I haven’t known where to begin writing and posting photos about my recent trip to Italy. So I’ve decided to start in Rome where my husband and I started out in September. We visited some of the big sites, sacred and profane: the Sistine Chapel where I got to see the incredible frescos of Michelangelo that I had never dreamt I’d actually see in person, the enormous Trevi fountain, the Pantheon etc. We saw many small churches on the streets that we went into for maybe 10 or 15 minutes at a time, amazed at the architecture, the artwork and lavishness of those places. The largest of all the churches we went to was Saint Peters Basilica in the Vatican. I have loved the works of Michelangelo since I was a teenager and wanted to see the Pieta there so we included a stop in the Basilica after going to the Sistine Chapel.
There are a great many churches in Rome and we viewed all of them from the vantage point of outsiders because we are Jewish. And so one day we also went to the area that had been a Jewish ghetto. There we saw the outside of a large synagogue and Jewish restaurants near golden cobblestones memorializing people who had been deported to Auschwitz in World War II. By the former ghetto there were also the remains of a theatre and temples from earlier times and to other gods.
We also had wonderful times simply walking on small, sometimes very narrow, streets where there were no large landmarks. Just seeing the architecture and feeling the atmosphere was a great experience—very different from Toronto where I live where so many buildings that are not nearly as old as those in Rome are torn down to put up new condos.
Here’s a few photos I took during that time.
The side of the Pantheon:
Pieta by Michelangelo in St. Peter’s:
Ceiling in St. Peter’s:
A memorial to Jews deported from the ghetto to Auschwitz:
Remains of old temples adjacent to the old Jewish Ghetto:
On a bridge across the Tiber river from the Trastevere neighbourhood: