Friday, December 27, 2013

Day 26- Palazzo Colonna

Day 26- Rest day (sort of)

Today we started out with a bang- we got to meet up with Carolina d'Ayala Valva, who will be coming to my studio in October to teach a class in grottesca using egg tempera. Really great to finally meet her in person- we've been Facebook friends for some time now. She took us to a wonderful old bakery nearby where we sampled some killer pastries, then she showed us a sample of what she will be doing for the class. Very exciting! If anyone reading this is considering coming to it (or even if you're just learning about it now,) I guarantee this will be an amazing class. The sample is gorgeous, and it will be a technique very few people have used. 

Window display at the panificcio

Carolina also shared with us that she has been contacted by the owners of Zuber wallpapers to create a 12 meter long panoramic paper for them. This is a gigantic honor in case you don't know! Zuber is one of the oldest French paper printers, and their panoramic papers are in the finest homes in the world, including the White House. They have given her carte blanche to create this new paper. I am quite jealous!! 

Nice bit of grottesca ornamental panel from Carolina d'Ayala Valva

Carolina also directed us to the Palazzo Colonna, an old house very near the center of town that has a very good painting collection, including a great Carracci of a guy eating a bowl of beans, which was a very uncommon thing to paint in the 16th century. My camera ran out of battery near the end of our tour, so we hiked back up the hill to the hovel to eat some lunch, then we kind of had quiet time as is the practice around these parts. Another late afternoon thunder shower brought some welcome relief from the heat, which has been building the last few days. 

Main hall of the Palazzo Colonna, in the heart of Rome.

After the weather cleared up we headed back down to the Pantheon and S Maria sopra Minerva, both about to close, then wandered until we found Dolci Nonna Vicenza, where they make amazing canolli, which we partook of, slowly meandering back up the hill as the dusk fell and the shadows lengthened.

Delicious Sicilian style cannolli

We will be leaving the Casa del Formaggio tomorrow without regrets, heading down to Pompeii, Oplontis, and Herculaneum. I'm psyched, although there's still so much we'd like to see in Roma. We met a nice young couple today at the pastry shop, and they said they'd been here two months and were just beginning to feel like they'd seen all the sights, though they hadn't yet heard of the Villa Torlonia! So my guess is you could be here quite some time before it got routine. In my case, probably forever!

Badly designed Molotov cocktail recipe!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Day 25- Vaticano!

Started the day with a fabulous visit to the lovely local laundromat, where we paid the ridiculous sum of around $30 for the privilege of washing our own clothes in their machines! Really! The only upside was that they had an issue of Q magazine from earlier this spring that had a bunch of good articles on David Bowie. So at least I was entertained. 

Bronze pine cone in the Belvedere of the Vatican museums is from Roman times.

After that much excitement, it was hard to get motivated for anything else, but we finally settled on going to see the Vatican Museums, since it was on our subway line. Just kidding- one of my favorite museums in the world, mostly because they dispense with all that boring stuff hung on the walls and just cut to the stuff painted right on the walls (and the ceilings, and the furniture, and the clothing). Of course, they do make you walk through about 10 galleries of "modern" art on the way to the Sistine, but that must be some of the loneliest art in the world- nobody stops to actually look at it. (there is a lovely little Odilon Redon drawing in one of the rooms, sadly neglected. I'll take it if no one else wants it!)
Hall of Hairdos. I love how the Italians get so excited about "repatriating" some statue or another from foreign museums (mostly the Getty here in LA) but when they get one that had its own room at the Getty, it's like "Put it over there on that shelf with the 450 others." Pass the duster please!

Anyways, we went down there around two pm and walked right in with no line. We had been told about a night time session on Friday nights that's supposed to be less crowded, but I'm glad we went during the day, since their artificial lighting is not so good, and I'm all about the photos, as you might have guessed. It was a bit crowded, especially in the first few halls, and especially since they are doing work in a couple of the big hallways which compresses the space further. 

"Scuse me- could you all just step aside so I can take my photos please?"

They have also added a ton of merchandising since I was here last time 6 years ago. Book counters were everywhere, adding to the congestion. I can just see some marketing fiend saying "You are missing a big income source here fellows! You gotta sell it to them before they get outside the place!" YUCK! Resin castings of classical sculptures are really awful, will be impossible to get home, and will be totally ignored once there. Most people are just trying to get into the Sistine while they are in there, and totally glide past the amazing creativity of halls like the Cartografiche and Raphael's Stanze.

