Friday, May 24, 2013

Afternoon on the Palatine Hill

I found Rome a city of bricks
and left it a city of marble.
~ Augustus Caesar (63 BC - AD 14)

It was a big day, but I was bound and determined to take advantage of the weather. On my first trip to Rome, I went to the Colosseum, just as it had stopped raining. On the second trip, I went to the Roman Forum, and it started raining. This time? Blue skies at the Palatine Hill! I cabbed it there, after my visit to the Protestant Cemetery and Baths of Caracalla. 

You may remember that it was a very rainy November and December, last year in Italy. (Unfortunately, a lot of flooding.) The rainy weather, is evidenced, in the following photos. Lots of reflections from the pooling water, on the very uneven, ancient grounds. It made for some great effects, but I had to watch my step!

Entering the Palatine ...

After entering on the path above, you can see the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum behind it. (See below) I'm thinking ... a nice ink drawing or watercolor painting?

Another place to fill up my water bottle! Water is everywhere and tastes so good!

Let me just say, if you go to Rome, get yourself one of these collapsable "vapur" water bottles. When they are empty, they weigh nothing and they take up no space! There is no excuse to by bottled water in Rome, when water spouts are everywhere and the Roman water tastes so delicious! 

The Palatine Hill, was covered in Roman palaces. Palatino, is where we get the word palace, if you were curious. The Palatine has a very long history and it seems like there have always been excavations. During the reign of Augustus (27 BC -14 AD,) there was an area roped off where artifacts were excavated from the Bronze Age! 

Another excavation going on, in Rome ...

This is what the sign said, about the above excavations, if you're interested ...

Wealthy Romans lived on the Palatine Hill during the Republican period (509 BC - 44BC.) Much of the remnants of palaces, that you see now, are from the Empire (27 BC-476 AD,) ... the palaces of Augustus, Tiberius, Domitian, House of Livia etc ....

I think this, below, is part of the palace of Domitian (Emperor 81-96AD).

Once and a while, you look down to find the palace floors are still there. I imagine this floor and how beautiful it must have been, covering that whole area, in the above photo.

Below, was apparently a stadium, a garden, or both. The track around the outside was added later.
Stadium of Dolmitian's Palace

The structure behind the lovely couple, below, is where the emperor hung out, and watched the track or whatever was going on down below.

There is a little museum on the hill as well. It's not huge, considering the other rather large museums in town but it does have some beautiful pieces from the Palatine ("dal Palatino.") And, it was the perfect place to thaw out, and sit down and take a load off. I can't tell you how happy I was to find a bench by this point!

Divinità fluviale (River God)
Età severiana (Severian)
Dal Palatino. Settizodio

There are some very old artifacts and a lot of information, in the museum, about some of the pre-Roman era. Archaeologists believe the area was inhabited back to 1000 BC!!!

Beautiful remnants of a palace wall ...

Decorazione piccorica di IV stile
Eta' neroniana (54 - d. C.) (age of Nero)
Intonaco e stucco dipinti  (stucco and painted juice?) Dal Palatino
Domus Transitoria

Love this! Definitely going to do a drawing of it.

The sign said ...
C. d. Hera   Borghese
 Roman Copy of Greek Original
Dal Palatino, Stadio

Apollo Citaredo
Eta' augustea (from augustan era)
Intonaco dipinto  (painted plaster)  Dal Palatino. Scalae Caci

More haste, less speed.
~Augustus Caesar

Below, was a beautiful fountain. I wish I could have gotten closer. ... all that blue was so beautiful.

The Octagonal Fountain
of the Domus Flavia

The Flavian Palace

This area was so lovely, and the imagination is definitely sparked by looking at all the pink stone and lovely design of the floors, above!

Below, the Amazon's Fountain

From the Palatine, you get great views down onto the Roman Forum and beyond. You can see by the beautiful light, it was now very late in the afternoon.


The Farnese Gardens
I came around a corner, from all the brick and stone, to see this lovely green space. So green and lush, that first week of December. If you look closely you can see all the orange trees bearing fruit!

The land was acquired in 1550, by Cardinal Allessandro Farnese, he filled in what was the Palace of Tiberius, (Palace of Caligula) 1st Century AD. Love the Renaissance Garden but a bummer about the Palace. On the upside, it was one of the first botanical gardens in Europe, and a really peaceful, lovely spot.

No risk attends the meed
that silence brings.
~ Augustus Caesar

About this time, they started closing off certain areas. To the right (below) was the entrance to the palace of Emperor Augustus. They shut the gate just before I got there.

We started being directed out of the Palatine. They close about an hour before sunset. I have no idea what time it was, but I was hoping to be shuffled out through the Roman Forum, below. Even though I'd only have a couple of minutes, it would be so great to walk through it, on this lovely evening (and take a few more photos!)

Heading out ... I looked down and wondered, who created this little masterpiece ... and why wasn't it more protected?

Below the hill, there is gate, and you can hear the rush of water ... not sure if it was spring or aqueduct water ... but as I said, water is everywhere in Rome! The photo was taken through an iron gate and it was very dark in there. 

Oh, and after taking a picture for a nice couple, they got a shot of me too.

So, I'm not one to go on a tour, (I like to do research on my own, and take in the surroundings, without someone rushing me along,) but like the Baths of Caracalla, it would have been nice to have someone tell me what I was looking at. There were more signs, at the Palatine Hill, than there were at the Baths, but it still took a lot of effort, just to figure out where I was on the map!

On the upside, I ended up with lots of photos to paint! And, it was an absolutely gorgeous day! With the afternoon light, I got a lot of shots with that beautiful orange glow on the palace ruins. 

Last night, I ended up watching this BBC video, on Youtube ... at midnight. It's so interesting and it has fantastic shots of Ancient Roman Art, as well as great shots of Italy and Pompeii, if you want to check it out.

I also found a very short video, showing how beautiful it is in the spring, with petunias and poppies around the different Roman gardens ... 

The play is over 
Acta est fabula
~Augustus Caesar 

Have an amazing weekend!!!
Blessings and light!


Kerry O'Gorman said...

Really gorgeous! I love those tall trees with the big tops on them...what are they? Have a great weekend Lucinda! Thanks for the tour.

KathyA said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos!! I so long to be back in Italy. Am so awestruck by the excavation sites. Would just stand there and stare!

Theresa said...

Once, complete and utter inspiration girl!!
See/meet you soon at LAX hotel?
Come say hi, there is a cool music giveaway this week :)

rjerdee said...

Oh, Lucinda! this was a dream of a blog many lovely photographs to drink in! I never got to Palatine Hill so it was wonderful to find it here. Thank you so, so, so much for this awesome tour. the weather looked divine, too. So happy for you and your travels.
Hugs, Becky

Loree said...

Rome is so gorgeous. The contrast of the blue sky, the green grass and the ruins makes for some gorgeous photos. If I lived there I would forever be roaming around the ruins.

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures ...! Really great!
The trees (to answer Kerry) are Umbrella Pine trees. Very common here in Italy.

Cobalt Violet said...

Thanks for the comments ladies!

And Kerry, I love those umbrella pines too!
I've heard them called Roman pines too but I think that's just a nickname someone called them. @villainumbria is right about the name. It took a while for me to figure that one out!

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