Rome, Italy

Volume 5, Issue 13; 10 Apr 2002

Rome, Italy

We spent most of today touring Rome as a group. Our tour included a number of "drive by" visits and three actual walking tours: The Vatican Museum, including the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Coliseum.

The Vatican Museum is enormous and our tour really consisted of short descriptions of highlights of the collection displayed along the walk from the entrance to the Sistine Chapel and back out. Which is fair enough, I suppose, if you don't have several days to spend in the museum. The mosaics produced by the artists at the vatican are spectacular.

Our guide provided a good introduction and discussion of the restoration work recently completed. The Chapel is spectacular (no pictures allowed). I never saw it before the restoration, but judging by the one small section that they left uncleaned, it's definitely worth another visit if you haven't seen it since. (Frankly, it's probably worth another visit anyway. The big M new how to paint.)

Our entry to St. Peter's was delayed by the weekly audience of the Pope. On the one hand, not something every tourist gets to see. On the other, I didn't have any particular interest.

There's no denying that St. Peter's is gigantic. And it contains a number of striking works: Bernini's Baldaquin (made from Brass taken from the roof of the Panthon), Michelangelo's Dome, numerous fabulous marble works, and (at least) several spectacular mosaics constructed from on the order of 25,000 marble chips. But it doesn't move me the way gothic cathedrals like Chartre do.

After lunch, we did a little more drive by touring on our way to the Coliseum.

It was very cool to stand in the center of the Colloseum. It's easy to imagine 50,000 Roman spectators looking down from those steeply rising walls. I'd love to see what it looked like flooded for a naval battle.

Don't miss the great views of the Forum from the second level of the Coliseum.

After a too brief 30 minute stay, it was time for yet more drive by touring on the way back to the hotel.


Do you know the artist of the Duck Mosaic?

—Posted by Chris Tidrick on 03 Nov 2005 @ 04:49 UTC #

No, sorry.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 03 Nov 2005 @ 12:07 UTC #