Saturday, February 02, 2013

Roman Holiday

Ciao, Italia! There, I have exhausted my movie Italian, lucky for you. Today we're going to visit the fabulous city of Rome in the 1950's.

I love the lighting in this first photo, taken atop the Castel Sant'Angelo, with the Vatican and huge dome  (designed by Michelangelo) of Saint Peter's Basilica in the background. I believe that the two seated ladies are American, and the standing woman is their guide.

I found this lovely, unattributed 18th century painting showing the Castel Sant'Angelo - that cylindrical building to the right - along the banks of the Tiber. The Castel is also known as tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian.

This next shot shows a Roman flea market (from February 1956). Wouldn't you love to be able to step into that photo and look for some fleas? I could use a good typewriter, since computers are obviously a "flash in the pan"; or maybe a vintage alarm clock. I would imagine that there was quite a lot of stuff on display that was considered junk at the time, but would now be considered rare and valuable.

And finally, you can't go to Rome without a visit to the Spanish Steps. The widest staircase in Europe consists of 138 steps up a steep slope connecting the Piazza di Spagna at the bottom and Piazza Trinitá dei Monti at the top. Just visible at the bottom of the photo is the Fontana della Barcaccia ("Fountain of the Old Boat"). Don't throw three coins in this one, it's the wrong fountain.

I hope you have enjoyed your trip to Rome!


Nanook said...

viva l'Italia-! I feel so... worldly checking out these images. And those 'gals' in pic 1, the two in front, striking a pensive pose, are perhaps sisters-?

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

I've seen the Spanish Steps in movies like "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" and "The Girl Who Knew Too Much". In fact these two films used this locale quite a bit. I wonder how many other movies have been filmed on that site. It is beautiful.

DKoren said...

These are awesome! What a collection of stuff in that flea market shot! And as an opera lover, the Castel Sant'Angelo has always been on my must-visit list because of how it figures in my favorite opera, Tosca. I loved seeing the shot from the top. What a fun side-trip this was!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have the feeling you are right, the ladies definitely show a resemblance.

K. Martinez, I've never heard of either of those movies! Of course the famous scene in Roman Holiday is pretty hard to forget, with Audrey Hepburn looking so young and beautiful.

DKoren, I'm glad you enjoyed these. Rome is an incredible city, I wish I was there right now!

Chiana_Chat said...

Interesting busts atop the building in the top pic. They are busts. You can tell that because they are busted.

I like how nearly everyone in the Spanish Steps pic seems to be in their finest. As Caesar advised all his closest enemies, "When in Rome, do as the Carthaginians do!" Thanks to their fates er examples, everyone there since does as they do there.

Um. Or something like that... Anyway, I go back to play some Deano now. Arrive derci, Roma.

Anonymous said...

I have several images of paintings from that same vantage point that I use as class illustrations, but I am not familiar with the posted example. I'm going to guess late 1700's, and a French artist, but it's hard to tell for sure.

It must be a popular vantage, I would love to see a modern photograph from that spot. I wonder if Google Earth can produce it?

Thanks for this trip abroad, Major. Very cool.


walterworld said...

I'm happy to report that you can view the 'Now' shot from the painting using Google Street View.

Very Cool---

What a great trip to Italy!
Thanks Major