American, architecture, art, artwork, Banca Italia, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Basilica of Constantine, Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, birds, bizarre, bones, catholic, celebration, Christ Enthroned, church, city, citytrip, colors, colours, crypt, culture, Edward Burne-Jones, Episcopal, fantasy, Fontana di trevi, Foro Romano, Foro Traiani, Francesco Bianchini, friar, god, Ice-cream, Italia, Italy, journey, La Dolce Vita, life, light, Linea Clementina, love, Mary Magdalene, Meridian Solar Line, Michelangelo, Mosaic, Pax Vobis, peace, Peace to you, photography, Piazza Foro Traiano, picture, pictures, Pre-Raphaelite, protestant, religion, Repubblica, Roma, Rome, Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Paul's within the Walls, stigmata, summer, sun, sunny, Trajan's Forum, travel, Trevi fountain, Via Nazionale, Vittorio Emanuele II, writing
Hurray! I have finished my final blogpost on Rome… after 17 months, oops. Anyway, here is the rest of my trip to Rome.
On day 3 I started the day by visiting Fontana di Trevi. I wasn’t really thrilled going there because I knew it was going to be buzzing with tourists and I didn’t expect it to be that impressing. We all know the famous scene from La Dolce Vita so no wonder that there’s a rather aggressive looking security lady overlooking the fountain to make sure no one tries to recreate the scene. Whenever anyone came too close to the water she furiously started to blow an extremely annoying high pitched whistle.
La Dolce Vita / Trevi fountain scene:
I have to admit that I liked seeing the fountain with my own eyes more than expected and I of course did the whole touristy ‘throwing-a-coin-into-the-fountain-to-assure-I-would-come-back-to-Rome-one-day’ ritual.
I did feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of people hovering over this touristic phenomenon and it was ridiculously hot again so I quickly took my pictures, took in the scenery and went on my way again.
From the Trevi fountain I continued my way to Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. Unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures inside 😦
This church contains six crypts that display a bizarre piece of artwork out of previous friar’s bones as a way of remembering/celebrating them. I visited the catacombs in Paris a couple of years back where you can also find some art displays out of human skulls and bones but that doesn’t even come close to what the Capuchin friars did in here. It was beautiful, chilling, creepy, amazing, fascinating and horrific at the same time. The message that they are portraying in here is: “Death closes the gates of time, and opens those of eternity.” Because of this you can find many hourglasses made out of bones in these crypts.
My final visit of the day was one I discovered by accident. The metro-station I had to use was Repubblica and right opposite of that was a crumbling looking wall. I had been looking at it the days before and decided to see what was behind it at the end of this day. I am so happy I did because what was behind that wall was something breathtaking!
The Basilica is built in the previous Roman baths of Diocletian and was a project of none other than Michelangelo. He worked on the basilica from 1653 till his death in 1654. After his death several adaptations to his original design took place, under which the very fascinating Linea Clementina, a meridian solar line, made by Francesco Bianchini in 1702.
Slideshow of the meridian line:
I was mostly fascinated by the colours in this church, so soothing and relaxing, I ended up spending 1,5 hours in here.
Day 4, and my final day in Rome, I started with a visit to Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the largest Catholic Maria church in Rome. Although impressive and beautiful, to me it didn’t even come close to what I saw in the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere and Santa Maria Degli Angeli e dei Martiri.
Some of my favourite pictures I took here:
Although beautiful, the zombie-eyes kinda freaked me out 😐
There wasn’t much time left after Santa Maria Maggiore so I ended up walking back towards the hotel and decided to follow the Via Nazionale towards Piazza Foro Traiano.
On my way towards Piazza Foro Traiano I came across this lovely little church but unfortunately it wasn’t open for public:
Close to Piazza Foro Traiano I stumbled upon an awesome little ice-cream shop and since I hadn’t had the chance yet to have some Italian ice-cream I thought it was the perfect opportunity since it was incredibly hot…!
Trajan’s Forum (Forum Traiani):
In the distance you can see Foro Romano and the front view of the Basilica of Constantine of which I showed the back view on day two, see https://somedaysoonart.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/001241.jpg:
By now it was nearly time to go back to the hotel and gather my stuff and go to the airport so I started my walk back up hill.
Halfway through Via Nazionale I heard lots of noise in front of the Banca Italia, I also heard it on the way down to Piazza Foro Traiano but didn’t really pay attention to it. However, I got a bit curious and peered up to see where the sound came from. Within 2 minutes more people gathered around me to see what I was looking at so I guess it’s true, people do follow each other’s gaze, it kinda made me giggle since there really was nothing special going on. Anyway, after some searching I found these little fellows up there, twittering away, can you spot them?
With about 45 minutes left before I had to return to the hotel I decided to visit the little church that was right in front of the hotel. It looked, compared to most buildings in Rome, quite modern from the outside and I didn’t expect much but was pleasantly surprised with the inside:
It’s an American Episcopal Church called St. Paul’s within the Walls and the first Protestant church to be build in Rome, completed in 1880. I was very lucky, when I entered the building there was absolutely no one and I could roam around free in silence.
Underneath Christ Enthroned you find the following mosaic: Photo 1: Against the background of the Heavenly City, we find five groups of persons representing the various classes or functions which have historically made up Christendom. On the extreme left are the ascetics, the prophetic element in the Church’s life; among these, only St. Francis of Assisi receiving the stigmata is clearly recognizable. Next comes a group of matrons, representing the service of God in ordinary life. Among them can be seen Martha with her keys and Mary Magdalene with the box of ointment.
Photo 2: The major group in the center represents the great ecclesiastical figures of the Church’s past, five fathers of the Eastern Church and five of the Western, with St. Paul in the front dressed in a chasuble (in his day a man’s evening coat; worn today throughout the Catholic Church for the celebration of the Holy Communion.
Photo 3: To the right of this group we find the Virgin and Saints, among them the martyrs St. Catherine, St. Barbara, St. Cecilia, St. Dorothea and St. Agnes. Finally, on the right, come the Christian warriors representing the bulwark of peace and stable government. Here we find representations of the patron saints of many countries: St. George of England, St. James of Spain, St. Patrick of Ireland, St. Andrew of Scotland and St. Denis of France.
(Source: explanation mosaics)
And so I have come to the end of my Rome adventure. It’s been a while now since I visited but I fondly look back on my days there. I cannot wait to go back there and since my boyfriend has never been to Rome I’d say it’s a good excuse to visit again soon… after all, I did flip a coin in the Trevi Fountain 😉
As I left St. Paul’s within the Walls I noticed these tiles and they are kinda fitting to end this blog with. So Pax Vobis, Peace to you 🙂