Monday, August 21, 2006

August 2006 - Rome, Italy - Capitol Hill

On our way home from a horrid trip (via tram, bus, and subway) to the mall in the Roman suburbs (in search of reasonably priced household goods), we stopped by Il Campidoglio, also known as the Capitoline and Capital Hill to once again soak up the beautiful views on another gorgeous day in Rome.

Here, you are looking up La Cordonata - Michelangelo's glorious staircase that gently rises and widens up to La Piazza del Campidolglio (the Capitol Square) - one of the most impressive squares in Rome. The building in the center with the tower is the Palazzo Senatorio, which used to house the Roman Senate and now is the office of Rome's mayor. Flanking this palazzo are the Palazzo Nuovo (left) and Palazzo dei Conservatori (right), comprising the Capitoline Museums, which house many of Rome's greatest ancient Classical, Renaissance, and Baroque treasures. In addition to designing and sculpting the embellishments of the staircase, Michelangelo designed the square itself and the facades of the three palazzos.
Here's a closeup of one of the two restored Classical statues of the Dioscuri - Castor and Pollux -that stand on pedastals at the top of the bannisters of Michelangelo's staircase, towering over you as you enter the square (looks a little Davidesque to me).And, here's a replica of the remarkable 2nd Century A.D. bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, perched atop a pedestal designed, of course, by Michelangelo. The original, which is now incased in glass in the Palazzo Nuovo, survived the inquisition's destruction of all things pagan, including classical masterpieces such as this, only because the horseman was thought to depict Constantine, the Roman Emperor who issued the Edict of 313 A.D., which legalized Christianity. Here is the symbol of Rome - the She-Wolf suckling Remus and Romulus (the founder of Rome). Sitting atop a tall Ionic column, this is a replica of the Etruscan bronze statute dating from the early 5th century B.C. that is on display in the Palazzo dei Conservatori. From the ledge just beyond the column holding the She-Wolf, we got a truly awesome view of the entire Roman Forum in the valey between the Capitoline and Palatine hills.Here you can see the vestiges of ancient Roman Fora and Temples to the Gods. And here's the Arch of the Emperor Trajan.

There were also great views to the west from Capital Hill. Here's just one of the many domes of the city framed by some umbrella pines in the foreground.

1 comment:

Kenny & Casandra said...

A total dump with cheap shoes, fake brand names, and awful italian fast food. Think the 163rd street mall on welfare.