I took the fewest amount of pictures on this first day, so here we go! (Andiamo!)
|First things first: That list is Ron's TOTAL packing list. Most of it is electronic items plus "passport" and "underwear." My packing list is a Word table that uses two pages when printed out.|
|Something that really stuck out to me this time: All the different shades of peach and apricot that make up the exterior of most buildings.|
|We stopped in Italian "supermarkets" several times throughout the week. Can you find something really disturbing about this baby food display? Look carefully. I actually didn't see it until I came home.|
|Setting sun on the buildings. Love those flaky apricot walls and light blue shutters. This makes me wistful because you can't find a scene like this anywhere in North America.|
Shrine time--ok, a word about the shrines. While I would never in this lifetime give up the religious freedom accorded to me by the U. S., I have to say that there is something beautiful and uplifting about walking through city streets and looking up to see a reflection of the divine staring right back at me ... in the street--not in a private building. I often wonder if I would care about these decorations at all if I myself were not Catholic. Devotion to the Blessed Mother is widespread in Italy--her image is everywhere. I remember learning in one of my Italian classes that the poorest southern Italians typically had two pictures on their walls during the Depression: One of the Blessed Mother and one of FDR. Our FDR--isn't that funny? You don't see FDR anymore (Rome isn't in the south anyway), but Santa Maria's image prevails. Every time I've returned from Italy, I've missed the shrines the most.
More trivia: Do you know why Santa Maria is traditionally depicted wearing blue? Blue pigment was the rarest and most expensive back in the day (it was typically made from ground up lapis), and most artists considered it the only color/material worthy of decorating her image.
|In the words of Marcie, "Be still my heart!"|
|I love how most are lit at night--I think the neighbors maintain them.|
|Next to the Pantheon. Night ...|
|... Day. Can you beat that sunlight?? No way. It's almost like a swimming pool.|