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Italy-With Pictures.

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posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:22 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

I just want to say,thank you for all the pictures and explanations of what are in them. This is just awesome that you:
1.Got to go there.
2.Took all these wonderful pictures.
3.Had the back story in what was going on
4.Explained it all so well for us.

It makes me want to go there and see it all for my self. "sigh"




posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 05:11 AM
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originally posted by: Night Star
Oh...my...God! Those pictures are amazing! Breath taking architectural designs, beautiful works of art, awesome food...Wonderful!!!!!!!!!! I can't tell you how much I am enjoying this thread!


Glad you are enjoying it. Anything in Rome you want to see most?



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 05:14 AM
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a reply to: Dimithae

I think everyone should try to go at least once. The language barrier is minimal as most Italians speak English. My wife had zero problem communicating when I was not around. The food is fantastic, anyone who does not like Italian food should be checked for a pulse. And finally the sights are amazing, it is completely different than what you can see in North America since the countries are so young compared to Europe.

Make a point to go if you can.



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus


Glad you are enjoying it. Anything in Rome you want to see most?


Never been there and don't know much about the place so anything you share is good with me.



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 09:58 AM
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a reply to: Night Star

I was thinking of posting the Coliseum, the Forums, the Vatican and both the Capitoline and Vatican Museums.

Between those I probably have a few hundred pictures.



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 01:38 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Post away then!




posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 02:02 PM
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I'm a lover of old world architecture.

It never ceases to amaze me what humans have accomplished over the centuries... and with their bare hands ! Looking at those buildings knowing that people toiled away with just a chisel and a mallet is mind blowing, IMHO.

Thanks for posting all the gorgeous pics... I can only imagine what these building would be like up close and personal !




posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 02:26 PM
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originally posted by: Night Star
Post away then!


I hope to have more up tomorrow.



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 02:27 PM
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originally posted by: CranialSponge
Thanks for posting all the gorgeous pics... I can only imagine what these building would be like up close and personal !



Glad you liked them, I have plenty more to share. If you can, you should try to get their in person. The pictures do not really do them buildings justice, particularly the ones that I have up next where the structures are immense.



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 03:07 PM
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PART III: History and High Living in the Eternal City



After catching a cab over to Florence's Santa Maria Novella Station we hopped onto something that only residents of the Northeast United States can experience, a high speed train. Italy's rail system has improved greatly since my last visit and for 15 Euros apiece we were able to get reserved seating in an air conditioned railcar that took us to Rome in under 1 1/2 hours with no intermediary stops. This was our train and it topped out at close to 270KPH (170MPH) during the trip:




We pulled into Roma Termini in the early afternoon, grabbed a cab and headed up to the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf-Astoria where I cashed in a pile of my Hilton Hotel points. The first day we took it easy, lounging by the pool and enjoying a complimentary bottle of champagne (it was the wifey's B-day). The pool is fantastic as the hotel is on the top of Monte Mario which is the highest point in Rome and located adjacent to the Vatican Hill. From our room we had great views of the city and sights.


If you travel and do not have a rewards program you need to get one. I accumulated so many points we had no idea what to do with them so we got a suite for the remainder of the stay. Nothing like having a personal concierge to help book your sightseeing tours, I felt so 1%. Here is our room:






The pool was also amazing, both during the day:




And at night. If you look closely the lights in the middle background are the Colosseum:




The Michelin starred restaurant even whipped up a special tasting menu for us complete with wine pairings. Little advice for everyone-Happy Wife, Happy Life:




The next day we headed over to the Vatican Museum to redeem our pre-arranged expedited entrance to the site. A quick cappuccino and some Italian baked goods from across the street and we were good to go.


The Vatican Museum, along with the Uffizi I posted earlier, are the two best museums in Rome and among the top in the world for sheer volume of stupendous quality artwork. You could spend a week here and not see everything. It is the accumulated art and treasure of more than a millennia of both the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church and covers every aspect of European culture as well as many that it bordered. It also includes the Sistine Chapel in the complex and an extensive garden with sculptures. I have many pictures but to keep the posts manageable I will only include some of the more interesting.


