Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Pantheon at Last!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Latin water fountain  at the museum. "Drink, dog!"
Our group checked out of the Villa Vergiliana around 9 AM, stopped at a the Capodimonte Museum for about 90 minutes, and then headed to Rome. The Capodimonte mostly contains paintings, most of which are of a (Christian) religious theme. My favorite of these was by Caravaggio. There were also some nice mythological paintings. My favorite of these was one of Zeus about to make love to Danae in the form of golden rain. Unfortunately, this museum does not allow photos, so I cannot share.

Matthew and I checked into the Villa Maria Guest House or Casa per Ferie in Trastevere in Rome. This hotel is owned and operated by the Sisters of the Divine Savior. It is clean and has hot showers, which Matthew and I were very happy to take advantage of. Wireless internet is available, but you have to pay for it by the hour, so we're skipping that.

 But the good news is that we got to Rome by early afternoon, so Matthew and I had time to make it over to the Pantheon, which was open today. We had a chance to take in the beauty of the space, admire the dome constructed under the Emperor Hadrian, and get pictures of the exterior and the plaza where it is located. 

The dome of the Pantheon

The inscription says that Agrippa, Augustus' general, built it. Hadrian preserved the original inscription when he rebuilt it. Work is being done on the exterior, but we can still read the inscription under the scaffolding that covers half the front of the building. The Pantheon is well preserved because it has long been a Catholic Church. It was stripped of the bronze from the interior of the dome, however. One of the popes reused some if it toward the Baldacchino in the dome of St. Peter's, and the rest to make some cannons. So sad!

The exterior of the Pantheon, undergoing restorations
For more pictures from our last day in Rome, visit this set on Flickr.

 Tomorrow we will head over to the airport quite early to help out a friend who wants to split the cost of a taxi to save some money.

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