Roma Holiday

We are back from Italia, Roma & Orvieto.  Yes, it was hot and crowded – it is July.   But one travels when one can, even in the heat of summer.  We thought about going to Reykjavik where it would be cool, but heard the pasta was nothing special.   I think we paid homage to all of Rome’s major cultural treasures, from the ancient to the Baroque.   We walked for hours each day, usually returning to our room quite damp and too late for siesta.  My favorite things: carpaccio, arugula and shaved parmesan; cheap, good wine; the infinitely weird ossuary of the Capuchin monks (4,000 skeletal remains artfully arranged); the cool and quiet cathedrals (Santa Maria del Popolo with two Caravaggios, the Church of the Gesu with its curious ceiling fresco, to name two – not all the cathedrals were cool, some were downright steamy); the AC in our rooms at Babuino 181 and Locanda del Sole; the Borghese Gallery with timed admission and Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne; Sinorelli’s sci-fi “The Damned” fresco in the Orvieto Duomo; Orvieto Sunday afternoon during siesta (when we were almost alone on the streets) and wandering the alleyways of Orvieto after dark.

Memento Mori at Santa Maria del Popolo (c. 1470)

Constantine’s colossal head at the Musei Capitolini

Rome - lovely light and vernacular architecture

Crowds at the Vatican Museum

Restoration work on Saint Peter’s Colonnade

Tidying up at the Pantheon

Becky on the Pantheon steps

Bernini’s odd Pulcino della Minerva (the elephant has an Egyptian obelisk on his back)

Gaulli’s illusionistic fresco from the Church of the Gesu (c. 1550)

Wedding photographers in Trastevere

Orvieto after dark (Orvieto is an Etruscan-Medieval town atop an impressive volcanic tuff an hour north of Rome)