The Capitoline

My most recent Art History exploration was truly wonderful. First we went to the Castel San Angelo and then briefly visited the wonderful Capitoline Museums.

Our class is supposed to meet at 9:30, but breakfast is served at 8 so we usually set out really early. Even then, with the state of public transport here we’re often late. This particular morning though, we actually got there about half an hour early and just chilled in front of the Castel. While Castel sounds pretty grand on its own, when you say Castle instead I just get even more impressed and excited!

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As observable in the picture, the ninth hour in Rome is something of a phenomenon. I’ve been here for a month and a half now and I can only think of one or two mornings that did not fit the trend: every day, whether it is gorgeous or groggy later on, is always just dreamily lovely at and around nine a.m.. The sun is glowing, the sky is clear and brilliant, and the breezes that flow through the alleyways make your skirts and scarves billow out behind you as you stride down the still streets.

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While breathing in the crisp morning air, we sat on the bridge leading up to the Castel and saw some weird statues. The bridge is lined with Bernini angels holding the items with which Christ was tortured in his last moments. Although, religiously speaking, I was not completely overwhelmed, I did think it was pretty cool. These are a few of my favorites:

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Vinegar sponge, ew!

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This was my favorite angel-with the lash.

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Seagull hat!

I would venture to say that the Castel is pretty cool too. It was built as Emperor Hadrian’s Mausoleum, but has worn many hats over the years including that of a papal palace and a papal prison!  We saw the Pope’s Mannerist apartments and that was cool and all, but the coolest thing was that we got special permission to go inside the prisoner’s cells into the worst depths you could be thrown!

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After our jaunt around the Castel, we departed to the Capitoline Museums. These museums always amaze me and I decided that after the few select paintings we focused on in the Pinacotecca, I’d stay for a few hours on my own. These “few hours” turned into the rest of the day spent in awe at the beauty. I always say I’m not really a sculpture person, but just look at these!

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(She was my favorite.)

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The museum is connected with the Tabullarium from the Forum and you can see the cement archways and this lovely view down into the Forum. 

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The museums are in separate buildings on the Capitoline Hill and you can get access between them through underground tunnels.

Even if it is a route I take all the time, I was proud that I made it back pretty quickly and without any hitches. Sometimes you’ll have to wait an hour for the bus just to get there, but including the ride and walking it only took me 20 minutes! I had stayed at the museum until around 5ish. It was so nice to have hours in a row just spend on my own. We go to so so many sites and museums with our classes, but we’re in a big group and time is always short. 

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