08 April 2010

Oh, Roma

To have the means to travel the world is something not to be taken for granted.  Chrissy has been studying in Rome for the past semester, so the fam packed up and took the 9 hour flight to spend Spring Break exploring the city. Despite the crazy family factors and mishaps involved throughout our stay, the trip was really rewarding and comforting in a way.  I am so thankful.

Life is slower in Rome, but it is also chaotic. Different values are in place.  Amidst this distinct buzz of the city, ruins-- some from 2nd century BC-- are on nearly every other city block. It is kind of crazy... to see all of this modernity and these ancient buildings at the same time.  

I wish I had the chance to see more of these places in our world.

I am so thankful to have been able to go.

My sister said that on the first day she arrived (she is studying there for her Spring semester at Boston College while she takes a break from Nursing), she went to the center of Rome, near the Roman Forum, and just cried. It really is that impressive. 

By the end of the trip, an emergency which occurred back at home gave us a big shake-- ultimately making my whole family re-evaluate the importance of certain events and situations going on in our lives. There were many ups and downs. 

My mom lit so many candles for my Nanny. We love you Nanny. Thankfully, I can visit her tonight.

Favorite things in Rome:

1. Apollo e Dafne; by Berini, Galleria Borghese, Rome (which I unfortunately could not take pictures of):


Apollo and Daphne is a baroque, life-sized marble sculpture by Italian Gian Lorenzo Bernini, housed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. It was inspired by one of the stories included inOvid's Metamorphoses.
In the story, Apollo, god of prophecy, sees the young Eros, god of love, playing with his bow and arrows and remarks, "What have you to do with warlike weapons? Leave them for hands worthy of them."[1] In retribution for this reproach, Eros wounds Apollo with a golden arrow, causing him to fall in love with the nymph daughter of the river God Peneus. Eros additionally wounds the beautiful nymph Daphne, with a lead arrow, thus insuring she would not be wooed by Apollo's advances. (In fact, the arrow's power was so strong that Daphne forthwith refused all of her lovers.) Regardless of her father Peneus's requests for a son-in-law and grandchildren, Daphne begs to remain unmarried and he grudgingly consents.
Apollo, struck with the golden arrow of love, pleads with Daphne to fulfill his desire. Daphne begins to flee. Even as she runs, he is more captivated by her beauty. Apollo grows impatient and soon, sped by Eros, gains on her. With slower speed and failing strength, Daphne cries out to her father just as Apollo captures her. Not a moment later, Daphne's skin turns to bark, her hair leaves, her arms branches, her feet roots, and her face a treetop. In only a moment, Peneus protects his daughter by turning her into a laurel tree. After the transformation Apollo still embraces the tree. He cuts off some of her branches and leaves to make a wreath and proclaims the laurel as a sacred tree.
Bernini's sculpture captures Daphne's transformation with intense emotion and drama by portraying the different stages of her changes. The interlocking components and chiaroscuro create more narrative, reflecting foundations of Hellenistic Greek art.
Also during the Hellenistic period was the androgynous depiction of Apollo. He was slender, young, and had a feminine hair style, all of which are portrayed in this sculpture. Part of Apollo's iconography is the laurel tree and the wreath, originating from Ovid's story and illustrated in Bernini's work.
Although Apollo preached "All things in moderation" and was known to control his emotions, this sculpture clearly reveals him desperately pursuing love in vain. The failure of getting Daphne hints at Apollo's many failures with love in general, including being unable to win a maiden and his lovers' fidelity. (WIKIPEDIA)

2. Temple and House of the Vestal Virgins, Foro Romano, Rome- There was only literally a tiny portion of this building left, however the story to me was so amazing. The actual part of the building that was left was the most delicate and intricate ruins in the Forum-- which made it stand out as the majority of the temples left behind were so robust and strong.

3. Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini - A crypt decorated with the bones of friars. Made me sick to my stomach, but was super impressive.


The crypt is located just under Santa Maria della Concezione, a church commissioned by Pope Urban VIII in 1626. The pope's brother, Cardinal Antonio Barberini, who was of the Capuchin order, in 1631 ordered the remains of thousands of Capuchin friars exhumed and transferred from the friary Via dei Lucchesi to the crypt. The bones were arranged along the walls, and the friars began to bury their own dead here, as well as the bodies of poor Romans, whose tomb was under the floor of the present Mass chapel. Here the Capuchins would come to pray and reflect each evening before retiring for the night.
The crypt, or ossuary, now contains the remains of 4,000 friars buried between 1500-1870, during which time the Roman Catholic Church permitted burial in and under churches. The underground crypt is divided into five chapels, lit only by dim natural light seeping in through cracks, and small fluorescent lamps. The crypt walls are decorated with the remains in elaborate fashion, making this crypt a macabre work of art. Some of the skeletons are intact and draped with Franciscan habits, but for the most part, individual bones are used to create elaborate ornamental designs.
The crypt originated at a period of a rich and creative cult for their dead; great spiritual masters meditated and preached with a skull in hand.
A plaque in one of the chapels reads, in three languages, "What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be." This is amemento mori. (WIKIPEDIA)

 4. Delfina Delettrez - I finally got to see her store!

More Pictures from the Trip:

one of our best meals - cul de sac (wine bar) - Piazza di Pasquino, 73

1 comment:

dead cat bounce said...

What's the 3rd pic in the Apollo & Daphne sequence? It's not from the same sculpture.