Friday, July 16, 2010

Italy-Day 16 Colusseum and Borghese

We got up bright and early to tour the Colosseum and the Forum. It was interesting, but this was not my favorite tour. For whatever reason I just wasn't feeling it. Maybe if I had done some research before hand, I might have enjoyed it more. All I could think about was all the Latin I used to know.
This is the interior of the Colosseum. It's pretty crazy to think about what went on there. Our guide told us about all the animals they captured out of Africa for the games, about how many of them didn't survive the journey back to Rome, and how they had to be trained to like the taste of human meat in order for them to want to attack the gladiators.

Ruins, including the Temple of the Vestal Virgins, in the lower left hand corner.

After lunch, a few of us had tickets for the Borghese Gallery, to see the Berninis and the Caravaggio's. Here's the thing about the Borghese. You must reserve tickets ahead of time. You're only allowed to be in the Borghese for two hours, so you have to pick the time you want go. You must be there half an hour before your scheduled time to pick up your tickets. If you don't show up on time, they give them away.
Well, lunch went longer than we expected, and of course we thought we knew where we were going, and of course it took us longer than we expected to get there, so we wound up sprinting through this huge, beautiful park to the Borghese:
We were a little late, but we still got our tickets. We had to check everything. You were only allowed a sketchbook, a pencil and your wallet. No purses, bag, cameras, etc.
But we finally made it in and saw the Bernini's including Apollo and Daphne,
And we finally saw some Caravaggios. I stood in front of this one, St. Jerome, for quite a while.

Two hours was enough for the Borghese, and, as I said in an earlier post, we were getting a little burnt out on art. We walked around Rome for a little while, and made our way to the "Bone Church." The walls of the crypt were covered with the bones of 4000 Capuchin monks. Even the chandeliers were made of human bones. It was incredible.

After that, we went upstairs to the cathedral. A Friar was leading a few people in prayer, either Latin or Italian. It was enough to give you chills.

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