On my first day in Rome I was early at Santa Maria in Trastevere and fascinated by the light and shadows in the portico.

On my way between churches I was diverted by the impressive arches of the Teatro di Marcello and then  by these Corinthian pillars which still stand despite having been erected before the birth of Christ. They are graceful and defiant and I sat in the hot sun to sketch them.

The second day saw me trekking around the Vatican Museums (see my blog on the Sistine Chapel).

Mosaic man

It is difficult to describe the feelings prompted by works of art created before or just after the time of Christ. Here is a small part of a mosaic pavement which is simply beautiful. The man seems to be holding up some great burden and yet, at the same time, seems to be dancing with the joy of it all. Choreographed Atlas or the Lord of the Dance with arms outstretched…?

On my way back I walked though St Peter’s Square (which isn’t square, by the way) and took this photo of the basilica.



On Tuesday I visited St Peters. Visit my blog page for reflections on this, especially my tour of the excavations under the basilica.

The story of Peter’s death is very moving, especially when you remember John 21 and some of the other passages where this big-hearted disciple tried to get it right and seemed to get it wrong. Yet, by the grace of God, God used him to bless many.

Today, Wednesday 25th may, I visited the ancient centre – climbed the Capitoline Hill from its Renaissance steps and piazza, explored the forum and enjoyed the views from the Palatine Hill. It was very hot but I managed to find a flat boulder in some shade for a quick sketch. Note the sketch is not the same scene as this photo – it was where I could find some shade!

View of St Peter’s from the Palatine

I didn’t fancy queuing for the Colosseum – the place that gave sports stadiums a bad name – but I had an impressive view from the Palatine Hill.

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