Saturday, November 8, 2014

Rome on a Budget: Amazing Statues

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”  Emile Zola

People visit Rome for many, many reasons, the food, the architecture, the magic, and of course the art.  But what if you are a big art aficionado who wants to keep the traveling budget under control?  Well, there are several ways to enjoy art around Rome and most of them are free.

Art is everywhere in Rome, in its fountains, piazzas (city squares), religious statues; all you have to do is walk around and you'll bump into art; basically, you can't avoid it even if you tried.  Here are a few of the most notorious sculptures and some of my personal favorites:

#1 La Pietà by Michelangelo
Of course, coming at number one is Michelangelo's La Pietà.  This master piece is housed in St. Peter's Basilica, as soon as you come in it will be on your right hand side.  This statue of the Virgin Mary holding the body of Jesus after crucifixion is simply spectacular.  There is no entrance fee to St. Peters, but you do have to make long lines to enter St. Peter's square and the basilica, so plan to go there early, especially during the summer months.  

#2 Moses by Michelangelo
The statue of Moses is another master piece by Michelangelo Buonarroti.  It is housed in the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains (San Pietro in Vincoli), which is an easy walk from the Colosseum.  If you are planning a tour to the Colosseum, don't forget to detour a little bit to marvel at this amazing statue.  No entrance fee.  Closest metro stop: Cavour

#3 Triton's Fountain by Bernini

The "Fontana del Tritone" sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini is located in the middle of the Barberini square (and steps from the Barberini metro stop).  It is one of my personal favorites, especially during the Christmas season as the building behind it gets illuminated with Christmas lights, creating an amazing background for photographs.  Since you are already there, take a look at the Bee's fountain by the same sculptor, which sits right outside the metro exit.

#4 The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa by Bernini
Art students and art lovers can't miss this Bernini's masterpiece.  The statue of the Ecstasy of Saint Theresa is located in the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria (very close to Piazza della Repubblica).  This magnificent statue represents an episode described by the saint herself where an angel with a fire-tipped spear pierces her heart sparking a religious ecstasy.  A must see!  The church is closed during lunch hours (reopening at 3:3o pm) and if you go later in the day you have to make an offering for the statue to be illuminated.

#5 The Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini
This fountain is located in the middle of Piazza Navona and its vast size is enough to astonish you!  There are four marble giants, the River Gods, representing the four main rivers of the world: the Nile in Africa the Ganges in Asia, the Danube in Europe and the Rio de la Plata in America.

There are many sculptures by not so renown artists that are just as amazing.  Like the Fountain of the Turtles in the Jewish Ghetto; in reality this list could be never ending, but I will end it here.  Hope you get a chance to marvel at these amazing statues!

Arrivederci for now,

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