Stopped in Bar La Licata Via dei Serpenti, 165, en route to a day dedicated to covering every room in the Capitoline. Nice cappuccino and I scooped up a panino in case I decided to picnic in a courtyard. I arrived in a great mood only to find a line. Yeesh. A tour group of students were sitting in a row on the steps and drawing in sketchbooks. It lightened my heart. It makes me happy to know that no matter how blinded by hormones and ravaged by the need to be cool, this day they will look carefully look and what they see will get in under the radar. Art is like that. Hand-eye, that goes deeper than language.I waited in line, grateful I had an audio Terry Pratchett novel for company. After I got my ticket and ipad guide I moved to the next line to go through the single security point. There were two massive student groups ahead of me and a gaggle of elderly tourists, who seemed confused about how to place a shoulder bag on a conveyer belt. I gnashed my teeth just a little bit. Luck of the draw. It was starting to get hot, in the seventies, and I could feel my nose pinking up. Other northern tourists were starting to fry, their pale upper arms turning the color of boiled crustaceans. I may be leaving Rome with farmer’s tan.
Got through into the first courtyard about 45 minutes after I arrived. Never was I so grateful for all the strategizing I do to minimize the time I stand in line. I started with the painting galleries, and here are only a few of its wonders. The only red-haired John the Baptist I’ve ever seen.
This Rape of Europa is not the first version of the myth I’ve seen, but definitely boasts the most seductive bull. Check out what he’s doing with his tongue.
Drew a postcard featuring two of these, and I am still wondering about the reason for depicting desperate, baffled looking women and depraved male demons. If there’s an art historian out there who has a clue, please, fill me in.
A few hours later I moved to the underground corridor, reading with interest with the grave markers I’d been introduced to by the incomparable Mary Beard series. This one for a five-year-old girl choked me up.I made my way to the remains of the underground temple, and the marvelous view of the forum. Almost no one is there, I saw six other intrepid people in an hour, and it was marvelously cool. Word to wise, if you are coming here in the heat of summer, this is an excellent refuge.
I walked slowly through two floors of sculpture and was worn to a nub by the time I left. I haven’t felt this physically whipped since the first week. I may have overdone it today. I’ll be back to do half as much, in twice the time.
Back at the hotel I collapsed on the balcony and watched a sliver of a moon rise over the rooftops.
This is why I make the effort to keep up the blog. When I re-read the entries, they rouse my memories and the more detail I include, the more vividly it all comes back.