Even behind a cash register, the ornament in the Hall of Maps is incredible!

But not me! I'm like that stick poking up in the river- all the flowing flotsam has to get around me one way or another as I steady my camera on the door frame or bannister of the staircase to take a detail shot of the amazing ornament on the walls and ceilings. Tough. The Hall of Maps (Cartografiche) was half draped with a scaffold, but it is still incredible- all 400 feet of it! About an hour into our visit we decided to get a snack downstairs, so we traversed that hall 3 times, including once against the flow (ever feel like a salmon?) The amount of traffic through there is phenomenal- I can well imagine them curtailing it for preservation reasons before too long- get it while it's good!

Flourish on the wall in the Hall of Maps with a Barberini Bee.

The Raphael rooms are impressive- some day I'll figure out how to visit the loggia, but til then these will have to suffice. His creativity in dealing with the same groin vaulted space in four different treatments is remarkable. There were also a couple rooms by Pinturricchio that were like a pleasant eddy that nobody went in. They had original tiled floors and a noticeably quieter feeling. These were the Borgia apartments, made for the not so nice Pope Alexander VI.

Pinturricchio ceiling in the Borgia Apartments was one of the earliest grottesca paintings in the Vatican. Painted in 1493

We did finally get to the Sistine Chapel, and it is worth all the press. I'm one of those who was all for the cleaning process, especially now that you can see the little patches that they left uncleaned. Michelangelo's way with color was as impressive as his way with form, in my opinion. The colors of the Libyan Sibyl just glow in a way that nobody else at that time was doing- at least not in fresco. He was also an obsessive experimenter with his colors. The green fabrics in the ceiling are never treated the same way twice. Here he uses a purple highlight; there it's pink, here the shadows are blue, there red. And the lower murals are also great, though they are merely decorations next to Michelangelo's work above. How I envy the job of the restoration people on that job! I would love to be face to face with one of those giant figures (for a little while- I guess I don't really envy them being there for months on end, cleaning a two foot patch with a sable brush and cotton swabs. 

These figures by Michelangelo are probably some of the most copied panels in the decorative world.

Damn! I'm really getting verbose! It's all your guys fault, saying you like reading it! 

Made our way home via the Piazza del Popolo, then up to the edge of the Borghese gardens at sunset. We have caught so many amazing natural lights on this trip. Also high point vantages around Rome! Fun getting a more solid feeling for the layout of the town. Went down the Spanish Steps and wondered why every city in the US doesn't have a space like that- a place that's just fun to hang around in when you don't know where you want to go. Also a great place to meet people: ones you know and ones you don't. 
The remarkable Spanish Steps in front of the Church of Santa Trinita dei Monti.

Finally went by the Trevi Fountain, which was overflowing with tourists and eager photo sellers. Not my cup of tea, but we did throw in a coin to make sure we can come back again. Made it back to the Casa della Stinche for our repast and catching up with internet. Need to turn in now so that we can meet our friend Carolina tomorrow morning for coffee.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Palazzo Vecchio photos up on

Just uploaded 126 new photos of (mostly) the interior ornamental painting at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, taken in June 2013. Enjoy it here


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 24- Rome

Day 24- (originally posted on my facebook account July 5th)

Still in the hovel, but yesterday out by the Villa Torlonia we picked a gardenia and left it in the room so it's a bit better now- more like a subtle mix of clove cigarettes and black mold. 

Marianne holding her favorite flower- a Gardenia. 

I don't even really care though, because we spend the vast majority of our time out and about, though I wouldn't mind a bed that didn't leave splinters in me every time I roll over! Hard as a 500 year old walnut plank!

I love the way you just stumble upon these little vignettes of courtyards seen from the street.

Headed down to Trastevere this morning (we're starting to get this public transport thing wired now, buses included) to see another superstar palazzo from the Renaissance, the Villa Farnesina. Built in 1510 for the Chigi family (the Farnese bought it later), it was decorated by a crew of artists including Raphael, Giulio Romano, B. Peruzzi, il Sodoma, and others. It was built as a kind of party pad on the other side of the river from town, and the decoration reflects that. Lot of randy myths and satisfied satyrs. While it's definitely grand, it's a bit more human scaled than a lot of the ridiculously gigantic palazzi and villas that we've seen. It has a very pretty garden too. 

