Mar 23, 2013

San Vitale

Church of San Vitale is a little Basilica in the center of Rome

The Basilica was built in 400 and consecrated by Pope Innocent I in 401-402. The dedication to San Vitale (in English: St. Vitalis) and his family is dated to 412. This church is recored as Titulus Vestinae in acts of the 499 synod of Pope Symmachus

The facade is the most ancient part of the church, possibly dating back to the 5th century. It was altered at the end of the 16th century. The inscription on the portico, with the arms of Pope Sixtus IV, dates from this time, Pope Pius IX built the staircase to the 5th century portico in 1859

Walking along Via Nazionale, the Basilica is located below the street level and is accesible by the stairs

The church has a single nave, with walls frescoed with scenes of martyrdom, among which a Martyrdom of St. Ignatius of Antioch, in which a ruined Colosseum is depicted

The apsis, original of the 5th century, is decorated with fresco by Andrea Commodi, The Ascent to Calvary

Mar 16, 2013

S. Maria della Vittoria

Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria (in English Lady of Victory) is a church and minor basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was designed by Carlo Moderno, but this one us best known for the masterpiece of Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Stuck on a busy road junction, this modest and not particularly enticing church is an unlikely setting for one of the great works of European art by Bernini.

The church was begun in 1605 as chapel dedicated to St. Paul for the Discalced Carmelitans. After the Catholic victory at the battle of White Mountain in 1620, which reserved the Reformation in Bohemia, the church was rededicated to the Virgin Mary. Turkish standards captured at the 1683 siege of Vienna hang in the church, as part of this theme of victory.

The order itself funded the building work until the discovery in the excavations of the Borghese Hermaphroditus Scipione Borghese. nephew of Pope Paul V, appropriated this sculpture but in return funded the rest of work on the facade and granted the order his architect Giovanni Battista Soria. These grants only came into effect in 1624 and work was completed two years later.

The church is best known for Bernini's sumptuous Baroque decoration of the Cappella Cornaro (Cornaro Chapel), one the left as you face the altar, where you'll find his his interpretation of heavenly ectasy in his stayte of the Ectasy of St. Theresa. Your eye is drawn effortlessly from the frescoes on the ceiling down to the marble figures of the Cornaro family (who commissioned the chapel), to the two inlays of marble skeletons in the pavement, representing the hope and despair of souls in purgatory.

As evidence in other works of the period, the theatricality of the chapel is the result of Bernini's masterly fusion of elements. This is one the key examples of the mature Roman High Baroque. Bernini's audacious conceit was to model the chapel as a theater: Members of the Cornaro family -sculpted in colored marbles- watch from theater boxes as. center stage, the great moment of divine love is played out before them. The swooning saint's robes appear to be on fire, quivering with life, and the white marble group seems suspended in the heavens as golden rays illuminate the scene.

An angel assists at the mystical moment of Theresa's vision as the saint abandons herself to the joys of heavenly love. Bernini represented this mystical experience in what, to modern eyes, may seem very earthly terms.

Or, as the visiting dignitary President de Brosses put in the 19th century, <<If this is divine love, I know what it is>>. No matter what your reaction, you'll have to admit it's great theater.

It's an amazing stunning work, bathed in shoft natural light filtering through a concealed window. Go in the afternoon for the best effect.

Beautiful Angels and frescoes by Gian Domenico Cerrini

Other sculpture "The Dream of Joseph" by Domenico Guidi

Cappella della Madonna del Carmine

The altar by Domenichino (1630)

The triumph of Baroque in Rome. Its interior has a single wide nave under a low segmental vault, with three interconnecting side chapels behind arches separated by colossal corinthian pilasters with gilded capitals that support an enriched entablature. Contrasting marble, revetments are enriched with white and gilded stucco angels and putti in full relief. The interior was sequentially enriched afer Maderno's death, its vault was frescoed in 1675 with triumphant themes within shaped compartmens with feigned frames. The Virgin Mary Triumphing over Heresy and Fall of the Angels executed by Giovanni Domenico Cerrini.

The church is the only structure designed and completed by the early Baroque archictect Carlo Maderno, though the interior suffered a fire in 1833 and required restoration, Its facade howere was erected by Giovanni Battista Soria during Maderno's lofetime (1624-1626), showing the unmistakable influnece of Maderno's Church Santa Sunanna nearby (left side in the picture)

Mar 15, 2013

Palazzo Massimo

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme was building in 1887 by the architect Camillo Petrucci for Jesuit Massimiliano Massimi, and served as the seat for the College of Jesuit until 1960. In 1981, the Italian Government acquired the building andrestored it as the second seat of Museo Nazionale Romano. Dedicated to ancient art, Palazzo Massimo holds in its three floors the most significant works producen between the end of the Repubblican period (2nd - 1rst century BC) and the late Imperial period (4th century AD), in addition to a few Greek works from the 5th century BC. It offers a complete picture of the political and economic life of ancient Rome.

The famous Museo Nazionale Romano is a must for classics commoirsseurs. Start off with ancient cash, souvenirs and a mummified Roman child in the basement, then hit the ground floor for egotastic sculptures (dom't miss Augustus as Pontifex Maximus or the resting boxer) and the moving 5th-century BC Niobide dagli Horti Sallustiani (Niobide from Sallustiani Garden). Get the lowdown on ancient hairstyle on the next floor before heading up another flight of stairs for pièce de résistance Roman mosaics and frescoes, among them wall painting from Augustan Period villa found in the grounds of Villa Farnesina.

Mar 9, 2013


A touch in advance about spring season with this splendid mimosa
Un accenno della primavera che arriverà con una splendida mimosa in piena fioritura

Snapshots along Via Gaeta, a street in Castro Pretorio district
Fotografata lungo Via Gaeta nel rione Castro Pretorio, il diciottesimo di Roma

Just taken in 08 March, the Woman Day
Fotografata Venerdì 08 Marzo, il giorno della Festa delle Donne

The mimosa colour is really the best yellow in absolute
Il colore della mimosa è veramente il più bel giallo che ci sia, nè troppo blando nè eccessivamente intenso

It's seems a painting, the amazing yellow color that stands out
Sembra un dipinto con lo splendido color giallo che risalta

The mimosa is in a private garden of a little nunnery
Questo albero si trova in un giardino privato di un piccolo istituto di suore

Mar 2, 2013

Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica (or originally named: Gregoriopolis) is a little village/borough on the coast, far 25 km from Rome where is a large archeological site, the location of the harbour city of ancient Rome. In fact, Ostia in Latin means mouth. At the mouth of the River Tiber Ostia was Rome's seaport. But, with the end of the Roman Empire the harbour fell slowly into decay and was finally abandoned in the 9th century due to the repeated invasions and sacking by Arab pirates, including the Battle of Ostia, a naval battle in 849 between Christian and Saracens: the remaining inhabitants moved here. Afterwards Pope Gregory IV fortified the existing burgh and it was rechristened Gregoriopolis. By this time, the shifting course of the Tiber had landlocked the ancient port and the town was mainly a shelter for the workers of the nearby salt mills