22 luglio 2009
Roma, Italia - After a packed morning of visiting San Clemente and San Pietro in Vincoli, my mom and I left to explore Rome! We headed down Via Cavour towards the Forum and Colosseo then up to the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, where we visited a Naval Museum and then walked up the monument to catch a glimpse of the Rome around us.
Then it was time to go up Via del Corso to find some food. We stopped at the Galleria near Palazzo Colonna. It was awesome to have such a nice lunch in a rather modern shopping gallery, but still be able to look outside and see classical architecture all around.
After lunch we grabbed a pullman and headed west towards the Tevere, getting off at Ponte Sant'Angelo. We walked along the Tevere. Unfortunately we didn't have time to climb Castel Sant'Angelo to see the spectacular view and enjoy an espresso at the lovely cafe at the top, but we did get to stroll along the river, before cutting back across at Ponte Cavour and visiting the Ara Pacis where I dutifully art historian geeked all over the place.
A pullman later dropped us off at Via Barberini, where we started our way up to Via Veneto towards the Borghese Palace, where we had a 3pm entrance appointment. As we walked we admired one of Bernini's many fountains, the Fontana dei Tritone, and passed Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini where we had hoped to see the eerie installation of all Cappuccini monk bones, but unfortunately it was closed. However, that is a visit I plan to make next time I am in Rome.
We continued up Via Veneto; and, flashing my all-access pass, we made a quick shopping stop at the Hard Rock, and finally found ourselves in the extensive and beautiful Borghese Gardens. We thought about renting a bicycle-cart to explore the gardens, but realized it wouldn't be feasible due to time constraints. Instead we enjoyed a nice espresso at the cafe in The Cinema dei Piccoli, a charming theatre in the gardens that features films outdoors during the summer months. After exploring, we settled down in the shade near one of the many fountains to refill our canteens and people watch until our reserved entrance time.
All I can say is that the sculpture and works of art in the Borghese Palace are absolutely breathtaking. I never imagined Bernini's sculptures in such splendor and beauty. Seeing first hand the masterful skill and dynamic beauty of his works, such as the Rape of Proserpine, Apollo and Daphne, or the David, was, there are no other words for it, extremely cool to the power of awesome. I could have stayed in those rooms for days admiring those statues. And when I had thought I had seen all the gallery had to offer, I entered the room with the works of Caravaggio. Let's just say, I was in heaven.
But we are now back at the hotel resting before last dinner in Italy and our farewell ceremony which Richard has so graciously prepared for the girls. It has been a long and full day and I am happy for the chance to watch the World Diving Championships (that are taking place here in Rome) and dozing off before dinner time.
We return to the States tomorrow morning, but I'll still travel on.
-- post made from iPaolo