Little hidden message in the garland border of Raphael's fresco of Psyche. The house was built as a getaway for playtime,  get it?

Trotted across the street to check out a small art collection at the Palazzo Corsini, which is home to the Accademia Lincei, a scientific university that includes Galileo Galilei among its alumni. The collection is housed in some fun neo-classical rooms and I had fun dodging the photo police. It's getting to be a game, and i'm getting good at it! Only got yelled at once today, at the Castel Sant'Angelo.

Trompe l'oeil panel under the windows at the Palazzo Corsini.

We did stop to eat some lunch before launching into number three. I have to give Marianne her due here- she has been a trooper keeping up with me on my never-ending quest for imagery. I know i'm totally OCD about it, and it definitely motivates me to keep going every day here, though I do try to be flexible about stopping to look at other things and water/food/gelato. Her feet have been getting sore from all the walking we do, but she's getting through it and seems to enjoy my enthusiasm and commentary. Or she's good at faking it.

Academy of the history of the Sanitary Arts (?) (Actually, it's about healthcare)

So, on to number three, the tomb of Hadrian, which was converted to a Papal getaway in the 14th century. I was again playing keepaway from the photo cops here, but it was really worth it, as there were a number of beautifully painted rooms with all kinds of ornamental decoration of very high quality. Between them were all kinds of little views of town, culminating in a rooftop terrace that was breezy and had great views almost 360°. The architectural elements of the castle looking down from above seem like they might have inspired movies like Lord of the Rings- lots of curving and concentric walls at crazy angles with crenellations around the outside.

Looking down from the Castel Sant'Angelo- looks like MC Escher might have visited this before he made his crazy monks' staircase.

Our last planned stop for the day was the Palazzo Altemps, a fifteenth century house just north of the Piazza Navona. It houses a good collection of antique sculptures, but of course mostly I was looking at the walls, and I wasn't disappointed. The real highlight is the loggia, a porch open to the courtyard that has a really nice trellis with detailed birds painted all over it. My only mistake was in dawdling on my way there, because I missed being able to chat with someone who was up there doing paint restoration on a scaffold. i just assumed she would be cordoned off from the public, but when I got up there, it was all open. Unfortunately she had disappeared already.

Wish I had been able to chat to this gal about the restoration work she was doing at the Palazzo Altemps.

Walked down through the Piazza Navona with a gelato (limone) and stopped in to check out the fabulous baroque church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, started by the Rainaldis (father and son) in 1652, then given to Carlo Borromini, and finally returned to Rainaldi Jr. in 1668 to finish. It's a swoopy collection of straight lines and curves that makes it feel like it's waltzing through the piazza, and it's interior continues that dancing feel with a golden dome that lets streaming light illuminate the multi-colored marble interior, clad with a number of flowing figural sculpture panels as well. Poor little Agnes' skull is in a glass box in the back for gawking tourists (like us) to wonder at. BTW- the "Agone" part of the name does not refer to her agony at being martyred but rather is the archaic name from which Navona is derived.

Swoopy interior of Sant'Agnese in Agone. Or maybe I was just hungry.

Starting to rain as we took the bus back up the hill to the hovel; when we got out by Termini there was a pretty rainbow, followed by a summer deluge. We waited it out by shopping for groceries in the station, then came back here and did our campout meal in the room.

Cinematic shower at the end of the day! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 23- Froth of July!

(Originally posted on my facebook page on July 4, 2013)

Happy Fourth of July!

Yesterday began with a trip to the Forum and the Palatine hill, which is where the emperors mostly lived. A lot of brick work to look at, but there's a good small museum with bits of sculpture and fresco and info about the Etruscan settlements here that predated the Romans. 

Seriously? Braided pubic hair?

Wandered around out in the heat looking for some of the underground stuff I knew was there but still found difficult to find. Finally located the Casa di Augusto, the only one of four that was open. It isn't a big space, (the Casa di Livia right above it is much larger, but it was closed) but the ornamental panels there are on a par with the work at the Villa della Farnesina. Very fine work! Also had a chatty Italian guard who saw the Bowie t-shirt I had on and gave his approval, then asked if i liked Al Stewart. "Year of de Cat"? One of his favorites! I love little moments like that. 

