Thursday, June 29

Rome, The tourist traps and more, Blogpost 3

Yesterday I left you at Piazza Venezia and the southern end of Via del Corso, also knovn as the shopping street in Rome. If you walk north towards Piazza del Popolo there are many small boutiques open for you to spend some money. Be aware of the size of cloths; you are in Italy.

However, you may very well find what you are looking for in a store like Zara and the building with mirrors of 5 floors is interesting in itself.

Just around the corner you have the Spanish Steps, one of Rome´s most photographed spots.

Some bloks further to the south another tourist trap can be found.
The Trevi Fountain with almost 3000 euros thrown in the water every day. We left some coins in the water last time we were here, and made sure that our return has been fulfilled.
Maybe there will be another return later when my wife throw some coins with the right hand over her left shoulder into the water.

Do not forget to drink a lot in the heat and there are restaurants like this all over the city
Pasta,  anti pasti, pizza and platte primero and secundo can sometime be to much, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

And Romans together with tourists eat ice cream all around. "Gelaterias" are all over and in most streets. Italian ice cream is rightly very good.

Crossing the Corso to the west and turning toward the Vatican you will pass the Italian Parliament with the egyptian Obelisk of Montecitorio taken from Egypt in 10 BC,
and behind Panthenon you enter Piazza Navona with fantastic sculptures by della Porta and Bernini together with many coffee places to visit.

Sitting there with the Fountain of Neptune (1574) behind me, I do not understand why the prices of a glass of wine is more expensive in the neighboring streets than actually at Navona.

South of Piazza Navona it is easy to find Campo di Fiori with the daily market of food, vegitables, pastas and flowers . The name is originally Field of Flowers.You do not need to buy anything, and to be honest, the market in Malaga is much more spectacular, but the colors of pasta-bags are nice.

The only area not mentioned in my three blogposts from Rome is the Vatican and Trastevere.
Trastevere means "Beyon the river" and was in the Rome´s regal period (753-509 BC) belonged to the hostile Etruscans. The name was at that time Ripa Etrusca (Etruscan bank). Etruscan people come from Tuscany in northern Italy.
 At that time many sailors and fishermen had taken up residence in Travestere together with immigrants, mainly Syrians and Jews. Under Augustus the name Trans Tiberim was used.

Crossing the Tiber (large river) you see the St.Peter´s Cathedral in the horizont

The houses and narow streets are quite spectacular, and there are lots of coffe-houses open for you.
We however returned to the busy streets in Panthenon area and could say Arrivederci from the hotel´s roof-terrace with the sunset over Panthenons doome

Wednesday, June 28

Rome, The ancient areas, Blogpost 2

Room with a view; From the hotel Pantheon Inn

Rome´s history spans nearly 3000 years although according to Roman mythology the founding of Rome is around 753 BC. There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from approximately 14.000 years ago.

Walking around the old areas between the most known hills like the eldest Palatine Hill and Capitol Hill you may see ruins of houses and temples with great importance in western history.

We started our walk at Largo di Torre Argentina with remains from temples build 4th and 3rd centurys BC.
The one in the front on the photo is the Temple of Juturna (the goddes of fountains, wells and springs) built by Gaius Lutatius Catulus after his Battle of the Aegates Islands against the Carthaginians.
Behind that we see a circular temple with six columns remaining. It was built by Quintus Lutatius Catulus in 101 BC in fulfillment of his vow at the Battle of Vercellae.
The most ancient of the three, dating back to 4th or 3rd century BC, and was probably devoted to Feronia the ancient Italic goddess of fertility.

On our way to the Pallatine Hill we walked along the river Tiber, the third larges river in Italy

and could see the Pons Aemilius now called Ponte Rotto (the broken bridge). It is the oldest Stone Bridge in Italy from 2nd century BC.
Talking to some of the many security personnel around the city, we were recommended to walk over the Capitol Hill instead of going around or up the Palatine Hill. At Capitol we could see the Palatine to the right, and the Arch of Septimus Severus from 203 AD in front.
The temple of Saturn seen from the road below Palatine up against the Capitol
The Palatine Hill standing 40 metre above Roman Forum has the oldest houses in ancient Rome covering:
Circus Maximus is located along the main road from/to the airport, and with nice and English-speaking taxi-drivers we got a lot of information "for free".

On the other side of Forum Romanum the area we have Foro di Triano, the last of the Imperial Fora to be constructured. Here we can see the wall of Augustus behind Tullen.

