Monday, February 1, 2010

Travel to Rome: (Musei Capitolini) Capitoline Museums

In our guidebook there was a picture that was very similar to the one below. I had seen these pieces of statue at sometime in some point on some blog or website. I didn't know where they were, I just knew that I liked them and wanted to see them. The guidebook had the picture, but no other information about it.

where is this foot

I asked at the front desk of the hotel if they knew where it was and they didn't. I asked them to make a copy of the page so that I could take it with me, and not have to lug the whole guidebook around. I took this copy with me for about two days and would ask people in shops and bars if they knew where it was. We got about 4 different answers. Each one would take us a little closer, then a little closer, then a little closer, until finally...we had our answer!

It is in the Musei Capitolini (Capitoline Museum)in the Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill. We had been all around and near it on several of our outings! It was 9 Euros per person to get in, but it was worth it.

The statue was originally a 40 foot tall statue of Constantine the Great. The extremities were made of marble while the rest was probably made of wood with a bronze overlay. So it is understandable why the head, hands, and feet are what remains today.

I loved it! I even stood in the rain (it was in an outdoor courtyard) to take pictures. This is the side across from the statue, but you can see one of the hands in the bottom right hand corner. I want to have a courtyard like this. I would love to just sit in it everyday!


Here is the other side of the courtyard.

Constantine at Musei Capitolini

Close-up of the statue that we walked and walked and walked all over Rome to find. I had to take loads pictures of the statue after all of that! Frankie would have been mad at me otherwise!

Constantine's head.

constantine head

constantine head2

The hands. For some reason there were two right hands. It is believed that the reason for this is the fact that at some time in history the statue was redone and the hand that was holding a scepter was replaced with a hand holding a Christian symbol.

constantine hand2

constantine hand

Now my favorite, don't know why, but anyways, his feet.

Constantine foot

constantine foot3

Cool view of foot.

constantine foot2

Since we paid 9 Euros we figured we had better see more of the museum than just the courtyard.

We didn't look around the piazza before entering because of the rain, but in the middle there is a replica of a statue depicting Marcus Aurelius on horseback. The original is inside the museum. Many statues in Rome were destroyed when Christianity came to the region through Constantine. The reason this statue survived is because they thought that it was Constantine on the horse.

Marcus Aurelius Exedra

The bust of Medusa by Bernini.



Frankie contemplating the bust of Brutus.

Frankie and Brutus

The she-wolf, a 5th century BC (or possibly 13th century AD. Yes, I know that is a big difference, but experts are still out on the date) bronze sculpture and the twins who were added later in 15th century AD. The twins are Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. They were ordered by their uncle to be throw from the Roman mythological heaven and into the Tiber river. They were rescued by the wolf and taken care of until they were found and raised by a herdsman.

The statue is almost 4 feet long and about 2.5 feet tall. Frankie thought it would be bigger and I was surprised at how big it was. That is how we always are though.

Pictures and drawings of the she-wolf and twins are EVERYWHERE in Rome. They are on the trash cans, on the man hole covers, on information booths, etc.

Capitoline Wolf

After all the touring of the museums we stopped in the bar inside the museum and had some coffee. We were hoping the rain would let up before we went out in it.

seen from musei capitolini

But of course it didn't. In fact it got worse. We both had umbrellas, but mine was a cheap one from Wal-mart and it did not stand up to the wind. This was the same one that the wind caught earlier in the trip, so there was no way it was going to survive.

As soon as the rain starts there are instantly people all around selling umbrellas. One guy saw my struggle and broken umbrella and immediately came over. It was pouring rain and very windy. Really nasty weather! We asked how much and he said 15 Euros for umbrella or 10 for a cheap poncho. Ok, I am cheap...there is no way I was paying that much! I told him that it was too high and kept walking in the rain. Frankie kept trying to give me his umbrella, because he is sweet like that.

This guy selling the umbrellas followed us and asked how much we were willing to pay. I told him 5 Euros! He told us that it was too low so we thought he gave up but no! He came back with 10 Euros and I said too much again. And all of this is taking place as we are walking in the cold rain and wind with him following.

He offered 8 and I repeated 5. He then said 5 and I said ok and so he started to open the poncho! I told him I wasn't paying 5 for the poncho! He then gave in and told me that I could have the umbrella he was using for 5. I took that deal! His umbrella was a little better but not much! The wind kept blowing it inside out too. We finally just stopped in a place where the wind wasn't blowing as hard and just waited.

The rain wasn't letting up. So I put my purse, which had my camera and other things that didn't need to get wet, in a plastic bag I was carrying and we headed out. Got on the bus and made it to the area of Rome where our hotel was. It was an evening to remember.

This was the day we learned of the attempted terrorist attack on the plane from Amsterdam. That is a scary feeling, being in a foreign country, knowing you will have to get on a plane very soon after something like that has happened. We kept hearing about how tight security was going to be on planes going to America. But, what could we do?

I wasn't going to let that ruin the rest of my dream vacation to Rome! I didn't. I have more to share. I hope you are enjoying the blog as much as I enjoyed the trip!