Monday, April 5, 2010


The Pantheon
Pliny the Elder ( Born 23CE) noted naturalist, lawyer, historian and author, was sent to Rome for his education. Anticipating Rome we think about the long history that remains so alive there. The masterpieces created by great artists and architects are apparent and hidden, so many gems to see. The names Borromini, Bramante, Bernini, Carravaggio,Sangallo, Carracci and Raphael all come to mind.
The Pantheon is perhaps the greatest ancient intact surviving building and it is here in Rome. Arriving in Rome we make it our first stop. Walking into the Pantheon we first feel the most incredible sense of space, standing in a sphere the only source of light is the 26' circular opening.We once stood under this oculus to watch a feather float down from that famous opening to the sky. We stood watching as it slowly,slowly drifted to the floor.
A detail of a Raphael fresco from the Raphael Rooms at the Vatican Museum

Raphael was greatly loved by the Romans. He died young and is entombed in the Pantheon. People still leave flowers by his tomb.

The Palatine Hill is the neighborhood of the ancient Roman emperors. It is a beautiful place for a walk with views over the ancient Roman forum. We are looking forward to visiting the ruins of the House of Livia, and the house of her husband Augustus (1st Emperor).
A walk down to the Jewish Ghetto will lead to a number of good places to eat. Worth a return for lunch is La Vecchia Bottega Del Vino, they serve a wonderful "piatto unico" of salad and antipasti.
Via Giulia is a street that from the Forum to the Vatican decreed by Pope Julius II . Michelangelo designed this bridge over the via Guilia from the Palazzo Farnese to cross the Tiber and connect to the Palazzo Farnesina. The total span was never completed, the bridge does not cross the river. Via Guilia is a marvelous street to walk,and a point of interest is that Raphael here.

Flowers in the Campo de Fiori
Daily market (except Sunday), the best of what Rome has to offer in fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, flowers, etc. It is hard to resist buying bags full of food, it is all so fresh and the flowers so beautiful. There is also pizza bianca to be found here. What a treat to spend time here!
Art, architecture,ancient streets, gardens gracious Romans and incredible food and wine,
we anticipate it all.

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