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Tuesday Travels: Rome--Capitoline Museums

Photo: A panorama of the city of Rome, as viewed from Palatine Hill. Old stone buildings stand under dark clouds, with blue sky visible in the distance. 
I love how travel can make history come alive, and a visit to Rome certainly did that for me. Seeing the relics in the churches, the items in the museums, and the ancient ruins of buildings truly transported me back in time. One blog post could not even begin to do justice to all that I saw while I was there, let alone all that Rome has to offer, so I will spread my photos over several posts, and recognize that even with that, I will certainly not be able to cover everything. 

Though we were part of a tour group, we chose to extend our trip by adding optional extension days to the front end of our vacation. As a result, our first day in Rome was fairly unscheduled, as it was the day the majority of the group was arriving in Italy. With hours to spare before meeting the rest of the travelers, we decided to walk toward the Capitoline Museums.

On our way, we walked past this massive building, the Victor Emmanuel Monument. A tour guide later told us that Italians have all sorts of nicknames for this building, including the typewriter, the dentures, and the wedding cake. Whatever it is called, it is certainly an impressive building. We did not go inside, but admired the exterior. 


Photo: The huge, white-marbled, Victor Emmanuel Monument. Tiny dots of people are on the steps leading up to the building. The building is tiered, like a wedding cake, or old-fashioned typewriter. Columns run across the entire top level, which make the building resemble a set of false teeth.

Though the Victor Emmanuel Monument was huge, the Capitoline Museums weren't exactly small, either. The beauty of the rooms awed me almost as much as the holdings. 


(Frustratingly, every time I try to add a descriptive caption to this photo, the photo gets moved in my post. I'm going to just add the caption in a text paragraph following any photo that gives me problems!) Photo: A room in the Capitoline Museum. Although the walls are covered in murals and busts, the ceiling is just as ornate, with many recessed panels with inlayed gold, and a huge white glass chandelier.


Photo: Looking out a big, multiple-paned window in the Capitoline Museums, another building appears like a impressionist painting.

Of course, I was also impressed with the contents of the museum. I love to see functional objects, which help me imagine what life must have been like (at least for the rich and famous, in the case of this chariot):


Photo: A bronze-plated chariot, highly decorated with scenes of buildings and people
Much of the museum was filled with busts. I was particularly impressed with those that used more than one color of stone. Somehow they seemed more life-like when they weren't just all white marble.


Photo: This bust, labeled "Lucilla" shows a woman with wavy black hair. Her dress is made of a tan-colored stone, and another, brown-striped stone makes a wrap over her dress.
Not everything in the museum is made of metal or stone, however. I was amazed that fabric from the 13th century is still fairly intact in this red St. George Banner:

Photo: A very large red silk and leather banner is displayed in a glass case. The banner depicts St. George slaying a dragon.
Before we needed to meet up with our group, we took some time to go out on a mezzanine and take in the city view. Obviously, we were going to have a lot of territory to cover in the few days we had in Rome, but we were up to the challenge. Stay tuned!

Photo: A view of the city from the Capitoline Museums. Several church domes are visible, as well as many roofs of old buildings. 








Comments

  1. Rome is just too much to get in one visit, same with so many places. Thank you for sharing your travels!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such beautiful artwork! Love the chariot, too!

    ReplyDelete

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