After breakfast I headed out to shoot some churches, visit a museum and get some art into me. I admit I got on the bus yesterday without buying a ticket, quite accidentally. Having travelled on buses with the Roma Pass since I arrived, I had never seen a ticket inspector. I got on the infamous 64 bus that does the tourist strip from the main train station (termini) to St Peters. One stop after I got on a ticket inspector got on. I guess it’s not Melbourne where the locals told me not to buy a ticket and there’s very few inspectors! (you can’t do this in Perth because of the barriers/staff at each exit or bus).
I spent a delightful few hours in the gardens around Galleria Borghese. The park is incredibly pleasant – better than Perth parks as there’s no cars and lots of dogs. Perth is way too obsessed with driving everywhere in my opinion!! Everyone was riding bikes or walking dogs, very relaxing. The dogs have a different disposition in Rome. They have a happy bark. It’s like an exclamation mark that they bark for no good reason other than apparently being happy. I love it!!
The tickets for Galleria Borghese must be bought beforehand and the visits are timed. They only let you in at certain times and you have 2 hours before you are kicked out. Strictly no photography. Again it was a great thing for me. I relaxed and really studied the whole place. The highlights for me were the 3 Bernini sculptures, Paulina, the Caravaggio paintings and most of the frescoes. Paulina by Carnova was my favourite sculpture (look it up, so awesome). The sheet draped over her really looks like fine silk. And the bed she’s sitting on actually dips and yields to her body. It is exquisite.
The Bernini sculptures have such movement and emotion. He really was a brilliant sculptur rather than being a brilliant architect. The fingers pressing into her flesh, the dress billowing in the wind, the reaching, fighting. I did see the museum’s most famous exhibit – The Deposition, a painting by Raphael. It was OK and had nice colours. But it didn’t do anything for me. I’m not into renaissance, definitely prefer baroque. The Caravaggio’s have wonderful shadows and use of negative space.
I would have paid the 11E just to see the trompe l’oeil frescoes. For the troglodytes out there, a trompe l’oeil is a ceiling that has been painted to give the illusion of statues, domes and other ornamentation. I truly believed 2 of the rooms had stucco etc and had to spend a long time working what was fresco and what wasn’t! The 2 hours was more than long enough for me.Some other tourists said they ran out of time but I lust look at art differently (I don’t spend my time saying to my friends, look at that!).