive, and perhaps a bit sad, is that many church paintings are anonymous, painted by the hands of some faithful person who is forever unnamed in their work.

 The Sistine Chapel, known to be one of the great works of art of the Italian Renaissance, was a bit underwhelming for me. Michaelangelo was a celebrated artist of his time, but I think he was somewhat over celebrated. His works are of course beyond anything I could hope to accomplish in my lifetime, as I am not dedicating my entire life to art, but I feel that he was surpassed even in his own time by Leonardo. That being said, if you don't mind the crowd and are already visiting the Vatican anyways, it is worth a gander to go to the Sistine Chapel.
 Although the most well known ancient Roman structure in Rome is the Colosseum, there are many other buildings and areas of the ancient city that have been unearthed and are available for we tourist types to gawk at. I encourage you to take a visit.

 Last but not least, if you're into the faithful art and free things, check out St. Peter's Bassilisk. It is a beautiful Cathedral with some amazing Bernini and Michealangelo sculptures. Bernini sculptures are found throughout the city, and are often quite whimsical.
From the top of the Cathedral (for a couple of Euros above entrance price) you can see an amazing panoramic view of the city. Don't do this part if you aren't up for a few hundred steps of climbing, though. Even if you pay for the elevator ride, it only takes you half way up.

As this was my second trip to Rome, I did not get as many exciting shots as last time. Not to mention I dropped my camera into a fountain on the third day. (Not to worry, we had rice)
So here's my advice for visiting Rome, and Italy in general:
Rome: buy the Rome pass! If you're in the city for three days and plan to do more than eat pasta and Italian ice-cream (although that can be a marvelous way to vacation as well) it comes in super handy! The RP lasts three days, works as a metro and bus access, so you can get anywhere in the city, and it gets you discounts on every museum and attraction in the city.
Italy: If you don't like pasta, pizza, and gelato, then why are you going to Italy??? Yes, the views are fantastic, the wine is good, and the coffee tastes fresher than anything we can get in the states! But, this is true of almost anywhere in Europe. You can find amazing museums, archaeological sites, beautiful Cathedrals, and delicious beverages in practically any country on this continent. The most significant thing for me in Italy is the food. Since you'll be walking a whole lot to see all of the wonders, it won't hurt to indulge in some fine dining and tasty treats.

Update later on my recent trip back to Madrid, and my current adventures in Cantabria.
Peace and out, duckies. 

No comments:

Post a Comment