Monday, January 23, 2012
I know it's January 23rd, because it's right there on the calendar. But the temperature is 73 degrees and the humidity is high. The azaleas are into their second flowering, even the roses are still sending out lovely buds. And they're not the only ones who are confused around here. There are still lemons on my tree and new flowers are beginning to bloom! New fruit will set soon unless we have a cold snap that kills off the blooms. (None predicted this week.) Um, I thought there was no such thing as global warming--oops I mean climate change! No, global warming...It's so confusing.
LEMON TREE, VERY PRETTY,
AND THE LEMON FLOWER IS SWEET, ...
Monday, January 16, 2012
"[Sunset] overwhelms Florence with tides of color that make all the sharp lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams."
Florence is a beautiful city with artistic treasures everywhere you look. It is the home of the Renaissance and one must pace oneself, for trying to take in all that is Florence will leave you with an art hangover. Luckily, I know the cure for such a malady--sitting in a cafe, watching the world go by while sipping a fortifying glass of chianti.
THE ARNO AND THE PONTE VECCHIO
The Ponte Vecchio was built in 1345 to replace an earlier bridge that was sept away by flood. In the XIV century, the shops on the bridge belonged to the Woolmakers' Guild, butchers, green grocers and blacksmiths. However, in XVI century, Grand Duke Ferdinando I ordered that the shops be taken over by gold and silversmiths and jewelers. The bridge has been devoted to these trades ever since.
Views along the Arno
Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
View from the Arno
NEXT - FLORENCE PART 2
Saturday, January 7, 2012
THE BODY CASTSThe body casts were first made by late 19th century archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli. When Vesuvius rained pumice and ash on the town, bodies were trapped. Over time the bodies decomposed, but the cavities that had hardened around them remained intact. Fiorelli poured liquid plaster into the cavities, then when the plaster dried, he broke the pumice stone that surrounded it, leaving the world with over a thousand whole-body death masks of Pompeiian men, women, children and animals.
Body Cast - Man
Young Boy Covering His Face
Woman with child covering her face against the ash.
Some surviving artifacts of every day life.
The landscape holds many ruins that give a peak into everyday life in Pompeii.
Pompeiian Take Out. Vessels were filled with food offering for people to purchase or eat on the premises.
Storage vessels held and dispensed wine.
Bakery - Ovens
Water Spigot and Public Water Well
Women's Bath House
Women's Bath House
Phallic symbol indicating location of a Brothel. A welcome sight I'm sure for sailors in this seafaring town.
Next - Beautiful Florence
Friday, January 6, 2012
THE RUINS OF POMPEII
The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD buried the town of Pompeii in ash and captured a moment in time. Under the ash everything remained as it was at the time of the eruption. Artwork was preserved, buildings remained, artifacts protected. Here are a few glimpses at the place that once was home to 20,000 Pompeian residents.
The Streets of Pompeii
Entry Arch to Forum
Houses and shops
Stepping stone in street to aid crossing when streets flooded from rains or high tides.
A bend in the road.
Frescoes, Mosaics, Sculpture
Apollo - Temple of Vaspian
Fauna - Entry Atrium
Ceilling - Women's Bath House
Wall fresco - Private Villa
Erotica - Walls of Brothel
Beware of Dog - Entry Foyer Floor
3D Mosaic Floor tiles
Next - Pompeii Part 2
Thursday, January 5, 2012
The long oval shape of this square has its origins in history. In 86 AD the emperor Domitian built a stadium known as "Circus Agonalis" (competition arena) and was used mainly for festivals and sporting events. In the fifteenth century the area was paved over to create the Navona square.
The main attraction of the Piazza are the three fountains by Bernini.
I want to live here.
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers: Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio della Plata )
Centerpiece of the Piazza, the fountain is carved from a rock at the base of an obelisk and represents the four corners of the world. Built between 1647 and 1651 at the request of Pope Innocent X.
Detail: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
Fontana del Moro, circa 17th century by Bernini
Detail: Fontana del Moro
Fontana del Netunno (Neptune Fountain)
1576 by Giacomo della Porta
Detail: Fontana del Netunno
And, of course, no self-respecting Piazza would be complete without a church.
Sant'Agnese in Agone.
Commissioned 1652; Competed 1670
And to keep you entertained, street musicians. We sat for a while and enjoyed their music. They were quite good.
The next pictures are random shots taken during our many walks around Rome.
Monumento Nazionale a Vittoriio Emanuele II (first king of a unified Italy)
Circa 1911 - 1935
Houses Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Domes in the sky.
Fell in love with the umbrella pines.
Arco di Constantino
This concludes our time in Rome. Tomorrow--Pompeii