The plan of Foro di Triano.

Before we continue to Colloseum just some images fron the Capitol Hill
The statue of Augustus at Piazza del Campidoglio, and the sculpture of Romulus and Remus suckling the she-wolf around 750 BC.
 Visiting  Colosseum is on the bucket list for everyone visiting Rome. We last visited Rome for 19 years ago and went inside this huge amphitheater built between 70 - 80 AD under Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. They are emperors of the Flavian Dynesty and Colosseum is also called Flavian Amphitheater.
 We walked aroun the oval building which couls hold between 50000 to 80000 spectarors.
 At the westernside of Colosseum we see into Forum Romanum and the Palatine Hill to the left and the Arch of Titus in the background. This arch was built in 82 AD to commemorate Titus victories including his Siege of Jerusalem during the first Roman Jewish War in 70 AD.
The triumphial Arch of Constantin is on the left of previous image.
The arch, which was constructured between 312 and 315 AD, was dedicated by the Senate to commemorate 10 years of Constantine´s reign and his victory over emperor Maxentius (306-312)
 On the way back (with sore feet) to the more modern Rome we passed the collumn of Trajan, the Basilica Ulpia  and the huge national monument over Victor Emmanuel II, the first king over a unified Italy.
The building at the groun of Capitol Hill and Piazza Venezia is also callen Altare della Patria. Inagurated in 1911 and completed under Mussolini in 1935.

From here you can start walking up Via del Corso, go shopping, having a drink og a meal at the thousands of nice places together with visiting the rest of the tourist places. That will be covered in blogpost 3.

Tuesday, June 27

Rome, What to cover from 3 days in the eternal city Blogpost 1.

You do not need to copy Hamlet "To be or not......" , but after 3 days in Rome the chalenge is what to cover and put into your blog among the 210 photos taken during three days. Most of the red areas was visited.

Staying at a hotel close to Pantheon is only natural to start there.
We visited this cafe at Piazza della Rotonda every day for a drink or a light meal. The inscription says «Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, built this in his 3rd consulat" (year 27th bc), but the present building was rebuilt after a fire in 126 ad

However, covering Pantheon from outside is not god enough. Therefore:
The fantastic doome with the sun coming in through the oculus with a diameter of 27 ft (8.2 m) 
and the hight and diameter of the interior circle as the same, 142 feet (43 m)

 Walking around the circle we see: The High altar designed by Alessandro Specchi and the tombs of Vittorio Emanuelle II 1820-1870 and Umberto I 1878 - 1900 and his wife Margerita.
Italy's kings after 1870 are buried here
The reason was the poor relationship between state and church after Italy's union, so the pope did not want to make the main churches available as a graveyard for the kings.
Instead, the Pantheon was put into use.
The sculpture of Maria Bibbiena above the tomb of the painter Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520).
Maria was Rafaels fiance.
 The sarcophragus has following inscription: "Here lies Raphael, by whom the mother of all things (Nature) feared to be overcome while he was living, and while he was dying, herself to die"

Thursday, June 15

Another productive week

The paintig activity is still high at my balcony. So high that I had to clean my paint palette. That resulted in some interesting "paintings":

However, The real work was connected to the three acrylic paintings on Canvas:

This painting did my grandson named "The tilted Tank", when somebody else meant it shows a man sitting on a chair scratching himself with a large knife. Good responce to the style.
This painting is a variation of some of my previously prodused paintings made on demand by a friend. and called Karen´s lust. Her name is actually Karen Ylva.
The last one is an attempt to visualize part of the new skyline in Oslo; the business area Barcode at Bjørvika in the night.

Sunday, June 4

4 new painting last weeks

The spring activity at our balcony continues; playing with colors on canvas and paper.

These four paintings are partly made from scetches I did during my stay in Fuengirola October 2015 and some other motives found from friends on FaceBook. Thanks.

"Mauntain Cottage" is the name of this painting on Canvas. 50x75 cm 2.500 nok.

"Spring flowers" have I called this completely different painting on Canvas. 55x50 cm 1.200 nok

"Sunset" can be the natural title of this painting on Paper in front of Canvas. 50x65 cm 1.900 nok

"Hjørundfjord and Slogen" is the chosen title of this painting on Canvas. 49x64 cm 2.500 nok

You are free to come forward with other bids for these paintings. The only requirement is to collect them at my house.