Rome: 6.20.2007

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Wake to bright sunlight and spill out onto the street
looking for provisions and transportation to the site outlined in a walking tour.
Around the corner is an entomology building adorned with a spray paint mural of insects.
 

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The artist is on the ladder at work at the other end of the wall.

 

At a corner shop we are recognized as Americans and promptly offered hamburgers and Coca-Cola.
Instead, we request espressos and paninis (sandwiches, like bocadillos in Spain).
We load up with water and head down into the underground to the Metro.
 
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First stop is Trevi Fountain, completed in the mid-1700’s:
Extremely hot with no shade available, the building-sized fountain swarms with tourists.

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A contemporary Centurion soldier makes a mobile phone call.

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Too hot to continue with such a terrible map,
we purchase a new map and sit for cold Morettis on a patio.
A plan made, when the bill arrives, there’s an extra charge for patio service.
We see that at 8 each (over $10!),we should stick to cheap bodega corner markets.

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A classically-styled sidewalk chalk drawing.

 

Uptight business men in sharp dark suits

cut lines through the traffic of people and cars.
 

The Column of Marcus Aurelius was erected to commemorate

Aurelius’ actions in the Marcomannic Danubian Wars that began in 166 AD.

The continuous frieze that wraps over 100 feet high

around the column depicts events of the battles.

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Sweating and dazed, we round another corner

and yet another piece of history meets our eyes- the Pantheon!

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Originally a pagan temple when constructed in 80AD,

it was later converted to a Catholic church in the 7th Century.

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 The eclectic collection mobbed by crowds

is lit by the only source in the building: the Oculus.

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Meanwhile back outside…

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Around a decrepit side of the Pantheon.

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Bernini’sElephant and Obelisk in front of the only Gothic church in Rome,

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva,

We duck inside to get out of the summer sun

to find a hidden treasure of private chapels,
and Michelangelo’s Cristo_della_Minerva (Christ the Redeemer).
No photos allowed, but culture in a comfortable temperature
invited us to remain a few hours.
 
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Afterward, our guidebook suggests Sant Eustachio il Caffe for the Grancaffe.
Smooth and slightly sweet, it was a quick caffeine hit before continuing on to Vatican City.

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The bridge is lined with sculptures of angels
holding Arma Christi (“Weapons of Christ”), or the Instruments of the Passion,
by various sculptors working under Bernini.
 
The sculptures are pictured as follows:
 

Angel with the Crown of Thorns (In aerumna mea dum configitur spina) by Paolo Naldini,

Angel with the Sudarium (Veronica’s Veil)(Respice faciem Christi tui) by Cosimo Fancelli

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Angel with the Nails (Aspicient ad me quem confixerunt) by Girolamo Lucenti,

Angel with the Garment and Dice (Super vestimentum meum miserunt sortem) by Paolo Naldini

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St. Paul with Book and Broken Sword (Borgo) by Paolo Romano,

St. Peter with Book (Rione XIV) by Lorenzetto

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Angel with the Column (Tronus meus in columna) by Antonio Raggi,

Angel with the Whips (In flagella paratus sum) by Lazzaro Morelli

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Angel with the Cross (Cuius principatus super humerum eius) by Ercole Ferrata,

Angel with the Superscription (Regnavit a ligno deus) by Giulio Cartari

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Angel with the Lance (Vulnerasti cor meum) by Domenico Guidi,

Angel with the Sponge (Potaverunt me aceto) by Antonio Giorgetti

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The end of our walking tour, Saint Peter’s is in sight.

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To the left of the castle is Saint Peter’s Basilica (San Pietro)
in Vatican City shrouded in atmosphere.
The short walk is lined with embassies and the occasional stencil.

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Hellraiser in Vatican City

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The Canadian Embassy, Mr. Toronto gets his picture taken.

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 The street opens to Piazza San Pietro,

lined with elegant colonnades that frame the Basilica.

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 Panorama of St. Peter Square (Image Source: Internet)

The Vatican is closed to visitors at this time of day.

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The Egyptian Obelisk of the 13th century BC,

was taken to Rome in AD 37 by Emperor Caligula,

and again was moved and re-erected in 1586.

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Veni Vidi Vici…without Nazism!

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The City Symbol:
(“The Senate and People of Rome”)
 
 With no place open to purchase tickets, we return on the train for free.
Feeling faint and looking pale, Jude retires to his kitchenette-bed-room
while we revisit the Chinese restaurant around the block
for a quiet dinner together at a shared table.

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