Feb 17, 2009

Possibly the most addictive software ever

After a long and impatient wait, Poladroid for PC is finally here. Basically, it's a free download, which allows you to make this

into this

and this

Hello awesome photoey goodness, au revoir free time/sleep.
The only fiddly thing with the Poladroid is that it crops your photos down to a square, so off-centre-interestingness doesn't end up so well. Some of my favourites (Poladroid and jetlag makes for a dangerous combo):

Not art but awesome anyway

Highlight of week one? It's just not fair to force myself to choose, especially considering the ridiculous amount of simply amazing things we saw. You just can't pit the Vaticam museums against St Peters (below) AND the Capitoline museums.

Silliness. So, if I really have to pick a highlight, I'm going to go out on a limb and make it something entirely off topic and unrelated to all things Renaissance and Baroque art. You see, whilst up atop the Castel San Angelo -- that's right, the big looming fortress down the road from St Peters, overlooking the heart breakingly beautiful Ponte San Angelo -- once we tore ourself away from the view back to St Peters...
...and went to look over the other side, what did we discover but an open air ice rink. And of course, it would take wild horses to stop me from passing up on the chance to ice skate in the sun, next to the Tiber, in full view of St Peters. How often does a chance like that come along? Once in a lifetime, as it turns out, because our plan to drag the other Romeites back there failed spectacularly due to the madly jampacked shcedule, the increasing study stress, and the ridiculous number of competing things to see and do in the eternal city. Not to mention the fact that the weather rarely got that good again. It really was a case of all signs pointing me to the rink.

Feb 10, 2009

Remainder of week one - just the hits

The roundup: Villa Doria Pamphilj, featuring the President's desk; early Christian mosaic at Santa Maria in Trastevere; Bernini's collonade at St Peters; Castel San Angelo; Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain and St Agnese in Piazza Navona; the original copies of Bernini's statues for the Ponte San Angelo at St Andrea delle Fratte; Borromini's St Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (S. Carlino).

Vatican Museums

I don't really remember many individual details about this day - to be honest the entire first week is a bit of a blur. And furthermore, the Vatican museums have a blurring effect all of their own, largely because, like an Ikea store, you aren't allowed to see any part in isolation; you've gotta do a marathonesque dash the entire length of them. By the time you reach my favourite thing - Raphael's papal stanze - you are heavy footed, visually overloaded, and more than a little cynical about the amount of money held by one small nation state versus the ammount of hunger and poverty in the world outside it. But then again, the state of affairs can hardly be blamed on one Raffaelo Sanzio, b. 1483; d. 1520. Raphael's The School of Athens has stood the test of time, and remains a striking examplar of the Renaissance's sweeping humanism and faith in the great minds of both past and present. There aren't any photos of it here because my poor little camera struggled to cope with the low light in the room, but a quick google image search should yield plenty of results.

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