We started with going to the Capitoline Hill to the Pinacoteca in the Capitoline Museum, a museum about the history of Rome and the first public museum in the world. Outside is the Michelangelo designed piazza and the statue of Marcus Aurelius (a digitally produced copy).
Inside we looked at Caravaggio’s The Fortune Teller, which was innovative for it’s half length figures, the depiction of an unportrayed segment of Roman society, the gypsy or Roma, and a secular street scene. We also went to see the St John the Baptist, a copy of which is in the Doria Pamphilj, but is was out on loan in Santiago, Chile. No one blamed me.
We next went to the Galleria Corsini, a state museum like Palazzo Barberini but it was unexpected closed due to staff shortage. Our tour manager insisted we be allowed in. And after a telephone call, we got the Gallery to ourselves. The Corsini is created to reproduce an 17 or 18th century casino.Casino is not a gambling hall. “Casa” in Italian is a house “casino” is a little house; you know, typical 3 floors, marble staircases filled with invaluable art. We mainly went to see the St John the Baptist over which there is some dispute.
We were in Trastervere, which means and is, the area across the Tiber River, on the Vatican side. We have’t seen much of this area.
Over our lunch break, I took a look at Santa Maria in Trastevere, one of the oldest churches in Rome:
From there we went to another casino still privately owned by the Boncompagni Ludovisi family. By private arrangement we saw Caravaggio’s only ceiling painting discovered in 1960 after a false ceiling was removed. No photos allowed, but this is what the casino, a former hunting lodge, looked like:
We were toured by a Texan woman who married Prince Boncompagni Ludovisi, Rita Jenrette – her married name when she was in a scandal involving her Congressman husband, John Jenrette. And later, she posed for Playboy. Google her name for more details.
The Ludovisi casino is next door to Hotel Eden, where we stayed in 2007. It’s under renovation.