November 13, 2011

things to see in Rome when you think you’ve seen it all

Being that I’m on a moratorium against photographs on my own blog, I’ll break my sight-silence (sitence?) to show you some things you might otherwise not know about:

Not that these photographs are any good, but they give you the idea of some must-see things to do in Rome once you’ve saturated yourself of all the usual tourist attractions. The above was taken in the crypt below Santa Maria della Orazione on via Giulia. Here’s a photograph from the outside of the church by A. Bava, that Coop featured in a recent elimae & which you might also recognize from a few of my Roman rubbings. If you enter the church & tip-toe past the praying nuns, you’ll get to a back hall left of the altar  & some stairs leading down into a crypt with cases of skulls, chandeliers made of bones & all sorts of other deathly architectural devices.

Yesterday we also went up past Villa Borghese to the Copedde quarter, a cluster of buildings designed by Gino Copedde in an odd mish-mash of styles, like the bastard child of Gaudi & Luigi Serafini. As Elisabeth Rosenthal describes it:

Each of the oddly arched and angled buildings surrounding this circular Piazza combines elements of every architectural style known to man: Gargoyles, Moorish tiles, Roman columns, cast iron chandeliers, Grecian urns, mosiacs of Genovese sailing scenes, a Japanese goldfish pond. Look twice, because often the elements are turned on their head: Some of the Gorgoyles under the eves are actually angels, Ionic columns hold up nothing, the distinctively shaped head stones that should be at the top of an arch are placed at the bottom instead.

Not that this photo does it justice, because the devil is in the detail.

And while you’re up there near Villa Ada, you can visit the Catacombs of Priscilla, which I didn’t take any photos of to respect their no camera policy. Unlike the catacombs in Palermo,  these ones have been ‘cleaned’ of corpses, at least in the areas where they let tourists go, but still some nice murals.

And of course, the most spectacular sight to see of all this time of year is to just look up at the sky around sunset. But I’ll likely have more to say about that after the fact, right now just enjoying it in the moment.


  1. Deron Bauman on November 13th, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Damn, Derek, I need a visit to Rome.

  2. Sheila Ryan on November 13th, 2011 at 10:18 am

    We all need visits to Rome.

  3. Derek White on November 13th, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Si, come one, come all.

  4. Amy Mabli on November 13th, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Wow. Just wow.

  5. Casey Cichowicz on November 13th, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Looks amazing. Is that a murmuration?

  6. Derek White on November 13th, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Yes, i guess that’s what’s called a murmuration, starlings doing whatever they do. Clusterflocking.