Getting to Rome

It was raining so I took a taxi to Paddington station rather than walk to a tube station. I left at 6:45, got to Paddington shortly after 7 as Saturday morning traffic was light. The Heathrow Express arrived at terminal 5 by 7:35–plenty of time for my 10 am flight. But fog delayed everything.

Paddington station

We left at 10:40 but the late departure was made up during the flight. We arrive about 2 instead of 1:53. Rome passport control has scanners and is much quicker than it used to be, so by 2:15 I had passed through passport control, made a pit stop, called the apartment manager and found the car service driver. We were leaving the airport before 2:30. He dropped me at the apartment building at 3:00 except he dropped me at the wrong building. Luckily, the manager spoke with the driver and came to find me after I had been waiting for 10 minutes. Good thing it wasn’t raining.

The apartment is on the 3rd floor (4th by North American terms) and no elevator. I’m going to have to plan my comings and goings to limit the times I need to climb the staircases.

You can see the top of Santa Maria in Vallicella or Chiesa Nuova from the apartment’s little terrace.

Top of the facade of Chiesa Nuova
No idea what the tower is

After unpacking and doing some grocery shopping, I went into Chiesa Nuova. It has three Rubens behind the main altar and a number of good, if not great, 16-17th century artists like d’Arpino, who Caravaggio worked for, and Guido Reni, who became the top artist in Rome after Caravaggio died (but wasn’t as good).

Peter Paul Rubens

The ceiling has a huge illusionist work but much of it was hard to see because it needs the natural light through the windows.

Caravaggio’s Deposition was originally intended for this church. It’s now in the Vatican picture gallery, Pinacoteca, but there’s a reproduction here.

Next to the church and part of the complex of buildings dedicated to Filippo Neri, a Counter Reformation saint, is the Borromini designed Oratorio Filippini.

It was pouring rain so I grabbed some takeaway pizza to have with the good bottle of wine I bought. I’m watching some Italian tv to get some listening practice and going to turn in early. The airplane was full of people with colds and I don’t want to come down with one.

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