Interior of one of the rooms in the House of Augustus.  Masterful trompe l'oeil work!

So we strolled down through the rest of the Forum, which really needs some better signage of what the reconstructions look like so that people would have a better idea of what they are looking at (very glad that I have done so much research- makes it a lot more fun to look at the ruins and imagine what was there before.)
From the middle of the Roman Forum looking toward the Arch of Septimus Severus and the Tabularium behind it. Until the 19th century this area was buried under 20 feet of dirt and debris.

We the decided to jump up to the Villa Torlonia, a bit off the beaten tourist path to the north. Took the Metro, which is very like the NY subway- dirty and covered in graffiti, but efficient. Villa Torlonia is in a little park with about 8 buildings built by its owners, including a theater, a museum, and various follies. It's a neo classical assemblage, begun in 1808. At one point it was occupied by Mussolini, and then the Allied Command, and then it fell into disrepair in the post war years. It has been in the process of restoration for about 20 years, with the main house almost complete, and it is a gem! Very high quality decorative painting through 2 floors of the house in all kinds of revivalist styles, with marble, mosaic floors, scagliola, gold, all looking very nice. They also have good documentation of the restoration process. Really fun visit.

The quality (and density!) of decorative work at the Villa Torlonia is truly stunning. 

On our way there, the neighborhood architecture made me remember something I had seen earlier online- a crazy little Disney neighborhood called the Quartiere Coppede (you can look it up on Italian Wikipedia if you like) Not too far away and it was a really fun tour of wacky exteriors done in a mish mash of styles.

Quartiere Coppede. Eclecticism at its best!

Back to town to meet our friends Darius and Erica for a delicious dinner in Trastevere right around the corner from the place we stayed last time we were here 6 years ago. Got the requisite gelati afterwards and made our way back to the casa de stinko, which is becoming like home....not!

Walking across the Tiber at dusk. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 22- Ahhhh Roma!

(Originally posted on July 3rd on my facebook page.)

day 20-something (I forget)

Try to get in a quick one from the hotel lobby, since our room wi-fi is a bit spotty. After a lot of soul, er...web, searching, we decided to stay in our lil' stinky room near S. Maria Maggiore. it's a very convenient spot for setting out for any part of the city, and the weather is great so we can leave the windows open. 

One of my very favorite Roman era frescos from the Villa della Farnesina.  I used the frieze as a model for part of a room I did a few years ago.

First thing today we headed over to the Palazzo Massimo, which has the creme de la creme of antique Roman artifacts and especially, drum roll please, fresco murals from the Villa della Farnesina, an all time high in wall decoration that was dug up from the back yard of the Villa Farnesina (Raphael's decoration) on the banks of the Tiber. Excellent way to start the day!

The Baths of Diocletian were turned into a church by Michelangelo, who wisely preserved the original arched windows, which have been copied many times over including at Grand Central Station in New York.

We got some picnic supplies and ate in a little parklet across the street from the S. Maria degli Angeli, which is built in the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian, converted to a church by Michelangelo. After we walked through those spaces, which also inspired Penn Central and Grand Central stations in New York, we walked down to the Capitoline Museums, another Michelangelo remodel. Great collection of various stuff in a gorgeous setting, and we had a coffee there on the terrace, which gives a fine view of town looking west. Funny how when you can see the landscape without the buildings in the way, it seems smaller. Kind of like when you look at the foundations of a house it always seems smaller than when it is built.
Michelangelo created these crazy Ionic capitals for the Campidoglio buildings.  They are so cartoony, both in shape and in the faces he used as fleurons.

The foundations of the archaic Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus have been enclosed in the museum now, and it includes some good displays on the early settlement of the Capitoline hill. Really amazing to walk on paving that was in place 2500 years ago!

Artist's rendering of the Capitoline hill when the Temple of Jupiter Optimus was built- 500 BCE.

Those museums connect to the Tabularium, a space under the Palazzo Senatorio, that was a treasury of sorts (and later a prison) but has a fab view of the Forum from above and behind. It also has a section of the entablature of the Temple of Vespasian, which is probably the most detailed ornamental stone work anywhere in the world. Really cool to see it up close.

