Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Today We Arrived In Piaza,

after booking out of our hotel,

the hotel Massimo D'Azeglio,

with it's nice outdoor seating,

as we arrived the heavens opened up,

the umbrella sellers had a field day when the normally priced umbrellas magically doubled in price!

naturally as soon as we neared the attraction the rain that seemed it would go on forever stopped,

a quick photo call,

as we neared the grounds,

and there it was,

but first a look at the Baptistry of St. John, which is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical building, construction started in 1152 to replace an older Baptistry, and was completed in 1363,

the building was huge,

we then moved on to the Campo Santo, also known as Camposanto Monumentale ("monumental cemetery") or Camposanto Vecchio ("old cemetery"),

then on to the famous leaning tower of Pisa,

perhaps the most famous bell tower in the world,

and one of the most photographed,

well I had to have a picture taken as well,

we made our way back to the coach,

past a very subdued McDonald's,

and Burger King,

not only did towers lean in Pisa, some of the street lights did as well,

as we continued our journey,

a high speed train rushed past us,

time for lunch,

it is amazing how good these motorway side cafes and shops are,

we drove into Rome,

passing so many fine buildings,

and statues,

as well as buildings,

there were fountains,

unfortunately we did not have time to stop at these,

which was a shame,

in the distance this is where we were going, St Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro),

we were passing,

so many other fine,


on the way,

then we had a surprise,

when Gustavo said , 'look the Colosseum!' but it some how did not look right, because it was not, but a few of us were at first fooled,

we made our way past temples,

and fountains,

also briefly stopping by this Moto Guzzi,

we then stopped at the Circus Maximus,

what a sight,

it was huge,

whilst modern day stadiums seat 50-60,000 people,

it is agreed that this stadium could seat 250,000 people,

and some report a maximum attendance of 320,000 people,

our look at the circus over,

we continued our drive,

passing more statues,

until we arrived here,

at the Vatican City,

we made our way inside,

which had so many tourists in the main hall,

up and onward,

until we found ourselves on one of the plazas,

we were first going to look around,

some of the Vatican Museums (Italian: Musei Vaticani) are the museums of the Vatican City and are located within the city's boundaries,

you need only buy one bottle of water in the city, at the bottom left a spring water tap that you can top up your water bottle from,

in the distance the Papal Basilica of St. Peter or simply St. Peter's Basilica,

the globe atop of it,

a pose from Diana,

we made our way into another plaza,

looking through to some of the galleries,

and across the plaza itself,

in the distance this building,

with these figures on top pf it,

a detail from one of them,

in the center this sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro he is an Italian sculptor,He was born in Morciano, Romagna, Italy, He currently lives and works in Milan,

titled The Sphere Within Sphere, also known as Sfera con Sfera,

a panorama of the plaza,

and looking back to where we entered,

at the entrance,

a huge cone,

with a peacock at each side of it, it was at one time thought to be a fountain, for more about it and its sculptor  Publius Cincius Salvius look here,

inside there were galleries of statues,

we were told that many are composites,

it appears that during the moving of many of them,

 pieces like ears and noses would be broken off, it was not unusual for figure to have 3 or 4 different pieces from other statues even including heads, arms and legs!

we made our way into the next gallery,

above us a ceiling decoration,

and here a 3D artwork, this doorway is totally flat, but it gives the impression that you are walking through an archway,

we passed into a courtyard,

which had figures,

and these faces looking down upon us,

they all somehow,

seemed theatrical to me,

we then saw the Laoco├Ân, the statue found in 1506 buried in the ground of a Rome vineyard owned by Felice de' Fredis, one of the first experts to attend the excavation site was Michelangelo (1475-1564), 

and it is thought that this piece inspired many of his future works,

we were now on the far side of the courtyard,

passing under another of the heads,

we made our way into one of the galleries,

this one featuring,


we then entered another part of the museum,

above the entrance fantastical heralds,

with ceiling paintings,


and floor mosaics,

this one of Poseidon,

in another room,

this huge bath,

next a sarcophagus made in just two pieces,

what a skill there was in those times,

in the next room,

a mosaic floor,

and bias relief ceilings,

every so often there would be a craving in the style of Egypt,

there was just so much to look at,

at every level,

the ceiling in the next room,

that had a statue of the huntress, Diana,

then back to the ceilings,

lots of them,

and in such stunning detail,

I noticed this plaque, but I could not find out what it represented,

a freeze over one of the doorways,

we then moved into the tapestry room,

where these works of art are hung,

we were told that they were hung on the wall to stop drafts,

this is a part of one of the tapestries, the problem being the weavers had never seen a camel, so they had to guess what it would look like from travelers tales,

this was an interesting illustration on a ceiling, whilst looking that it is raised it is in fact a 2D painting with the artist making the painting look 3D,

the same technique is used here,

and here,

the next room returned,

to painted ceilings,

that everyone admired,

at the end of the room,

this freeze above the doorway,

we were both so amazed at the ceilings,

each panel a work of art,

we looked back at the freeze above the doorway at the other end of the room,

at first we saw the 3 bees but only later looked at the face under them,

the next room was richly decorated as well,

in the center a bookcase,

a close look at one of the walls,

we made our way outside,

walking towards,

the square that is world famous,

not too far now,

and here we are,

in the middle of the square a 4,000 year old Egyptian needle

and on both sides of the square,

statues looking down,

like this one,

we are of course in St. Peter's Square,

we then we made our way back into the interior of the Basilica,

to admire this famous stature,

from afar,

into the main part of the building,

looking at the ceiling,


and walls was just spectacular,

looking up in the center of the Basilica,

one of the ceiling decorations,

we made our way through the building,

with shafts of sunlight streaming through it,

just stunning,

then to the center,

I guess the alter,

looking through it, the dove of peace,

along the sides,

magnificent wall pieces,

again looking up, so much to see,

as we made our way to the front of the building,

we looked back,

to find sunlight streaming in,

on this the right hand side as we left,

there was a font with water in it, it was so awe inspiring,

going outside,

we noticed two of the Swiss guards,

that for over 500 years,

have guarded,

and have been loyal to every Pope,

in that time, for a read of how and why this happened have a look here at their home page, it is a fascinating read,

we made our way back out into the main square,

looking at the needle,

a panorama from the side of the square,

the sun getting low on the horizon,

at 6.00,

and at last blue skies,

we made our way back to the coach,

and checked in,

the room nice for us,

next downstairs for our evening meal,

a shower and change, then after a starter each a pizza for Diana,

a pork dish for myself,

apple pie and custard for dessert,

which was delicious,

I then decided to make a start on posting another day of our holiday,

with a little help of course,

then a walk to stretch my legs,

the hotel, the Cristoforo Colombo was next to the Euroma 2 shopping center,

a quick look at the pool, then for us we were off to bed.