Monday, July 23, 2007



They say that all roads lead to Rome. So, I guess it was inevitable that I would end up in Rome one day. For me Rome has to things that draw you to the Eternal City. First, it has the remains and reminders of a wondrous and glorious past. They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day and after a visit to the city you can see that Rome is still being building, and yet it is very conscience of its ancient history. The second draw is religion with a subtle (though sometimes not so subtle) touch of art. I am, of course, referring to the Vatican. The art and architecture in the Vatican’s collection is simply astonishing. St. Peter’s Basilica is massive and humbles the visitor at the same time as it draws and elevates them into its glorious spaciousness and the lofty realm of its famous dome.
I’ve looked forward to exploring the Vatican for a long time. The museum holds many treasures. There were two treasures in particular that I was interested. The first treasure was Raphael’s “The School of Athens”. I bought a print of this wall size painting when I was in high school and it has hang in my various apartments ever since. The original is awesome! You walk into a room covered floor to ceiling with paintings and yet The School of Athens is the focal point with its many larger then life figures of brilliant philosophers, scholars and scientists.

The other treasure that I was interested in was the statue of Loacoon and his sons. Loacoon warned the Trojans, Equo ne credite, Teucri / Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes [Don’t trust the horse, Trojans / Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts]. Even though they didn’t listen to him and they accepted the horse filled with Greek soldiers, we get the saying "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts" from Loacoon.

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