Italy2013 A study of Renaissance Art throughout Italy

May 25, 2013

Rome day 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — cfroncek @ 2:53 pm

St. Peters Basilica The Pantheon

Rome day 2
Today we woke up early to visit St. Peter’s basilica before the crowds arrived. The plaza looked entirely different from our last encounter; the piazza had been completely filled the day before to see the pope. Today it was empty, allowing the sheer enormity of the architecture to set it. I loved the arms of the basilica, designed by my favorite architect Bernini.
Inside St. Peter’s was otherworldly. Everything was decadent, from the baldacchino to the NFL Linebacker sized putti. In contrast, Michelangelo’s piety was much smaller than I expected. While the Pieta was lovely, I preferred Moses by Michelangelo. The Moses was so reminiscent of his painting on the Sistine Chapel that it felt as if the paint had come to life, where the Pieta almost felt reserved from his normal monumental bodies.
Even still, St. Igantius remains my favorite church.

After St. Peter’s we visited a slew of churches, which were all lovely but my two favorites was the ancient cult temple which was converted into a church and the church with the stairs that Jesus climbed.

The ancient cult church was by far the most fun-it was crazy to explore the ancient catacombs which spun underneath the church like a labyrinth. What stood out to me was the double sided tomb lid; one side had Christian inscription and one had pagan inscription. To me this reflected the doubt which must have been widespread as Christianity gained popularity. Family was very important to ancient Romans, so breaking from the traditional family religion would be an understandably difficult undertaking.
The church with the steps was probably the most religiously significant experiences of my life. The stairs were brought in from Israel, and they are the stairs which Jesus came up to Pilot after the scourging. As we ascended the steps on our knees, we could see openings in the stairs with blood droplets from Jesus. I’ve never encountered anything like this before, it made me think of religious pilgrimages and how lucky I was to kneel on the stairs Jesus reportedly climbed.

The food today was even better than yesterday, if possible. We had amazing Sicilian style pizza, my favorite food from the entire trip. Comprised of tomato, basil and tuna, the pizza harmoniously covered all food groups with an equally delicious crust

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