Photo of the Week: Vatican from Castel Sant’Angelo

Photo of the Week: Vatican from Castel Sant’Angelo

We have been loving all the new Pope business in Rome. I love the little tidbits we catch about Pope Francis I and his choices in these pivotal first days of his Pontificate. For example, his choice to have a more modest fisherman’s ring (plated in gold rather than made 100% of the expensive metal) and cross necklace (his is made of lead). My favorite snippet was that after being elected, Francesco, though he had the right to stay in his new home at the Vatican, declined and chose to return to his hotel room with the other Cardinals. All three choices express his extreme humbleness. I mean, I think it would have been hard for me to give up my first night’s stay in the Vatican apartments. And that got me thinking about other premises over which new Popes once gained ownership upon their election, namely, the Castel Sant’Angelo.
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Photo of the Week: Michelangelo’s Love-Hate Relationship with Fresco Painting

Photo of the Week: Michelangelo’s Love-Hate Relationship with Fresco Painting

There are so many things in Italy that cannot be captured on film, in a picture, a book, by a poem, ode or interpretative dance. The Sistine Ceiling is one of them. Well, let’s be honest, it’s the one. The number of oversized books and posters with endless reproductions and diagrams dedicated to this one space still cannot even begin to communicate the feeling you experience when you’re physically standing in that room looking up at Michelangelo’s love-hate relationship with fresco painting. Many others, who worked their entire lives on painting (and did nothing else), didn’t come anywhere close to this masterpiece. Not even compared to the ceiling closest to the entrance wall of the chapel, where Mich is still figuring things out and is, perhaps, a hair short of his normal state of perfection.
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Things I Didn’t Know, Art History Edition: The Colossus

 This blog series is an excuse to keep track of all the random tidbits we uncover in our day-to-day life as students, guides, teachers, and just generally interested and curious people. I know it is not everyone’s prerogative to find out exactly how renaissance babies were swaddled, what 16th century widows wore, or what famous members of the Medici family did with their free time, just to better understand a work of art. So I will spare you our endless Early Modern machinations and just give you the good stuff.
 
The Colossus (of Rome, Rhodes, and New York):
We’re heading down to Rome tomorrow for a whirlwind tour of the sites and doing some requisite brushing up on our notes. While discussing the Flavian Amphitheater, aka the Colosseum, and the origins of this now ubiquitous nickname, I realized there were some holes in my knowledge that needed plugging up. One question lead to the next and suddenly I had gone from a colossus in Rome to images of a lost colossus in Rhodes, back home to New York to a colossus I too often forget.
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Photo of the Week: Rome Sunset

Photo of the Week: Rome Sunset

We made a quick trip to the Eternal City this past week and took our favorite walk from the Borghese Gallery through the Borghese gardens towards Piazza del Popolo. As we were approaching, the most incredible sunset began unfolding before our eyes. Michelangelo’s enormous Dome was hovering on the horizon with the orange sun blazing behind it. It was almost too good to be true. The view from above the piazza, looking out over most of the enormous city is already one of the best in Rome, but with the blazing pink and orange sky, it was nothing less than breathtaking.

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The Other Side of Rome

Been to Rome before? Seen this, done that? Well…maybe you have and maybe you haven’t. Here are some of my favorite off-the-beaten-path things to see/do that are not always an easy walk down one of Rome’s breathtaking cobble-stone streets. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth every ounce of effort to see. Maybe you need to go back. Hopefully, it will be with Select Study Abroad. Continue reading…

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