Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Free museum day in Rome

As in a number of other cities, there is one Sunday a month when some of the major museums in town (and throughout the country in fact) open their doors for free.

A friend and I recently took advantage of one of these free days to see .... a not-free museum. It's a long story, but we did miss most of the crowds!

Now I can finally say that I've made it to the Capitoline museum - apparently the first museum in the world, though I'm sure that title is disputed.  In any case, it didn't disappoint, from the courtyard designed by Michelangelo to a ceramic collection that my friend who came me with just adored. Because this museum is split into two large buildings I would suggest that you give it 2+ hours and have lunch halfway through. I'd also suggest picking a few things you really want to see and spending your time accordingly rather than trying to see it all.

In no particular order, here are some of the highlights:

The Spinario - very old, very famous

Perhaps even more famous, Romulus and Remus being raised by a wolf. This bronze has become a symbol of the city of Rome

A bust of Medusa by Bernini 

A somewhat graphic depiction of a lion and his lunch. (The theme of animals brutally killing other animals came up a lot in this museum for some reason.)

A Caravaggio I'd seen before (I guess he made several copies of this one - I bet you wouldn't have guessed that's supposed to be John the Baptist.)

And another Caravaggio - the fortune teller

Finally, there were a weirdly large number of paintings featuring St. Sebastian. Not sure who's choice that was.  I really wish someone would do a ranking of them all, in order of actual martyrdom, because he usually looks like he doesn't particularly mind being shot full of arrows.

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