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Showing posts with the label Michaelangelo

Themed Travel Ideas for Summer 2017

    Church of Santa Maria, Jeronimos Monastery, Belem

Under Brunelleschi's Dome

In the quattrocento, Lorenzo Ghiberti was awarded the commission to carve the gilded bronze panels decorating the north door of the Baptistery after winning the competition against the likes of Jacopo della Quercia and Filippo Brunelleschi. The outcome of this contest proved providential for Florence because Brunelleschi moved on to build the dome which crowns the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore. Not since the Pantheon in Rome was constructed between AD118-28 has a dome of this scale been built. The red-tiled Duomo is one of the most enduring symbols of Florence. White ribs contain its sides and a lantern of white marble with windows caps the dome, directing light into the cupola. There are 463 steps leading to the dome for a 360-degree view of the Tuscan countryside. From within the cathedral, one can marvel at the restored fresco of the Last Judgment which covers the cupola. A walk along Via del Calzaiuoli reveals tempting shop windows, fun distractions as we crisscross our way

On Popes and Artists

We are in Rome because of my mother's long standing dream to see the Pope. Her parish priest has arranged for us to attend an audience with John Paul II. We pick up our tickets at the North American College near the Trevi Fountain on  Tuesday afternoon for the papal audience the following day at which approximately 15,000 people are expected. On Wednesday morning, we get up early and dress in our Sunday best. There are people already queued up to enter the temporarily enclosed square when we arrive at St. Peter's. We have to pass through a detector machine since the current pope was the target of an assassination attempt. It's early so we find good seats and while waiting, we let our eyes roam and admire the beautiful colonnades by Bernini, the dome of St. Peter's originally designed by Michaelangelo and the Swiss Guards in their striped uniform and beret. Gian Lorenzo Bernini's symmetrical colonnades consists of four rows of 300 Doric columns. Built during the papa