Sunday, September 16, 2012

Borghese Gardens and the bones of Cappuccine Monks

A long day of walking yesterday. We walked about 7 miles to visit the tourist areas around the Via Veneto. We started with the Borghese Gardens, a beautiful park which on Saturday is visited by many Italian families as well as tourists.

Our destination was the famous Borghese Gallery, home of Cardinal Borghese and his collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings and sculpture. We were entranced by Bernini's statues. He is a master of creating lifelike human forms. The sculpture The Rape of Prosperine was created when Bernini was only 24. It is amazing how you can see the hands of Pluto indenting soft flesh of Prosperine. No photos were possible in this museum so if you want to see if you will just have to make a trip to Rome.

The afternoon was dominated by the Cappuccine monks and their crypt of bones. This small museum centers around the remains of deceased friars that were moved to this location in 1631. For some reason, these bones were arranged decoratively in several crypts. Various parts of the skeletons were used to create scenes. This photo (taken from a postcard) shows the crypt of the skulls, but there were also the crypt of the pelvised and the cryupt of the leg bones. They even created chandeliers from vertebrae and smaller bones. It was kind of creepy but quite beautiful and it really made us ponder on the transitory aspect of life.

We also walked down the Spanish Steps and along the Via del Corso, home to many high end shops and restaurants. At Harry's bar an apertif started at 22 Euros. Needless to say we went elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. Love the gardens and gallery, wouldn't be able to look at the monks though.
    Sounds like your enjoying yourselves.

    cheers, parsnip


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