Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our Roman Holiday

Our visit to Rome began with one of the best ideas we had on the trip: ditch the rental car and walk everywhere. Because the streets can be narrow and the Italian drivers, while precise, have very little regard for other drivers, we decided to enjoy the city and not stress about having to drive anywhere. So, we turned the car in and put on our walking shoes. Once you get the lay of the land, Rome is an easy city to navigate. That said, we had perfect weather which was much more pleasant than the rain we endured during our last visit.

Rome has so many layers to it, both physically and in the variety of interesting places to see. Unless you have a good week in the city, you need to narrow your focus. We decided on visiting just a few museums and whatever else caught our fancy along the way. 

Of course, Rome's stucco buildings and pockets of flowers and plants also caught my eye!

Purple bougainvillea

Lush ivies

 One thing we did notice was an increase in the amount of graffitti. It was very sad to see. What a waste. 
Hopefully, they'll be able to figure out how to curb it.

Many colorful buildings

Of course, excavations exist and leave lots to the imagination.

This is the courtyard of the Galleria Doria Pamphilj, in the heart of Roma , which houses an incredible collection of art. I am hoping to re-create these columns in a client's new home. This gallery seems to be a hidden gem.

Just a side of a building!

A visit to the Pantheon is a must! I am standing right outside of the entrance. It is also within a few minutes walk to Campo de' Fiori (and great pizza) and just around the corner from the fabulous chocolate shop, Moriondo e Gariglio, also a must visit.

This engineering marvel never ceases to amaze! 
How did they ever do this two thousand years ago?

Trying to shoot this center took many attempts! 
I was glad it wasn't raining as the center is open to the sky.

Not long after we left the Pantheon, we stumbled into a church (I haven't the foggiest idea what its name is) and I felt like it was deja vu.

This church, Santa Maria sopra Minerva,  had an incredible sculpture created out of gilded ebony.

We also visited the Villa Farnesina, just over the Ponte Sisto bridge in the Trastevere section of Rome. It is also a hidden gem, easily accessible and crammed full of spectacular works of art, including stunning frescoes by Raphael and his followers.

One of Raphael's famous frescoes- in the Hall of Galathea.

These are in the Room of the Frieze. Talk about good trompe l'oeil!

We also visited the Museo Nazionale Romano, close to the train station. 
To do it proper justice, you need to spend an entire day here.

It contains the sublime fresco of Livia's garden, removed from her villa at Prima Porta.

The museum also contains thousands of remnants of frescoes, plaster, mosaics and sculpture.

This last photo is of my favorite fresco, removed from the House of Farnesina, partially under the Villa Farnesina. If you look at the left side, it gives you a good idea of the smoothness of a lime plaster wall.

I invite you to hop over to the PlumSiena blog to see an amazing copper display in Arezzo and other inspiring images. 

We will now return to our regularly scheduled art, design and nature lineups, with a special emphasis on the upcoming holidays. 

How about a Ball Masque?


  1. oh oh oh. i wish i could have given you a list of spots from which i needed pictures! how wonderful to be in rome! you pictures are awesome... thanks for sharing this.

  2. O..M..G......this is an art historian's dream! You have very good photography here! This post is a gem...!!!!!

  3. Beautiful post and beautiful photography. Have always admired the Villa Prima Porta frescoes. Will visit the Museo Nationale Romano on our visit next Fall. Thanks for sharing, Ann.

  4. So, so beautiful. Love all the images -- I do -- but my fave is Livia's Garden. I could live there, just plunk me inside... Funny you mention graffiti because I noticed it as well, it was disheartening. I *need* to get back to Rome.