Unbelievably fine sculpting of the entablature which once graced the top of the Temple of Vespasian in the Roman Forum, now protected in the basement of the Palazzo Senatorio. How they were able to do work this fine on a large temple is beyond me. 

As the sun was getting low, we decided to walk to a Tibetan restaurant Marianne had read about. Went past the Colosseum at dusk, past the park where the Domus Aurea (closed because of water problems) and then up to the very pleasant Via Merulana where we had a great vegetarian meal. 

Beer shrine in the Tibetan restaurant.

Back to the hotel, with gelati of course! It seemed like they had done something to alleviate the stench of the first day. Like I say, a fine cheese! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Duomo di Ferrara 2013

Just posted a new set of photos from the Duomo di Ferrara, which has some very nice grisaille work inside and some good marble reference shots. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Photos of Caffe Florian in Venice

Just posted a nice new set of photos of the Caffe Florian in Venice today on Flickr (link here)

Caffe Florian opened its doors in 1720, making it one of the oldest coffee houses in all of Europe. It is located on the Piazza San Marco, on the ground floor below the Museo Correr. Its many rooms are painted on walls and ceilings with some very nice ornamental work, mostly from the 19th century. They don't mind if you poke your head in to look around and take a photo or two, though its worth the price of a (12 Euro!) coffee to sit where Lord Byron, Casanova, Goethe and Marcel Proust have all sat and sipped.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Villa Valmarana ai Nani photoset up on Flickr!

New set of photos up from the Villa Valmarana ai Nani, a lovely retreat outside Vicenza that features fresco work by Giambattista Tiepolo and his son Giandomenico, each with their own style. Giambattista was more drawn to mythological subjects and a grand style, whereas Giandomenico was more about genre subjects and exotic locales. Both very talented artists, but father was probably a bit superior in his inventions. Giandomenico did many studies and drawings, and he has a curious wandering line that I happen to like also. For more  words on the day I took the photos, go here.

Detail of a dog from Giambattista Tiepolo's fresco in the main house. For the rest of the photo set, click here

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Museo Correr photo set up on Flickr

Just posted a big old hunk of photos of the Museo Correr in Venice today. 137 High Res shots of mostly the interiors. Had to be sneaky or there would have been a lot more!

Ornamental detail from the Coffee Shop area.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 21- Rocky Road to Rome

(originally posted on facebook 7/1/13)

I guess we're having a little hotel karma today- after all these great ones we landed in a stinker in Rome. The location's not bad, it's nice and quiet and near the train station, which means it is very central to everything, but it literally stinks. Cigarettes and sewer gas, mmmmm... We're trying to figure out if it's worth moving or just buy some incense. Or take up smoking.

 After checking in here we decided to go down to the Forum (start from the bottom up). But of course we immediately sidetracked into the Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome's oldest church dedicated to Mary, the core of which was built in 431 using columns that were salvaged from an even older Roman building. Amazing how even after all the great stuff we've seen for the last 3 weeks, this is yet another level.

Beautiful marbles in the area below the altar at Santa Maria Maggiore

We cruised down the dirty and urban Ave Cavour to the Forum area, where there was some kind of demonstration going on with riot police at the ready and loudspeakers blaring. Nevertheless, managed to take in a bit of Trajan's Forum and the marketplace behind it, and then to be dazzled by the ever so imperial Vittoriano Monument, which pretty much defines the word monumental, being a very large pile of bronze, gilding, and white marble statuary right in the middle of Rome.
Confrontation between paraders for immigrant rights vs polizia in front of the Vittorio Emmanuele monument. All ended peacefully, thankfully.
We then wiggled our way by the Teatro Marcellus and the Porta Ottaviana to the Campo dei Fiori area to go to our friends Darius and Erica's house where we outlined some possible visits for the next few days. Then a nice evening walk back to our smelly little hovel, where I drew for a while and Marianne searched for an alternate location.

The Great Temple of Rome, down near the Tiber, was built in 1904 on the site of the former Ghetto of Rome.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 20 - Orvieto!

