Crowd Scene at San Giovanni

We were walking near San Giovanni in Laterano when we ran across this scene.  San Giovanni is one of four churches in Rome.  It dates from the 4th century although it is much renovated.   The main doors come from the Roman senate in the forum.  The Pope opens them during Jubilee celebrations.  We were there … Read moreCrowd Scene at San Giovanni

Domus Aurea

View from the hillside approximately where the entrance to the Domus Aurea now sits

Domus Aurea The Domus Aurea – The Golden House –  now sits beneath ground level just above the Coliseum on the Via Celio Vibenna side. It was buried after the death of the Emperor who had it built, the infamous and wildly unpopular Nero.  In its glory it was a vast entertainment palace surrounded by … Read moreDomus Aurea

Photos from the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museum, and a bit about the Vatican

Some background Small (as in Vatican City) can be beautiful and that the Vaticano is.  The Vatican Museums house some $15 billion in art, although some of it is way beyond a monetary evaluation.  The popes who built the art collection, as well as the Basilica and the rest, were scoundrels who engaged in deception, … Read morePhotos from the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museum, and a bit about the Vatican

Rome at night

Coloseo from Vittorio

These are from the top of Vittorio Emanuele monument in the heart of ancient Rome.  The monument is from the late 1800’s, commemorating the unification of Italy, but it is in the heart of things, with the Roman forums to its rear and sides, the historic center where you find the Pantheon, with St Peter’s … Read moreRome at night

St Agnes at the Track – Piazza Navona, with pen and ink drawings of Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi

Four Rivers Fountain, horse

Chiesa Sant’Agnese is a small domed church designed by Boromini, a contemporary of Bernini and a rival who never made it to his competitor’s stature.  In my book he had nothing to be ashamed of, he just had a competitor that was outstanding and well connected.  The work he was assigned was smaller in scale but he did a magnificent job of making the interiors zoom in space.  

Chiesa Sant’Agnese is often termed “St. Agnes in Agony’ but this gives an incorrect translation of ‘Agone.”  Agone means ‘games’ and also refers to the stadium built by Diocletian starting in 80 AD, with a circle track.  So perhaps we should say “St Agnes at the Track,”  as irreverent as that may seem.

The church sits on what we now call Piazza Navona, originally called “Circus Agonalis” (circus is a circle, just like Circo Massimo, Circus Maximus).  Apparently the name Agonoalis morphed into Navona.  Aside from the track shape of the plaza and the buildings facing it, the main feature of the plaza is Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers).  

Read moreSt Agnes at the Track – Piazza Navona, with pen and ink drawings of Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi

A Summer of Music in Rome’s Fabulous Venues

Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra

Every summer the Italian government sponsors outdoor music events as part of a broader cultural initiative. The Polo Museale del Lazio (Museum Center of Lazio) put together one hundred activities for this summer’s entertainment.  See http://art-city.it To date we have attended three concerts, one at Castle St Angelo and two at Piazza Venezia.  The former is … Read moreA Summer of Music in Rome’s Fabulous Venues

Rome Struggles, Rome Beckons

View From Castle San Angelo

Rome Struggles, Rome Beckons We landed in Rome’s Ciampino airport.  We are barely on the ground and already Rome’s disarray hit us.   The last time we landed here there was only one bus to Termini, Rome’s central transit point.  We presumed that was still the case when we bought our tickets from the vendor in Valencia’s … Read moreRome Struggles, Rome Beckons

A bit or two about our neighborhood in Rome- Pigneto it is called

Here’s an article a good friend sent:  http://lonelygirltravels.com/2010/09/22/pigneto-the-rome-for-outsiders-and-me/ That article is better than these two in the NY Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/travel/in-rome-an-enclave-of-cool.html?_r=0 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/travel/22choice.html?pagewanted=all