We started by heading over to the Roman gallery which you reach by heading outside. In these shots you can get an idea of the scale of the complex. Here is a close up of a fountain between the two flanking galleries and the main museum behind it:




And then pulled back:




Each of the galleries and wings were Papal apartments built by the various popes who came from wealthy families like the Piccolomini, Medici and Borgias. Now they are filled with art and open to the public. One of the odder pieces is rather new, we called it the Death Star, since it looked partially complete and was rotating, but it is actually called The Rotating Sphere and was done by artist Pomodoro:




The sculpture gallery was even more extensive than the one at the Uffizi and among the better pieces were a young Octavian:




Perseus and Medusa:




And Laocoom and his sons fighting the sea serpents. The Uffizi has the sister piece to this except they restored it incorrectly and place his arm well above his head instead of pulling a water serpent from behind his back:




We spent many hours going through the Etruscan, Egyptian, Greek and Roman displays placed throughout the museum. Eventually we started to make our way to the Sistine Chapel. I can tell you that it is much more impressive in person that you have seen in photos, movies and television. Sadly, there are no pictures permitted and you are certainly not encouraged to linger. My sentiment is eventually it will be closed to the public as the 6 million visitors a year are doing irreparable harm to the Michelangelo fresco adoring the ceiling and the Vatican has stated they are unsure how to preserve them. If you can make it, go.


On the way to the Chapel you pass through I highly frescoed gallery with tapestries gracing each wall. This gallery is no less impressive than the Sistine Chapel and photos are permitted. Here is a good series of them that gives you an idea what the Chapel looks like:


















The walls also have additional frescos depicting he various regions of the Roman Catholic Church's rule. We managed to located one that our neighbor might have been interested in:





Yup, that is San Casciano and cheese-rolling Celle right beneath it. Our friend got a kick out of that when we the wife posted it to Facebook.

We then headed over to another gallery where I found this guy who may look familiar:




We spent another hour of so perusing the various galleries taking in the fabulous pieces and magnificent art. After grabbing a quick bite to eat in the garden we decided to head to Saint Peter's Basilica. Here is a picture of my favorite Evil Joooo getting itchy before she enters the biggest Catholic church in the world which is looming in the background:




edit on 27-8-2015 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude non ha nessuna birra



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 03:07 PM
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Entrance to the cathedral is free but you do have to wait on line, pass through a metal detector and then get scrutinized by the Swiss Guard to ensure you are dressed appropriately enough to enter the church; no shoes, no shirt, no service. Here is a nice picture from Saint Peter's Square:




Once inside you are completely overwhelmed by the enormity of the structure which dwarfs even the huge Duomo in Florence. It is nearly 100' taller and has an apse almost 250' longer. The church is immense and pictures do not really do justice to the huge physical scale:




The top of the dome, nearly 450' above is almost lost to view:




The massive central altar, with the Chair of Saint Peter, would not even fit in a regular cathedral:




Along the sides are smaller chapels and displays including Michelangelo's Pieta which is very difficult to get a clear photo off as it is now behind bullet proof glass due to vandalism. Other side chapels hold the preserved remains of various Popes, statues of Saints and various allegorical displays. One of the more interesting was the Monument of Alexander VII, by Bernini, and is described as:

The tomb of Fabio Chigi, Pope Alexander VII, towards the end of the aisle, is the work of Bernini and called by Lees-Milne "one of the greatest tombs of the Baroque Age". It occupies an awkward position, being set in a niche above a doorway into a small vestry, but Bernini has utilised the doorway in a symbolic manner. Pope Alexander kneels upon his tomb, facing outward. The tomb is supported on a large draped shroud in patterned red marble, and is supported by four female figures, of whom only the two at the front are fully visible. They represent Charity and Truth. The foot of Truth rests upon a globe of the world, her toe being pierced symbolically by the thorn of Protestant England. Coming forth, seemingly, from the doorway as if it were the entrance to a tomb, is the skeletal winged figure of Death, its head hidden beneath the shroud, but its right hand carrying an hourglass stretched upward towards the kneeling figure of the pope





We then made our way out to the Square, both Jew and Mason safe from the wrath of God, and took a few last photos of the basilica (and no, the obelisk is not Masonic):






Or is it? Muhahaha.


