In the rain la dolce vita is not as sweet
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Janus camouflaged in the foliage
The Ponte dei Quattro Capi–also known as Ponte Fabricio, and Pons Judaeorum–is the oldest Roman bridge in the city still existing in its original state. The footbridge spans half of the Tiber River, from the Jewish ghetto on the east side, to the Isola Tiberina, the island on the Tiber.
The 200-foot long pedestrian bridge was built in 62 B.C. to replace an earlier wooden one destroyed in a fire, and has since then endured.
Quattro Capi ("four heads") refers to the two marble pillars on the parapet each depicting a two-faced Janus on the herms–a squared stone pillar with a carved head on top, first used in ancient Greece as a boundary marker or a signpost.
In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. His most prominent remnant in modern culture is his namesake, the month of January, which opens the new year. He is always portrayed as having two faces or heads, each facing in opposite directions.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The three music halls differ in size and are constructed with different music genres in mind. The Santa Cecilia Hall can be used for large orchestral and choral symphonic concerts. The Sinopoli Hall, because of its greater acoustic flexibility, is more apt for a great variety of musical genres. This is also because the orchestra position can be modified with respect to the audience. The Petrassi Hall caters to more contemporary musical genres, theater performances and cinema. This is possible thanks to an inbuilt system that allows both the musical source and the audience to be shifted around and the sound reverberation tuned.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Elly, Bernini's Roman chick
The Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva is a nominal minor basilica and one of the most important churches of the Roman Catholic Dominican order in Rome. The church–located in Piazza della Minerva virtually beside the Pantheon–is considered the only Gothic church in the city. It houses the tombs of St. Catherine of Siena and the Dominican painter Beato Angelico; and the marble Cristo della Minerva, also known as Christ the Redeemer or Christ Carrying the Cross. This stunning sculpture by Michelangelo is located to the left of the main altar.
Funny that the father of modern astronomy Galileo Galilei, after being tried for heresy in the adjoining Dominican monastery, was forced to abjure his scientific beliefs in this church in 1633–considering it was built directly over (sopra) the foundations of a temple dedicated to the sultry Egyptian goddess of fertility Isis, and later erroneously assimilated to Minerva, the Roman name for pagan Athena.
In front of the church stands one of Rome's most curious monuments, the Pulcino della Minerva. It portrays an elephant and it is the base supporting an ancient Egyptian obelisk. The sturdy appearance of the elephant earned it the popular nickname of "Porcino" (pig-like) for a while. The name eventually changed to Pulcino, Italian for a little "chick."
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was not only the person responsible for designing this interesting sculpture. Along with Pope Alexander VII's complicity, he was the mastermind behind one of history's most irreverent artistic pranks. His plans and drawings of the pachyderm–later completed in 1667 by his pupil Ercole Ferrara–placed the elephant in such a way that its rear end faced towards the obtuse Dominicans in the adjacent convent, while the trunk and the tail–wagged naughtily to the left–accentuated the mischievous prankster's offensive intentions.
That cheeky Bernini...
Monday, April 5, 2010
three giant armadillos
"The most fascinating adventure for an architect is constructing a concert hall."
Up a gentle slope above where part of the old Olympic Village housing development used to be, stand the Rome Auditorium's three music halls; a sequence of large armadillo-like volumes of different sizes. The three "harmonic chambers" are immersed in a 50 acre green area and embrace a large theatrical cavea–an open air 3,000 seat amphitheater–which hosts many different events and seasonal activities, from outdoor performances in the summer to an ice skating rink at Christmas.
I like to come here and either hang out at the ReD cafe sitting in one of the pointy whicker pod loungers, or enjoy the sunlight with my son in the elevated playground.
I'll be posting more images of the Auditorium soon.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
magic hour on the bridge
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