Monday, June 15, 2009

Augustus and Bones

We started off our final week of site visits in Rome with a day full of Augustan building projects. I happen to love Augustus myself so I was totally happy with everything we did today. We started off at the House of Augustus where we saw some great paintings and looked at the architecture on the Palatine. Then we moved to the Campus Martius which is an area of Rome that Augustus built a lot of buildings on as part of his building program.
 We ended up at the Ara Pacis which was unfortunately closed! Luckily, I've seen it before and the building its housed in (which I think is beautiful itself, although a lot of people hate it, its pictured above) is mostly glass so we could look through it and still talk about it. Then, we went to theMausoleum of Augustus and got to wear hard hats! All in all, it was still a great day.
After that, I went with some of the girls to the Capuchin Crypt, which is this very strange crypt located under a church in which the rooms are decorated with the bones of Capuchin monks. You have to stand in line and make a "donation" but then the lady yelled at us because she said we hadn't made a large enough donation. She said that a 1 euro minimum was required, which I had met, thank you very much! She gave us this whole spiel about missions in Africa and then when we said "we put in more than 1 euro" (b/c it was a basket so you couldn't really tell how much everyone put in) she said "I want to believe you..." Luckily, I'm Presbyterian so that Catholic guilt didn't work on me. Once we got into the crypt it was horrible! It was literally hundreds of bones just taken apart and arranged all over the walls, ceilings and floors of about six rooms to make designs. I left in less than five minutes ( and I considered asking for my "donation" back, I'd rather send it to a mission of my choosing in Africa, for all I know they're using it buy more glue to keep those bones stuck on the walls). Anyhow, I really can't imagine why this is considered an attraction its really morbid. 

After this disgusting detour, I decided to swing by the Colosseum because I had a free entrance ticket that let me bypass the line and there is a special exhibit there for the summer. The exhibit was very nice, but by that time I was exhausted. Dinner tonight is late--9pm--because there is a reception for an art exhibit (which we are not invited to...).


  1. Didn't you get in trouble with the police in Pompeii too? Are you sure you put in the right amount? You look good in yellow.

  2. I too like the Ara Pacis enclosure building. Some 'new' makes a lot of sense with 'old'--especially when 'old' is in less than stellar condition.