Monday, April 26, 2010

Cultural Week - i.e. Museum Discovery Week

This past week was Cultural Week in Italy. Throughout Italy most of the state museums were free, whereas they usually cost about 10 euro each to view them.

Even as we discovered museums we had not previously visited, we saw familiar sights as well.
Motorini’s are everywhere in Italy and the drivers are crazy in the chances they take.
Sometimes they pay the price of too fast, or too close, or too many chances. This picture was taken down by Termini. At least the driver had walked away from the accident. Sometimes they are not so fortunate.

The National Museum of Rome
This sarcophagus, or burial tomb, was incredible and intricate in it's carving.

In a vault in the basement, there was a huge ancient coin collection

We have come to really enjoy good sculpture. It is so amazing to think that a sculpture artist takes a huge, raw block of marble, and working from the outside in, can chip away just the right amount of marble to leave everything in proportion, with incredible detail. The way the marble is polished in the end makes it smooth, delicate, textured, flowing, or refined.
So, these are the museums, ruins, and scenery we enjoyed this week.
Borghese Museum
Pauline – is Will’s favorite sculpture in Borghese museum. Lady Borghese was actually the model.

Karen’s favorite is Apollo and Daphne. Theirs is a mythical story. Apollo is chasing Daphne through the forest. When he catches her, she begins changing into a tree - hence the branches growing out of her fingers and toes.

Castel Sant’Angelo

The Coliseum

The Roman Forum
A former dining room in the forum

Museum of Modern Art
Modern, in this case, is everything from the 1700’s to the present. Here we viewed the best sculpture, other than Borghese Museum, that we have seen in Italy. There was a plethora of excellent sculpture. These pictures are a tiny sampling.
Cleopatra - notice the snake on the fruit

Cute sandals - even for today

Bronze boy with dog - the expression on the boy's face is priceless

Young ragged musician

Mussolini Mansion
This is the ballroom

A sitting room

Interesting bedroom furniture

The Owl’s House on the Mussolini Estate
This is a stained glass on the first level of the house

In the Mussolini park area

Spanish Steps. Once each year, they cover the steps with huge pots of brilliant flowers. It is very showy and draws the crowds.

On Sunday afternoon, Giuseppe took us on a giro to an area of Rome we had never seen before.
Giuseppe - our personal tour guide

Will, as usual was taking pictures, while Karen listened to an on-going art and history lesson.

This tour included:
Theresa !!

The tomb of a famous ancient Roman general

A fountain reminiscent of Trevi fountain - on one of the two hills in Rome

A "modern" Roman general

Anita, the general's wife and a fighter in her own right

The prison where Giuseppe works

The lighthouse at the top of the hill

A very full, interesting week!