Day 3 started at the National Museum of Rome… yawn. I think the Vatican Museum overloaded us with Roman sculptures, and it was hard to get into the ones here. They were nice, just very similar to all the ones we had already seen.
We had a quick look at the sculptures and the old Roman money and then head out to look at some of the churches in the area.
This is the Santa Maria degli Angeli church. It stands where the Baths of Diocletian once stood. In fact the curved brick wall where you enter the church is one of the remains of the ancient bath complex.
The church inside is beautiful. It is the size of a football field and seven stories high.
Next we headed to see the Pantheon. It was originally a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods but early in the middle ages was turned into a Christian church. It is also the final resting place of the artist Raphael and Italy’s first two kings.
Don’t they look like they’re having fun.
The final church we went to look at was the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi. This is the French national church in Rome. This church is well known because the artist Caravaggio helped in the decoration of it. There are three of his wonderful paintings found here; “The Calling of St. Matthew”, “The Inspiration of St. Matthew” and “The Martyrdom of St. Matthew”.
When we arrived in the chruch, there was quite a crowd gathered around to see the paintings, but the corner where the paintings were found was extremely dark making it hard to see them very well. I had read in one of our books, that you can sometimes find a little “vending machine of light” in churches such as these. (You put your money in, and the light around the picutres turn on for a few minutes.) Sure enough there was one that nobody had seemed to notice. We headed over to the box, put our money in, the lights went on, and everyone gasped. They could finally see what they’d come to see.
After torturing the girls with so many churches, it was definitely time to get a gelato.
Just a few more things to see before we’re done here in Rome…
Victor Emmanuel Monument (Italy’s first king)
Trajan’s Market and Imperial Forum
Next stop… Pompeii