Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Vatican Museum and More

My last day with Andy and Jenn in Roma started with a trip to the fabulous Vatican Museum. Can there be a better art collection anywhere in the world? At this time of the year the heat, humidity and crowds are all mercifully down so we saw a lot more in much more comfort than I saw here in July two summers ago.

The Map Gallery looking at the Map of Sicily

Jenn asked me to point out Catania so I pointed to the east end of the island but it wasn't there and the map looked strange. Finally I realized that the map was from the point of view of the "Center of the Universe", i.e., Rome. The top of this map is SOUTH, this is how a Roman would see Sicily from his balcony if it were possible.

"Dispute Over the Blessed Sacrament"

This was special to me because a huge replica of it was painted above the altar at St. Phillip the Apostle Church in Pasadena, California. It was our home parish growing up and I went to it's Catholic elementary school and yes, the nuns did beat us regularly.

Even the exit ramp of the Vatican Museum is a work of art.

Mosaic floors are everywhere

How could these be possible without computers?

I understand the Pope's need for exercise could be met by playing tennis but why the swing set and slide?

Since you are not allowed to take pictures in the Sistine Chapel, and I follow the rules unlike Andy and Jason, I had to settle for this postcard of the Delphic Sybil which is one of my favorite figures from this fabulous ceiling.

Her arms are buffed because in Michelangelo's time women were not used as models, only men. Thus he has all the women in Sistine Chapel looking like they could play linebacker in the IFL. 

Again, how did they do this?

The Romans loved their hot tubs!

Some hot water, a few casks of wine and 50 of your closest plebian friends, what more can life offer?

For a minute Andy thought that maybe Vanessa sent a piece of her luggage over early for her trip to Europe this summer and British Air mistakenly sent it to the Vatican Museum.

As I have said often on this blog, I just LOVE a good beheading!

The Map Gallery Ceiling with the Map of Sicily on the near left

The Ceiling of the Vatican Library

This ceiling panel depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary who ran a pre-school for Cerub Angels to help make ends meet,
a little known Church history fact.

I don't know, after a while all the ceilings blend together.

For some crazy reason, I like Suns.

St. Peter in Chains

After a very nice lunch near the Vatican at Ristorante ArLu a San Pietro (excellent lasagna al forno) and a post meal gelato, of course, at yet another gelateria, we got on the Metro and worked our way to the San Pietro in Vincoli church.

The chains above housed in this church and thus the church's name, are supposedly the linking together of two sets of chains that were used to imprison St. Peter. One set held St. Peter when he and St. Paul were in the Mamertime Prison in Rome near the Forum. The other set dates from when King Herod jailed St. Peter in Jerusalem.


Also in San Pietro in Vincoli is this magnificent statue of Moses created by Michelangelo in 1515. Very powerful and humbling for those of us with beards.

After a while my mind started to wander amongst all this art to thoughts about football.

We stumbled upon this piece depicting the history of the Oakland - Los Angeles - Oakland Raiders. 

Game face?

Ram Blitz?

Or maybe we should Lion Blitz?

You can always use two more defensive linemen with nasty attitudes!

Finally it was time for me to return to Catania. It was a good mental break from the Elephant's routine, always great to see Andy and Jenn and, of course, I am so very happy for the two of them and their romantic Roman engagement!


Sherlyn Claridge said...

Good morning George,

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to read your blog every day. Peter and I both envy you and the wonderful experience you are having. You are a very good writer and photographer...I find myself lol as your writing sounds just like your voice!!! Have a great day! I can't wait to visit Italy/Sicily and see all the places you have shared with us!

Blessings, Sherlyn Claridge

George said...


WOW! Great to hear from you!

I hope all is well with you and Peter, thanks for reading the blog.

This has been even more than I hoped for, Sicily is a great place to live and visit!!!


Anonymous said...

My luggage would never look like that! Mine would be pink ; )
and Michael and I send our love and congrats to the happy couple!!

Anonymous said...

and of course to you too George!! See you in a few weeks!