Sicilian Miscellany (June, 2013)

June 4, 2014

It’s been almost a year since I went to Sicily and took way too many photos. I’ve already posted some from the Villa Romana del Casale, Morgantina, and Aidone. Here are some other highlights:

 

Cappella Palatina, Palermo

Cappella Palatina, Palermo

Mosaic, Cathedral, Monreale

Mosaic, Cathedral, Monreale

Cloister, Monreale

Cloister, Monreale

Segesta, Sicily

Segesta, Sicily

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The Mausoleum of Constantina (June, 2014)

June 3, 2014

A few miles out of town on the Via Nomentana is the Mausoleum of Constantina, built in the mid-fourth century CE. There is an associated basilica which looks like a circus. The nearby 7th century church of Saint Agnes (S. Agnese fuori le Mura) is also worth a look. Didn’t have a chance to visit the catacombs beneath it…

Mausoleum of Constantina

Mausoleum of Constantina

A closer view

A closer view

Interior of the mausoleum

Interior of the mausoleum

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Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily (June, 2013)

January 8, 2014

The remains of this 4th century CE villa near Piazza Armerina are one of the great treasures of Sicily and indeed the world.

The famous 'bikini girls' mosaic

The famous ‘bikini girls’ mosaic

The decision to replace the villa’s old see-through roofs with opaque ones was an excellent one. It is now much easier to see (and photograph) the mosaics.

The Palestrite mosaic before the roof replacement

The Palestrite mosaic before the roof replacement (2005)

Detail of Palestrite mosaic after roof replacement

Detail of Palestrite mosaic after roof replacement

The whole room

The whole room

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Morgantina and Aidone, Sicily (June, 2013)

January 4, 2014

On this very cold weekend in the Midwest I thought I’d post some photos from the hottest place I visited in Sicily last spring (Morgantina) and the delightful little town (Aidone) whose archaeological museum houses some of its remains.

Morgantina is southeast of Enna and a short drive from the Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina (I’ll post some photos of its fantastic mosaics soon). Although this time the site felt like the inside of an oven, on cooler days it’s well worth a visit. (But bring water just in case.) The city dates back to the late Bronze Age but moved to its current location in the 5th century BCE. Changing hands several times in the many wars of the following centuries, the town lasted until the first century CE. Excavations have been going on for quite a while now so there’s plenty to see.

Morgantina (061913)

Morgantina with Etna barely visible in the distance.

The North Baths at Morgantina

The North Baths at Morgantina

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Vatican Museums (June 2013)

September 28, 2013

I saw more than ever before on this latest trip to the Vatican Museums…

Vatican Museums wall view

Assorted sculptures

Clio, Vatican Museums (060413)

Clio

Vatican Museums interior courtyard (060413)

Interior courtyard

View of Rome from Vatican Museums (060413)

View of Rome from the Vatican Museums

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Oplontis (June, 2013)

September 6, 2013

The Villa of Poppaea at Oplontis is not nearly as well known as the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum but it should be. Buried in the same 79 CE eruption of Vesuvius, this villa has amazing frescoes, plenty of rooms to explore, and is easily accessible via the Circumvesuviana. Also, it’s never been the slightest bit crowded when I’ve visited.

Oplontis (060313)

The view from street level.

Bird fresco, Oplontis (060313)

Birds are a popular fresco subject…

Fresco, Oplontis (060313)

Not sure what this is… Anyone know?

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Pompeii or Locked Out (June, 2013)

August 29, 2013

I enjoyed my visit to Pompeii. I really did! But in the last twenty years I have never seen so many locked houses and inaccessible areas. However, Pompeii being such a gigantic site, I still saw some great things I’d never seen before…

Locked out, Pompeii (060313)

At least you can see some of the mosaics and frescoes here…

Vietato l'accesso sign, Pompeii (060313)

Keep out!

 

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