Category Archives: history

When in Rome: Final Days, Part 2 of 2

Giovanni da Udine, festoon detail, Loggia di Amore e Psiche

I can only say, about our last days in Rome, that we certainly did not go out with a whimper. The opposite of anything we planned, it seems, in retrospect, that we’d been building up to this apotheosis from the moment we arrived. Continue reading

When in Rome: Final Days, Part 1 of 2

View from Janiculum Hill

We settled on a new strategy for our final two days in Rome. We were again “based” in Trastevere. This time our plan was to explore only more-or-less immediate neighborhoods in an effort to minimize time spent in the logistics of finding our way around. The strategy worked better than we had any right to expect. With a minimum of time spent getting lost, we discovered a trove of Roman treasures most of which would likely not have made it to a short-term visitor “must see” list. Continue reading

When in Umbria: Spoleto, Part 2

Rocca Albornoziana, second courtyard

The Umbria portion of our travels ended with a final full day in Spoleto. Our first days in Spoleto had coincided with the Rocca Albornoziana closing days, though there was plenty to see looking out over its ramparts. Continue reading

When in Umbria: Spello

Marcantonio Grecchi, Madonna con Bambino, San Felice Vescovo e il Beato Andrea Caccioli (17 C, detail)

More frescoes, specifically “Pinturicchio’s superlative frescoes in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore,” awaited us at the hill town of Spello . . . or so we thought. [cite] Vasari didn’t think much of Pinturicchio’s work: Continue reading

When in Umbria: From Spoleto to Norcia

Vallo di Nera

For our next outing, though we knew the 2016 earthquake damage would truncate our journey, we headed east. The prospect of mountainous countryside, dotted with hill towns, was the key enticement. Frescoes, at least theoretically, were also on offer, but, as we suspected, issues of access foiled our attempts to see them. Continue reading