We then made our way past Castel Sant'Angelo, which was the Mausoleum of Hadrian at one point, and is connected to the Vatican complex with a secret, elevated escape passage:




Along the Tiber towards the Courthouse of Rome, with its Neo-Classical architecture and massive quadriga on the roof, where we crossed into the Centro Storico:




Once there we passed through the Piazza Navona, which was once the Stadium of Domitian (the son of the Emperor who built the Colosseum), and its amazing, obelisk-topped, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) made by Bernini:




A quick hop over to the beautiful, but under restoration, Trevi Fountain, put us closer to our next stop:




We then wound through several side streets and emerged into the plaza of my personal favorite piece of architecture, The Pantheon:




Constructed under Trajan by the great architect Apollodorus, it replaced and earlier version built by Agrippa and mostly destroyed by fire, leaving the façade with its historic inscription. It had the first domed roof in the ancient world and was constructed using innovative techniques and materials, such as the variable aggregate concrete which became lighter as the dome rose. Now a church, its alcoves would have once contained gilded statues of Rome's most popular gods:






The impressive edifice has survived numerous earthquakes due to its ingenious design which use the amazing oculus above to help evenly disperse the coffered-roof's load into the internal structure:




Later we dined across from the Pantheon in what was certainly the most surreal meal I have ever had. This is the view from the al fresco dinner table we shared:




After we traveled back to our hotel and relaxed on the pool terrace and watched the city lights come up. In the distance we could make out the destination for the next day's adventures. The Colosseum and Foro Romano.




edit on 27-8-2015 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude non ha nessuna birra



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 04:28 PM
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This would be my dream vacation. Thanks for posting the wonderful pictures.



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 04:33 PM
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Thanks man. Most of us won't get to see amazing places like this. Do we even REALLY know what a flagstone is in the West? I doubt it. They've been paved over.

BTW, did you get a pic of the Italian Viagra dude while you were there?



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 04:45 PM
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Wow! That must have been one hell of a vacation! Awesome!



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 05:13 PM
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originally posted by: karmicecstasy

This would be my dream vacation. Thanks for posting the wonderful pictures.


Well, you certainly should try to go in that case, you will definitely appreciate the experience.

Glad you liked the pics.



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 05:16 PM
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originally posted by: intrepid

Thanks man. Most of us won't get to see amazing places like this. Do we even REALLY know what a flagstone is in the West? I doubt it. They've been paved over.


Well, I hope those that want to go find the means, it really is great.

Funny you mention the flag stones. When we were on line in Florence we watched as the guys repairing the water mains pulled up each stone, numbered them and put them in a arranged pile so they could go back in the same way. It was pretty wild.


BTW, did you get a pic of the Italian Viagra dude while you were there?


I had no clue there even was one.

We tried to limit our television watching but it was a total goof seeing Starsky and Hutch in Italian. Starsky sounded so much more suave when he was speaking in an accent and pounding some perp's head into a fence.



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 05:17 PM
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originally posted by: Night Star

Wow! That must have been one hell of a vacation! Awesome!


It was very cool.

Still more pics to come though. The most visited site in Italy is up next.



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 05:44 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

I'll be watching for them!!



posted on Aug, 27 2015 @ 07:22 PM
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originally posted by: Night Star
I'll be watching for them!!


Here is one to hold you over....





posted on Aug, 29 2015 @ 08:24 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Is that you in the hat? I'd always assumed you were hooved.
(Not really)
And what a beautiful red haired wife you have.

Wow, I'm not usually a huge fan of the Romans, but you can't argue with their artistic skills and masonry...

The architecture there is just stunning. Thanks so much for posting these, it's a part of Europe I've never been to and I'm one of the rare type of people who enjoys other folk's holiday photos!
It looks like you had a fantastic holiday, it must have felt good to be home.

B x




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