I wasn't surprised at the security at St. Peter's. After all, it would be a great target for anyone who hated Christianity. But when I got into the courtyard, I found it full of chairs ready for an event. This is Wednesday; the pope comes into the courtyard to bless the people. I could have gotten a great seat and undoubtedly shaken his hand, but I couldn't see sitting in the sun for an hour plus before it started, and then sitting there for another couple hours for the event. It felt disrespectful to leave, but I did.
I wandered along the river and through the Trastevere area instead.
I'm sure there is a banquet scene set in the Villa Farnesina in the book I have been editing for Henry Brooks. I was disappointed that the gardens were not open to visitors.
Henry's book is set in 1508. The building has just been constructed, and the artists are discussing what they plan to paint. One thing they are playing with is ideas of perspective. The niche over the door here is just as flat as the niche to the left. Both are simply painted into the plaster to give the illusion of depth. The garlands show fruits and vegetable from all over the world, many new to Europe in the previous decade and a half.
This upstairs room has scenes painted at each end. This is a flat wall. No columns. No statue in a niche. No city beyond the balcony rail.
Having come that far south of my return bus, I sought out the Santa Maria in Trastevere Church. The frieze under the pediment shows ten vigins with lamps coming to Christ.
The apse is gorgeous gold mosaic.
This 7th c icon is the oldest extant image of the Virgin Mary. So many of the churches here give more honor to her than to her Son. It must make her so sad.
I came home to a shower and nap. Then Steve messaged me that they were making great progress and he would come back this evening rather than tomorrow afternoon. Great news, but he wouldn't be back in time for dinner. I had this idea of where I wanted to eat near the Piazza Navona, but I kept getting turned around. I wandered the whole area without finding the piazza. I WANTED to wander the area, but I wanted to do it radiating out from a known point, namely the piazza. Very frustrating to go up and down, sometimes the same streets after asking directions. I must have looked left when I should have looked right or something. Finally found it, but the place I had been dreaming of wasn't open yet. Since Steve was going to be coming back, I found an alternative, ate my spaghetti with clams which he would not have enjoyed at all, and headed 'home.' Except I got turned around again. I finally figured out that although the map I was using showed little pictures of highlights, they weren't necessarily oriented correctly. It was 8:30 before I got 'home', only to find Steve had arrived and gone out for lasagne locally since I wasn't here. He pointed out that, although I don't have international data on my phone, the tourist app uses the phone GPS and could have told me where I was. Duh. Next time...
I'm coughing and my desire to go anywhere tomorrow is pretty slim right now.