[ROME] A NIGHT AT THE VATICAN

Probably the only time you can catch the night scene outside St Peter’s Square is if you spend the night at Vatican City, or if you’re reading this as I’m about to show you a couple of my night scene captures. Outside St Peter’s Basilica on the day we arrived, there was a huge preparation for an important religious mass that would take place the day after, hence in the evening and well into the night, throngs of people gathered outside St Peter’s Square, setting up temporary food stalls and flea-market style cabins showcasing collections of costume jewellery, fine jewellery, art, tourist mementos, souvenirs, little collectibles of Vatican’s finest architecture, and flowers – from fine skinny stalks to big fluffy bouquets. As midnight approached, the crowd thinned, and melancholic street-lamps were just about the only ones creating shadows on the sidewalks. This is Vatican City at night, for you.

P1050128

P1050129

P1050130

P1050132

P1050134

P1050135

P1050136

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] 10 SNAPSHOTS OF VATICAN CITY

Bringing to you a quick showcase of the world’s smallest independent state – all 109 acres (44 hectares) around St. Peter’s Basilica and the palace of the Vatican. In and around are beautifully preserved cultural sites, lush green gardens, and museums which feature some of the world’s most famous sculptures and paintings. Home to architectural inputs of Bramante, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Porta, Maderno and Bernini, its chapels and homes distinctly echoes of Baroque and of the Renaissance.
P1050090 P1050095  P1050099 P1050102 P1050108 P1050109 P1050110 P1050111

St. Peter’s Basilica:

P1040949
P1040889

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] VATICAN CITY – A VIEW FROM THE TOP

The view from the top of Vatican City’s St Peter’s Basilica was exhilarating, breathtaking, and worth the claustrophobia-inducing flight of stairs we had to take to the top. Once in your life, or perhaps through somebody else’s eyes, you should see Vatican City from its proudest heights. Here are some pictures I snapped, enjoy! P1040925 P1050009 P1050005 P1050003 P1050001 P1040990 P1040984 P1040983 P1040971 P1040966 P1040964 P1040961 P1040956 P1040950 P1040949 P1040947 P1040946 P1040944 P1040942 P1040941 P1040940 P1040939 P1040937 P1040935 P1040933 P1040932 P1040930 P1040927

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] ST PETER’S BASILICA

We were both blessed and unlucky to have arrived in Vatican City the day before a huge and important event for the Catholic Church. Many parts of the basilica were closed due to preparations for mass. On the upside, we got to witness the procession which arrived to prep the church up. There were massive tables, grand velvet chairs and draped upholstery.

Due to a 3GB flurry of photographs I’d taken of Vatican City, there was a need to split my posts on St Peter’s Basilica into 4 separate pieces (and more to come!).

In chronological order (previous postings):
[ROME] THE VATICAN CITY
[ROME] INNER TRIMMINGS OF THE VATICAN CITY
[ROME] LIVING, BREATHING ART

P1040890

P1040892

P1040894

P1040895

P1040897

P1040898

Body of a great matyr
P1040899

P1040900

P1040901

P1040902

P1040903

P1040904

P1040905

P1040906

P1040907

P1040909

P1040911

P1040916

P1040920

P1040921

P1040923

P1040924

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] LIVING, BREATHING ART

Ancient art, very much still alive today. The pure gold in reflecting sun’s rays ignites a sense of silent power that only a calm basilica would bring. Mass in this majestic interior must have been a truly empowering and significant event. Am amazed at how this Panasonic Lumix GF6 of mine was able to capture this beauty in all its stunning glory.

P1040856 P1040889 P1040888 P1040887 P1040886 P1040884 P1040881 P1040878 P1040876 P1040875 P1040874 P1040873 P1040872 P1040871 P1040870 P1040869 P1040868 P1040867 P1040866 P1040864 P1040861 P1040858

 

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] INNER TRIMMINGS OF THE VATICAN CITY

Be amazed at what human beings have achieved. Some dedicate their lives to creating art – intricate gold and bronze details adorn every inch of the ceiling at the St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. How did they get there, you ask. How did the people of the past achieve incredible feats like these. Patience, loads and loads of personal devotion to their craft. In short, people lived and breathed their art.

P1040824

P1040825

P1040826

P1040827

P1040828

P1040829

P1040830

P1040831

P1040837

P1040841

P1040844

[ROME] THE VATICAN CITY

We arrived, early summer morning, at the smallest internationally recognised independent state in the world! Dan Brown aficionados would undoubtedly link Vatican City to Angels and Demons, in which our all-time favourite Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon fights to stop the Illuminati from destroying Vatican City with the newly discovered antimatter. I loved every sequel, but Angels and Demons is by far my favourite Langdon novel. I was extremely psyched about seeing the Vatican with my own eyes!

The exterior was breathtaking – the pristine white columns, striking obelisk, and hordes of tourists snapping photos at every single picture-worthy monument. Summer is the best time for touring Rome. Sharing some of them lovely shots I took outside of the Basilica. Enjoy!

Vatican City P1040803 P1040805 P1040808 P1040809 P1040811 P1040812 P1040815 P1040817 P1040819 Vatican P1040821 P1040822 P1040823

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] GRAN CAFFE ROMA

Breakfast was pepperoni and salami pizza at the Gran Caffe Roma via Vittorio Veneto in Rome, Italy. Alfresco dining in the morning summer breeze gave us plenty of room for people-watching, which brings me to remembering the blatant stares we’d throughout our journey received from patrons of pavement cafes and restaurants. Sometimes I wonder if we’re the first Asian species that these people are seeing. We too have 2 eyes, a nose and a mouth, no? The cafe interior was lovely, the servers were surly (clearly not morning people) and for an Italian joint the food bland and disappointing. Coffee, though, was the only yummy thing. Nonetheless the pizza, beef lasagna and bacon&cheese sandwich managed to satiate our ginormous need for carbs.

