Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Alas, when I returned to the Castel Sant'Angelo of this morning, it had disappeared! In its place was an old building surrounded by a circus, complete with street performers, t-shirt carts, gelato sellers, and hundreds of people. I'm sure most of the people who are reading these blog entries read my earlier enthusiasm and grimaced knowingly, but I really thought I had found an overlooked treasure! **Insert self-deprecating eye-roll here.** Nevertheless, once I avoided the man selling a bubble machine (no offense, Anna, but it worked better than your system!) and the guy wrapped in a gold sheet to look like King Tut (does he think tourists won't know that Rome isn't in Egypt?!), the time inside the castel was wonderful. I took dozens (hundreds? I stopped counting) of photographs and it's difficult to pick the ones to post here - I love them all. (Dad, I'm sorry for always making fun of you for taking so many pictures of random things!) Walking up the ramp dimmed even the awe I felt on the marble steps of the U.S. Congress - those represent amazing history, but Hadrian's funeral procession happened in this place in 138 AD. It's pretty hard to top the overwhelming sensation of time travel associated with this building. Most of the museum visit blurred slightly - ancient rooms, really old art and military artifacts, busts of ancient emperors. Some moments stood out, though - the angel sculpted by Raffaello in 1544, the view of Rome from the terrace (I took the picture of the crane for you, Jason - it's a global sign of progress!), the small rooms designed to hold emperors' remains, and the pleasant surprise of an outdoor restaurant next to the rooftop viewing area. I'm sitting there now, waiting to have my first Italian spaghetti. I don't expect much - the antipasto that they brought me, I kid you not, was corn nuts in a glass bowl - but I was hungry and hey, there's something to be said for eating in the halls where emperors once walked. Or decayed, as the evidence overwhelmingly suggests.
Posted by Beth at 11:09 AM