Sunday, March 30, 2008

roma panorama

After seven days in Rome, the Italian capital, what did I take home with me?

2 pairs of shoes, 2 jackets, 2 shirts, 1 belt, 1 pair of sandals, and... 700 (yes!) snapshots of one of Europe's grandest-looking cities. Here, take a look at some of them:

1. A cherub stares out from the inner dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

2. Tourists learn that the best way to see Rome is on foot.

3. Heavenly light shines on the city after a day of rain.

4. Yellow ochre, orange, burnt siena, peach, and raw umber. Who says a metropolis has to be gray?

5. The statue of St. Peter Nolasco, founder of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy (whose members offered themselves as ransom in order to save others), glows inside the dark interior of St. Peter's Basilica.

6. After an elevator ride, one still needs to climb 320 steps to the tip of the dome to catch this magnificent view of St. Peter's Square.

7. The only way to see the altar from the dome was through a thick wire fence. :-(

8. Thousands of plastic chairs are still lined up on St. Peter's Square the day after Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Easter mass.

9. The latest Dolce & Gabbana gladiator sandals walk Rome's stony pavements.

10. One may get a glimpse of the crowded piazza from inside the Pantheon.

11. A fragment of the Colosseum's arena peeks through silhouetted buttresses.

12. The only source of light inside the Pantheon is a hole in the ceiling.

13. The sun outlines the beauty of the trees at the Roman Forum.

14. The monument of Vittorio Emmanuel II (united Italy's first king) stands proudly at the center of Rome.

15. The remains of the temple of Castor and Pollux at the Forum rises against the blue sky.

16. Sculptural Italian pine trees are seen outside one of the Colosseum's scenic windows.

17. Bas relief sculptures adorn the entrance to the Vatican Museum.

18. Inside, one has to walk through the stunning Hall of Maps to reach the Sistine Chapel.

19. A formal balance characterizes most of Roman architecture.

20. The Vatican Museum's spiral staircase provides a most dramatic exit.

Tip for those planning on a Roman holiday: The city's grand proportions should be captured on a wide angle lens. I found it very hard to crop things out of a picture. It felt like tearing pages off a Roman history book! :-)

(Top) I took this pic of Series 5's Italian Flag Bearbrick against the dome of St. Peter's Basilica and the Ponte (bridge) Vittorio Emmanuel II. It was very windy, the bearbrick almost fell into the Tiber River!