Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Angelskates, May 30, 2012.
Well, I wasn't talking about 2003. I was talking about now.
I will take something for the cats, Tinami!
And I will be sure to report back on if I get a stamp on my exit from Milan
Today was overwhelming. I went on my first tour, to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's. I spent the whole time in awe. I took 440 photos and ran out of space on my Nikon, so starting using my iPhone. The tour guide was fabulous.
I am convinced that even the most comfortable shoes in the world become uncomfortable after walking half a day in Rome!
I'm glad that you are enjoying your trip so much.
Thank you! I wanted this trip for a real break, a time to reflect on things and think about my future and my past. It's been emotional already, but really good for me as well.
Isn't it all completely gob smacking!!!!! I also was in awe, and unable to find enough superlatives to describe all 3 places.
How were the crowds in the cattle pen......err......I mean the Sistine?
Did you know that *every* "painting/mural" in St Peter's is actually all mosaic tile?!!!!! The most intricate detailed mosaics made of half inch square tiles. Astonishing
Actually even though there were a lot of people, I never felt it was crowded. I was almost in my own little world...or maybe I'm just used to crowds living in Beijing and all
Yes, I learnt that about the mosaics today! AND that the white statues were originally brightly coloured! Colour me stunned!
At the moment I am in the process of organising a horse riding trip in Florence!
Have fun horse riding! Wow! In Florence? How fabulous.
Loving your blog. Brings back lots of memories, and also feeling your joy. Neat
My name is Anita, so everyone calls me Neat or Neats (but you may call me Angelskates )
I love horse riding, and Florence sounds like a great place to ride. Plus it's on my list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33.
Yeah, I got it. Not laughing at you, laughing at my own (lame) joke.
Also love horse riding but haven't done it for yrs. Think my next rides will be elephant, followed by camel in India later this year.
Wow, awesome! I also haven't done it for years, which is why I want to do it.
Ooooh. You're gonna be sore. Enjoy!
The last time was probably 2003, in Gansu Province I did a 5 night horse trek. Previous to that it was probably also 10 or so years, but I did fine. That was a wild experience (sleep in tents in yak country and basically riding several hours a day). I'm hoping this one will be more chilled It will definitely only be one day!
OMG that sounds so awesome! I would love to do that (Mr alilou probably not so much )
I do think China is in our future. I keep mentioning it to him. Maybe in a year or so.
Actually, although the trek was awesome, I would never do it again. They treated the horses terribly And our car was carjacked on the way back and we were left stranded on the side of the road with no signal on our mobiles, in what was a planned attempt (that worked) to get money out of foreigners. The horse trek was the only good thing about the trip, and I'd still never do it again because of the way they treated the horses.
That's so sad. At least the trekking was good. (((((((horses)))))))
Some even smaller than 1/5". It is brilliant! The modulation of color and tone is just impeccable for a medium which cannot be blended. One of the reasons you can take photos in St. Peters, is because the mosaics are not effected by the flash on cameras. Strangely, the Basilica San Marco (Venice) is also mosaic, but you cannot take photos inside of it.
Where, in Florence will you go riding? I don't think I've ever seen horses in the city proper.
Yes yes cruisin - the mosaics are amazing, as you say the modulation of tone and colour - on such an enormous scale - it almost beggars belief. How did they do that?
Here on my blog are close up photos that show the tiles. I really had no idea if the photos would come out or not - it's quite dark in there and you're not allowed to use flash.
Scroll down about 3/4 of the way. I was amazed at the detail I was able to see in the photos. I'm still blown away by it.
I didn't know San Marco is mosaic too. I want to go back there now and have another look
The mosaics in San Marco are larger pieces, and the style is Byzantine, so less detailed. You can actually see a dramatic development in technique (modulation) from the earlier mosaics to the later ones. Though the later ones are still rather stiff and outlined. If you go upstairs in the Basilica, they have sections of some of the damaged mosaic up on the walls, they show how the walls are prepared for the mosaics. The illustration is sketched into the mortar and the mosaics placed into it. Most of the mosaics in the Basilica San Marco are made of Murano glass. There is a lot of gold, typical of the Byzantine period, which is actual gold. Behind the nave is the Palla d'Oro, it is a panel depicting the life of Christ in gold leaf and precious gems. It costs an extra Euro or two, to see, but it is well worth it.