Day 20! - Orvieto

Loads of great surprises today. From our palatial little condo we headed out to check out the Orvieto Underground tour first thing. First thing being around noon today! The underground tour was fascinating- led by a young German musician who had a passion for his subject that someone who grew up here might not. There are over 1200 caves under Orvieto, which is on a built on a a big plug of fairly soft volcanic tufa that's easy to carve out. Some of them go back to Etruscan times (before 500 BC). They were used for all kinds of things, except actually living in them- they're too cold and damp.

These were dove nests dug into the tufa under the  city. In hard times they could eat both the eggs and the birds. Cheaper than chickens since they go get their own food. The stairs went up to the owners quarters.

We then got into more Etruscan stuff in a whole variety of little museums near the Duomo. In the Archeological Museum, we were having fun looking at various artifacts that had been dug up in the Necropolis that's just outside the walls of the town, when a curator beckoned us to come with her and flipped the lights on in two rooms of original Etruscan frescoes that had been moved there from another site. WOW- I just wish I'd been able to take some photos. They were far beyond anything I thought of as Etruscan in their sophistication. Elegant figures and scenes of a feast in a triclinium (Roman era dining room). Very cool!

Lots of Etruscan terra cotta artifacts in the museums- including several gorgon heads like this. This would have been on the peak of the roof to ward off evil spirits. About 500 BC

Hopped upstairs to another museum (these were all pretty empty- seems the tourists only know about the Duomo and the gelateria) and saw some great bits that had been removed from the church over the years and replaced with copies. Cool to see these up close and personal, also a great black and white room by Luca Signorelli (?). 

Little fun poked at the choir director? 

Went through the sottopassagio (underpass) of the rear of the cathedral, which is full of the antique tools used for repairs and some bits and pieces of things to be worked on, including a pair of 40 foot high doors (amazing when you see these lying on their sides!) Finally entered the main cathedral from the side aisle, and, just as we do in all of these monstrous spaces, we gasped. 

Organ in the Duomo. Half expect to see ghosts emerging from the pipes as they are played!
This one is very similar to the Siena Duomo in the use of alternating bands of dark green and white stone, plus it has two amazing alae (side wings). One side is painted in the 1350's, the other side was begun by Fra Angelico in 1447, and later finished by Luca Signorelli starting in 1499. I had forgotten that this exquisite work is here- it's one of my favorite pieces of ornamental art (and the murals aren't bad either!) 

Awesome grottesca work by Luca Signorelli in the Orvieto Duomo

At this point Marianne was about to pass out (I don't know how she keeps up with me- I am truly obsessive about this stuff in a way that no human should be) so we headed back to our luxicon for some snacks. Decided to head out again around 5 so we went to the other Archeological museum (gotta love a town of 6,000 residents that has more than one archeological museum!) Man was I glad we did!! Besides having an outstanding collection of more Etruscan pottery and artifacts, it was also set in a killer neo-classical painted palazzo directly across from the Duomo. Totally unexpected treat!

The Faina museum has great Etruscan art set in a gorgeous neo-classical palazzo

We stayed there til it closed, then moseyed over (most everything in this town is within about a 2 block radius) to the Torre del Moro, a clocktower in the middle of town. Climbed up and got a great view of the town and the surrounding countryside, aided by the fact that Orvieto is on a very high plateau so you really see a long way. It was getting later (6 pm to be precise- which I know because the bell went off right next to us- practically jumped over the parapet it was so loud!) We thought about how many different costumes you might have seen looking down from that tower over the years since it was built in the 13th century.

on top of the Torre del Moro

Wow- this post is getting really long, but you said you liked it! 

Ok- here's the frosting on the cake, and then I'll shut up. After the tower, we walked down the main street to check out the opera theater, which we had seen signs for. The lobby looked really promising, with ornament that looked a lot like the stuff at the neo-classical palazzo we'd been in earlier. Paid the two euro to visit and the disinterested barmaid sort of said- "it's over there, help yourselves" (of course she said it in Italian, so it sounded much more romantic, but bored nonetheless.) We had the place totally to ourselves and discovered not only a great main ceiling and stage curtain, but also 3 or 4 banquet rooms that were spectacularly painted with all kinds of fabulous ornament. Yet another unexpected dazzler.

Spectacular interior of the Teatro Mancinelli

440 new pics today, that should be enough. See ya! 

PS- in case you can't get enough of this stuff (you must be really bored at work!) I'll probably post another one just about the art over on art+works.