Saturday, will forever rank among my most memorable art experiences. Period. The day started with our "Caravaggio walk" and finished at the Borghese Gallery, viewing 4 of the most beautiful sculptures in the world (see Dave's post for more on this). I will post separately on that unforgettable day of art.
In the meantime, I include below an "essay" in photos of our time with the students in Rome and the celebratory dinner that crowned Saturday's art fest.
For those of you who haven't been to Rome, this structure is the best preserved ancient Roman temple anywhere in the world, in large part because it was turned into a church in the 7th C. It was originally built by the emperor Hadrian in the 2nd C. A.D. In my opinion it remains one of the most powerful architectural spaces in all of Italy, despite being stripped of the bronze stars that once decorated its coffered (recessed squares) ceiling, which was once painted blue in imitation of the heavens.
The bright light of the sun blasting through the oculus (round opening at the dome's top) and making its temporary mark on the inside of the coffered dome.
On Friday afternoon we visited the Vatican including St. Peters, the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms and the Vatican Museums. Above and below are 3 shots of the mighty St. Peters.
Michelangelo's dome of St. Peter's poking through the tree tops.
Saturday night's fabulous dinner al fresco at Pierluigi.
It doesn't get any fresher than this! The lobsters were still moving.
THE BEST calamari fritti in the whole world, bar none.
Super thinly sliced octopus soppressata. Yes, it looks a bit odd, but boy was it delicious. (I must say Dave and I both pushed our food envelope with this one, and were so glad we did. When in Rome...)
Pasta Course #1: Spaghetti alle vongole (with clams). The spaghetti was cooked just right and the simple sauce was wonderful sopped up with some fresh bread. Buonissima!
Pasta Course #2: Mixed seafood with spicy tomato sauce and large, tubular pasta served fresh from the skillet table side. Also amazing...
The Roman culinary decathlon finished for me with a warm chocolate cake with crema. Talk about rich! But, oh so tasty. Afterwards we rolled into a taxi and headed to bed.
Below images from our Sunday morning visit to the Baroque church of St. Ivo designed by Borromini.
(Above) Inside view of the dome.
On Sunday afternoon, after visiting the sites above, Dave and I took the programmed free time to eat at the Cul du Sac (a favorite Roman haunt from our very first trip to Rome together in 2000) and visit the Al Temps museum of ancient art.
The Cul de Sac at the far left of the line of store fronts. We sat at an outside table and enjoyed yet another stunning day of mild weather. Aside from a few showers on Saturday morning our trip to Rome was the most comfortable trip weather-wise I've ever experienced in the city, which I usually equate with blistering heat and merciless sun. We all felt lucky!
Two images above of typical fare at the Cul de Sac enoteca (wine bar). This plate of meat was a sample of their cured meats typical of the region where Rome is situated.
As always, Rome was tiring, but artistically exhilarating at the same time. This go round we also enjoyed the culinary excellence of Rome, too. Another great trip!