Friday, October 19, 2012


If you visit Rome and you're either Christian, Italian, interested in history, art or a fan of crowds, you should visit Vatican City. A good tip is to take a tour. It will cost you more but you will not need to wait in a very, very long line!!!

Vatican City State is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. It consists of a 110 acres and a population of just over 800. This makes it the smallest independent state in the world by area and population. It was established in 1929 and is ruled by the Pope.
Vatican City is home to some of the most famous art in the world. St Peter's Basilica, whose successive architects include Bramante, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Porta, Maderno and Bernini is a renowned work of Renaissance Architecture.

         St. Peter's Dome as seen from the Vatican courtyard.

                                                            The Courtyard

 Some of the pieces you see at the Vatican museum date back to    
 the second century.

             The ceilings  are works of art in their own right!!

                 The art work is amazing. Look at these sculptures!

I took a closeup of the face. Look at the agony portrayed in it!!

 The tapestries that line the walls are  beautiful and again think of  
 when they were made!!

                The ceiling in the hall leading to the Sistine Chapel.

              A tapestry depicting Rome as the center of the world

                                       Part of the ceiling 

This shows the very steep and crowded stairway leading down to the Sistine Chapel. I do not have any images inside the chapel because it is not allowed and the police stationed inside are very adamant about that. They would not allow me to carry my camera on my shoulder just in case I was trying to photograph anything!!

This is called the Door of Death. It is so called because it used to be the exit for funeral processions. It contains large panels of the crucifixion and lesser panels of prophets, apostles and saints.

One of the large doors leading into the basilica

                             A panel on one of the doors

This wonderful work of art, the Pieta, was sculptured by Michelangelo in the year 1498-1499. The dimensions are 68.5 in. X 76.8in. It depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother, Mary after the crucifixion. On May 21, 1972 a mentally disturbed geologist named Laszio Toth walked into the chapel and attacked the sculpture with a geologist's hammer while shouting, "I am Jesus Christ". Onlookers took many of the pieces of marble that flew off. Later, some pieces were returned but many were not including Mary's nose which had to be reconstructed from a block cut out of her back. After the attack, the work was painstakingly restored and returned to its place in St. Peters. It is now protected by a bullet proof acrylic glass panel.

A few images of the Papal Altar of St. Peters where only the Pope celebrates mass.

                           Part of the ceiling in St Peters

                    Below the altar is the ancient tomb of St. Peter.

In Saint Peter's Basilica, there is a sculpture of the "True Holy Image" the Vera Icon: Saint Veronica. In this Baroque work by  Francesco Mochi (1630), the face of Christ is chiseled into the creased marble veil. You can see it in the next two images.


                    A mass was being held when we were there.

                             The view looking out from the basilica

A member of the Swiss Guard who serve as the de facto military of  Vatican City

                             A statue of St. Peter outside in the courtyard

                                                      St. Peter's Basilica

 These are some visitors enjoying their lunch among the columns.   
 This was just a sampling of the images I made. I could spend days  
 shooting here. I hope to come back another time!!

Monday, October 15, 2012


Sometimes you plan and plan for a great photographic opportunity.  Then at times something falls into your lap, we had that happen twice in Rome. Once late at night in the Campo De Fiori and then  early morning at the Trevi Fountain. 
We were sitting in a outdoor wine bar when we looked up and saw this clown walking around. I mean an actual clown !!!

 This guy was pretty funny as he interacted with people watching him and other people who happened to be walking by!!

 The Trevi Fountain is one of the most visited fountains in Rome!! It was made famous by the movie " Three Coins in the Fountain"

It is a very romantic spot ( like most of Italy) and you often see young lovers. These two were up early it was around 7:30 AM.

 Then we saw this gentleman and thought we had stumbled on to a wedding. In fact he was one of two models on a shoot. We took advantage of both these situations to try and make some hopefully interesting images.