Atlantis Alumni

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rome: So Many Attractions!

This morning we took a cab to one of the parks to see the Villa Giulia. (See Jim’s photo.) Built by Pope Julius III in the 16th century, by a group of architects including Ammannati and Vignola, this delightful example of a Renaissance villa includes grottoes, circular walls and many graceful curved arches. Since the late 19th century it has housed a large collection of Etruscan artifacts. The Etruscans were the ancestors and predecessors of the Romans, and they influenced aspects of Roman life. After touring the villa, we took a cab to the Piazza Navona area, to see some treasures that we last enjoyed in Rome in 2009, when we were last in the Eternal City for another Atlantis cruise. We returned to the French church of San Luigi dei Francese to see the three masterpieces that made Caravaggio famous: his “Calling of St. Matthew”, a painting of St. Matthew inspired by an Angel, (see photo) and the “Martyrdom of St. Matthew.” For depictions of powerful, dramatic moments, few artists rival the Baroque master Caravaggio. We walked to the Pantheon, and then to the largest and most popular of all the many Roman fountains, the Trevi. Though the square in front of the Trevi Fountain is jammed with tourists, Jim managed to take a photo of the playful ancient gods and horses sans the crowd. (See photo.) Finally we walked to that other iconic 18th century, late Baroque site, the Spanish Steps on the Piazza di Spagna. (See photo.) We ate lunch nearby before returning to our hotel. - Dan

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