I agree that the Pieta in St. Peter's is the best. Though I do like this one, in the Opera del Duomo (Florence) as well: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bootsintheoven/2198429400/
The St. Peter's Pieta, in my opinion is even more magnificent than the David (the Academia in Florence). The wonder of this Pieta is the sense of weight the figures have. It is not just two connected, carved figures. There is an actually sense of the Madonna holding, supporting, cradling, her child. The way that Christ is draped across her lap, creates a real feeling that he is heavy and lifeless, and she is truly supporting the weight of his body. The faces are also exquisite.
My favorite statue of the Renaissance is Donatello's Mary Magdalene. It is in the Opera del Duomo, in Florence. It is polychromed wood and I swear it has a soul. The pain and suffering that it exudes is exquisite. It is a devastated, wasted figure, that makes you cry. I loved it when I studied art history in school. but, the first time I saw it in real life, it almost knocked me over, it is that powerful.
Your photos are wonderful. It's nice to see other people's photos. What they choose to shoot, as opposed to what you choose to shoot.
ITA re the Pieta. The one in St Peter's still has me spellbound.
And Donatello's Mary Magdelene had me floored too. Such a powerful piece.
I studied art in school but it was such a long time ago I hardly remember any of it, so now I'm of the school "I know what I like"
Your knowledge is impressive.
Thanks re the photos.
crusin and alliou, I was a Humanities major in college.
I really appreciate your photos and discussion of all these "glories"!
Tinami, I forgot to tell you that I didn't see any cats to feed, so I gave my food to someone I saw at the Colosseum yesterday who was going to Tivoli today - she just sent me some photos of cats munching happily.
I also wanted to say a huge THANKS for the suggestion of Grand Hotel Vesuvio; I arrived today and it is a fabulously swanky hotel. I was a little worried coming from the train station that it was a far from the town centre, but the views and the hotel are totally worth it, and there is a convenient free shuttle bus.
Tomorrow I go on the day trip up the Almalfi coast and then the next day I go to Pompeii, then the day after a full day at Capri and Anacapri.
Any recommendation on going up Vesuvio?
Just got caught up on all your blog posts. What a great time you're having
AND a new camera! Isn't Italy amazing. Everywhere you go will be different.
Enjoy Positano/Amalfi/Capri. The boat ride alone to Capri is worth it.
(I do remember that Versuviana train from Naples to Sorrento - but at least part way through we got seats which helped.)
I'm loving your blog and lovely pictures!
I'm having a wonderful time catching up with your blog and photos. Thank you so much for sharing all this!
Today was the Amalfi Coast...I took 600 photos...that's how much I loved it. Of course, I took 540 before freaking out because my *brand new* camera wouldn't take anymore and I discovered the default setting was on large photos That's why they've been taking so long to upload!
The decision not to got to Vesuvio and/or Ischia was made for me, as those tours don't run on Fridays, and Friday is the only day I have free. Off to have a siesta while my photos are uploading...glad you're enjoying the blog.
I took the metro from Naples to Sorrento! Hated every second of the one hour and twenty minutes sardined into a hot subway, with luggage. My Beijing friends were stunned when I told them it was a far worse experience than Beijing subway in peak hour and 40 degree heat; only because it was so long...but still I'm thinking of forking over the cash to take the ferry back to Naples, or a private car.
Of course in my post I meant the train to Sorrento, not Capri (and have now changed it). We didn't know there was a subway between Naples and Sorrento. And I'm glad of it. It sounds hellish. The train was crowded and stopped at 29 of 33 stations along the way, and took one and a half hours, but at least it was above ground and we got seats part way through.
We got a private car back to Naples. To go from Positano to Sorrento (to hook up with the train) by private car costs 50 euros. To go to Naples will be 90 (or perhaps 100). We decided that train ride in one direction was enough so forked out the 90 for a comfortable air conditioned ride all the way to Naples. Sometimes it's just worth spending the money.
Didn't know there was a ferry (or perhaps there wasn't when we were there in late October) but that sounds like a lovely way to get back.
Confirmation of the private horse riding on July 4th! The riding will be a maximum of two hours on paths through the woods, olive tree groves, vineyards and "panoramic lines with sight on the suburb of St. Gimignano". The riding stables that I'll start at are located in Certado, which is one and a half hours from Florence. I am so excited!
Today I went to Pompeii for half a day. I'm glad I went, but didn't find it as fabulous as I thought it would be...it was the history that makes it interesting, other wise it's just ruins nowhere near as beautiful as the ones I saw in Rome (the Coloseum etc.) Half a day was enough, especially in the heat. I definitely found it interesting and beautiful - especially as I have taught it several times as part of a unit with my kids, but I think I've been too spoilt now!
Loved yr posts on Sorrento/Positano/Amalfi/Capri
Brought back many wonderful memories.
Have fun horse riding in Tuscany