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Showing posts from August, 2013

The Many Faces of the Colosseum

In mid afternoon, the Colosseum is tinged in chalky white.

At sunset, the Colosseum is baked in shades of sienna. 

The exposed inner rim was pockmarked by medieval robbers in search of iron clamps.  

My favorite view of the Colosseum is from the Via Sacra where ancient columns provide a linear frame to the elliptical curve of the Colosseum's walls.

Past events in this ancient amphitheater are put to bed in the dark shadows of night. If only walls could talk, what a fright they would tell!
An excerpt from Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto the Fourth, (1818): A Ruin — yet what Ruin! from its mass
Walls — palaces — half-cities, have been reared;
Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass,
And marvel where the spoil could have appeared.
Hath it indeed been plundered, or but cleared?
Alas! developed, opens the decay,
When the colossal fabric's form is neared:
It will not bear the brightness of the day,
Which streams too much on all — years — man — have reft away.

But when the risi…

A Papal Audience with Pope Francis I

Pope Francis I - June 2013
One of our main reasons for visiting Rome was to see the new Pope. There are several ways to see the Vicar of Christ at the Vatican. Two of these are during the Sunday Angelus at noon and the Wednesday general audience at 10:30 a.m. both on St. Peter’s Square. Of the two, the best close-up view of the Pope would be at the Wednesday audience as the Pope circles the square in his popemobile before the hour-long acknowledgements and homily. On Sundays, when he is in residence, he blesses the crowd in attendance from the balcony above the entrance to the Basilica (predecessors of Pope Francis I blessed the faithful from the papal apartment window).
It is necessary to get tickets for the Wednesday audience but not for the Sunday Angelus. These tickets are free and may be requested from the Pontifical North American College or from the Church of Santa Susanna in Rome. Tickets are picked up the day before the audience or on Tuesdays from the location indicated on the…