Saturday, July 18, 2009

Creation of Adam

Mama Mia, yesterday was a big day. I attended Mass at Santa Susanna (Home of the American Catholic Church in Rome). The Mass was said in Italian, but I could tell what was happening, of course. There was no homily. At communion, the priest dipped each communion wafer in wine before distributing it. A nun assisted the Priest by holding a brass plate under your chin. Interesting.

Then, we walked from the hotel to the Treve Fountain. Back to the hotel and took a cab to the Pantheon, wow (see Flickr for more detailed description of my visit to the Pantheon)! Had a 'private tour' of the Sistine Chapel. We were even allowed to take pictures in some parts of the museum\chapel. In other parts of the chapel we needed to have our cameras on museum flashes! As usual, some 'ugly Americans' did not follow the rules and were taking pics with flash. Disturbing.

Remarkably, Michelangelo did not like to paint because he was a sculptor. He said he could only complete this amazing work 'by the hand of God.' His depection of 'The Last Judgement' was extremely interesting see in person. Your eyes can go from one story to the next. Perhaps the most curious is Bartholomew holding his own skin. This is where Michelangelo inserted his self-portrait. Raphael's tapestries were unbelievably beautiful, as well.

After the Sistine Chapel, we took a tour called 'Rome by Night.' Rome is absolutely gorgeous all lit up! Our driver took us to a couple of the highest points in Rome to see the panoramic views. My camera could not do any of these justice, so I just have to try and remember what I saw. The driver took us by 'The Mouth of Truth,' but it is closed at night. We'll try to get there before we leave. He also took us to Aventine Hill where St. Peter's Basilica may be viewed through the famous "keyhole"...bella! It is going to take a while to process everything I saw yesterday.

Arrivederci from Roma!

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