Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rapporto di Roma 9: Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini

The day after the Vatican did us in, we awoke and went upstairs for our complimentary breakfast and was stunned by a beautiful rainbow! It was as if the world was making peace with us and promising no more rainy days on our vacation! Neat! "But it is really cold!" said our waitress. We didn't mind the cold at all! It was Roman cold! Ha, ha, ha!

So we walked out of the Hotel Barberini to the nearby Piazza Barberini, which we need to cross diagonally to get to the Via Veneto. Right in our path, was the famed Triton Fountain, as photographed by Sean:

The Triton Fountain was sculpted by Bernini in 1642-43. We crossed the square and immediately found ourselves at the:
Fontanella delle Api - Via Vittorio Veneto

Immediately after the erection of the Triton Fountain, Bernini was charged to plan a small drinking fountain for horses, usually to be found near all monumental fountains.
This beautiful example of Roman baroque was demolished in 1867 and carried to one of the deposits of Testaccio. Thanks to the pressure made by students, the fountain was rebuilt in 1916 with some material of the previous one.

But according to the design of the Dutchman Lievin Cruyl, of 1665, the result was not very faithful to the original.


Of course, Sean made me sit on the cold marble! At least it wasn't wet!
Here is Santa Maria della Concezione. The entrance to see the Capucin Monk's Crypt is around the side. "Offerte(s)" are welcome. People have umbrellas, but it is only spitting. Notice the blue skies.

All of the photos of the Capucin Monk's Bones are from Wikipedia, as photography is not allowed in the crypts.

So you walk through all these dusty, gloomy rooms that are packed to the ceilings with thousands upon thousands of bones and of course it is deathly silent in there. The message you get loud and clear is that life is short.
But, this being Italy, there was a group of people in the last chamber having a heated argument in Italian. What on Earth could they be arguing about? They were really going at it. I refused to be intimidated and moved into the final chamber with them. That did not quiet them. They were not hushed by the sanctity of a holy space; not at all. I mean, I'm not even religious, but these people showed no respect.
Sean never even came into the final chamber. He thought the entire thing was way kinky. I mean, who lives and dies to put their bones up on a wall?

So we left there and entered the main church. Workmen were busily doing stuff in there. Huge scaffolds and ladders were being moved from behind the altar space, which was opened by a gate in the confession railing. I snapped a photo of this painting of St. Micheal, my confirmation Saint [back when I was Catholic], painted by Guido Reni in 1635.

While I was busy doing that, Sean was misbehaving and entering the altar space. The head priest swiftly had him tossed out. Sean, heathen that he is [he was raised Northern Baptist], had no idea that he was committing sacrilege. Poor thing! But, when the priest in charge left, a little Sri Lankan man rushed up to us and started saying "You from Seattle? Right???" He was extraordinarily pushy and his English was very hard to understand as he spoke very quickly and had a heavy accent. Turns out, that he was in charge of the church when the priest was gone. He was sort of the head janitor. He had seen Sean wander into the Altar area and he offered us a tour of the back of the church. That is how we got to see the following [and Sean took these photos:
The Apparition of the Virgin by Sacchi in 1645 in a private chapel used only by the clergy. The bible is very old and was made on a printing press. Reportedly, Popes have celebrated mass and prayed here.

I have no idea what the story was with this little chapel, but we were rushed in and out of it.

This is the tomb of St. Crispin. I kept elbowing Sean to take a photo of the coffin, but he didn't get the message. He later explained that he had no idea what we were looking at. Oy!

Of course we knew he would want money. So Sean gave him some coins and we were on our way. He even did a little sailor's jig for us. Egad.

We exited the church and began to shop on the Via Veneto. I was hunting for a leather bag and we went into a couple of shops. One shop in particular had some nice crocodile bags at reasonable prices and I was looking at one when Sean said "Where do you think you will wear that?" He was right. It was white and yellow and I had no place to wear those colors. Then he looked around and spotted some metallic bags that were really cute. I fell in love with one and bought it. Here it is:

It is about 7 x 8 inches [17 x 20.5 cms] and she knocked 30 Euro off the price. I love metallic and shiny stuff! In Rome, everybody has at least one shiny thing on; either on their shoes, or handbag. I am so glad this trend is making a comeback! I missed it!
Next, I was looking for beads for my mom's birthday. I was thinking maybe some marble ones would be nice. So as we were walking down the street, a necklace catches my eye and we MUST go in and check it out. But once we do go in, I notice this wonderful marble inlay table and photograph it.

Here is the necklace I found! The artist is Pasquale Bruni:

Is it not just for ME! You will have to click to enlarge it. It was a good 2 inches [4.8 cms] across and felt and draped like fabric. I did not try it on, or ask the price. Even I have limits to my nerve! Sigh. I'm afraid it is beyond all our resources though. But if any of you wish to purchase it for me as a huge surprise, the name of the jeweler is: Capuano Gioielleria.

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