10 April 2011

The ecstasy of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome, Italy

Exterior view of the Sistine Chapel - the majesty awaits inside these walls at Vatican City. 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome? Do you dare to be overcome with humility and awe as you stare unto the heavens to decipher the intricate panels that tell the story of man? When I first arrived at the threshold and my eyes wandered into the cavernous chapel and toward heaven, I was breathless. To stand there and gaze upon such magnificence and such glory is quite moving and I was completely awe-struck and astonished by the stirring of emotions within me I don’t think I ever really knew I had. When you experience the majesty of Michelangelo's epic masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine for yourself, you too will be overcome with profound feelings of such intensity.

03 April 2011

The Legend of Laocoön – Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy

Do you know of the legend of Laocoön?  Laocoön was the Trojan priest of Apollo who warned of the Greeks' insidious plot to invade Troy through an ultimate plan of treachery and deception – a "gift" from the gods or as we know now – the fateful Trojan Horse. A fascinating tale told in the "Iliad" of Laocoön's plight to warn to Prium that the Trojan horse was a fraud and trap, and that it should be burned.  Sentenced to death by Athena, Apollo, or Poseidon, [the actual reason and responsible party varies according to legend], Laocoön and his twin sons, Antiphantes and Thymbraeus, were killed by these two coiling serpents that choked the life out of them.

Victor Emmanuel stands tall to welcome visitors to Rome's National Monument of Victor Emmanuel

Standing tall and proud in front of the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II or National Monument of Victor Emmanuel, this equestrian statue carries the first newly-crowned king of a "united" Italy. The monument is known by some as the "Wedding Cake" and is located between Piazza Venezia and Capitoline Hill, just outside the Roman Forum.