P1040790

P1040791

P1040792

P1040793

P1040794

P1040795

P1040796

P1040797

P1040798

P1040799

P1040800

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] THE COLOSSEUM

Rome was not built in a day. Pardon the cliche but it’s all I could think about right here and right now. The Colosseum is the icon of Roman masculinity being the site of many heroic battles fought within its colossal proportions. I’ve had the nagging suspicion that the Colosseum’s root word comes from Colossus, the legendary bronze statues of Helios at Rhodes, to complement it’s majestic size. I can’t help but imagine the sheer amount of bravery it must have took for gladiators to step onto that battle arena, knowing that this could jolly well be their last fight. I’ve also in my mind’s eye likened the battlefield to the modern day World Cup stadium. It’s just as grand, and it takes every amount of courage and pride a soccer player could possibly muster just to step onto a soccer field – all in the name of glory.

P1040638

P1040639

P1040640

P1040646

P1040649

P1040668

P1040671

P1040676

P1040677

P1040678

P1040679

P1040680

P1040682

P1040683

P1040684

P1040685

P1040686

P1040694

P1040695

P1040696

P1040697

P1040702

P1040703

P1040704

P1040705

P1040706

P1040707

P1040708

P1040709

P1040717

P1040718

P1040719

P1040722

P1040737

P1040740

P1040742

P1040743

P1040751

P1040752

P1040754

P1040755

P1040761

P1040762

P1040764

P1040766

P1040767

P1040769

P1040782

P1040783

P1040786

P1040787

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] IN ALL ITS RUINED BEAUTY

What everyone should love about Rome: its historic ruins and scatters of exquisite shambles. Much of this city appears discarded – as if picked apart by fickle historians and deemed unworthy of more than an afterthought. Centuries of time gone by lay preserved in these archived sites, untouched by restoration, that are as common in central Rome as trees are in Hyde Park. Charmed by relics as old as the gladiators, we stopped to appreciate a seemingly forgotten piece of land. Sometimes we forget how beautiful things are, if we just let them be.

P1040612

P1040613

P1040614

P1040616

P1040617

P1040618

P1040619P1040620

P1040621

P1040623

P1040624

P1040625

P1040626

P1040627

P1040629

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] PIAZZA DEL POPOLO

Flanked by the Via Flaminia, Piazza del Popolo was an important entry point to Rome’s city centre for travellers entering the city via the Adriatic Coast. Today, the piazza still hums with a steady stream of travellers eager to check this off their travel itinerary. We took mandatory shots with Rome’s iconic obelisk which was initially erected to commemorate the conquest of Egypt, thereafter in 1815 the renowned Giuseppe Valadier redesigned by adding walls around the square, giving the piazza its current oval shape. The piazza’s church, Santa Maria del Popolo, located near the Porta del Popolo, contains many impressive works of art, including Rome’s oldest stained-glass windows and two famous paintings by Caravaggio.

20140727-155212-57132625.jpg

20140727-155209-57129548.jpg

20140727-155211-57131867.jpg

20140727-155211-57131109.jpg

20140727-155207-57127996.jpg

20140727-155208-57128792.jpg

20140727-155210-57130328.jpg

So much beauty and history in one place!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] THE SPANISH STEPS

We took the best part of an hour to conquer the celebrated Piazza di Spagna, otherwise more fondly known as the Spanish Steps, which rises up towards the Church of Trinità dei Monti. Summer was shrouding us all in killer heatwaves. Nevertheless we managed to revel in the refined, eighteenth century atmosphere, once home to reknowned English poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

20140727-155528-57328731.jpg

20140727-155533-57333516.jpg

20140727-155535-57335491.jpg

20140727-155531-57331175.jpg

20140727-155529-57329550.jpg

Some college dude tried to breakdance. 20140727-155530-57330360.jpg

20140727-155534-57334557.jpg

The shots would have turned out better if the backdrop wasn’t marred by construction in progress! But still, been there, done that. Spanish Steps – checked!

Security in these tourists areas: military personnel everywhere.
20140727-155531-57331977.jpg

Piazza di Spagna (The Spanish Steps)

[ROME] THE PANTHEON

Let there be light! Through this massively gaping hole, summer was infiltrating the cool granite dome. Indeed, you haven’t seen Rome if you’ve never been to the Pantheon. This gaping hole right at the center of the majestic relic is what we call the oculus at the dome’s apex, which allows the only natural sources of light into the Pantheon. In a reverse sundial effect, light coming from the oculus moves around the interior of the grand space.

Whilst a large part of Rome still lay in ruins, the Pantheon is one of the best preserved and well-restored relics from the ancient times. Since the Renaissance the Pantheon has been used as a tomb, with two kings of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as Umberto’s Queen, Margherita, buried in the precinct. Famed painters Raphael Sanzio da Urbino and Annibale Carracci, composer Arcangelo Corelli, and architect Baldassare Peruzzi are also amongst those who would rest eternally within the dome, which in the present day is being used as a church, for weddings as well as masses.

20140727-154806-56886026.jpg

 

The Pantheon is circular with a portico of 16 large granite Corinthian columns. Two thousand years after its existence came into being, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. Impressive, isn’t it?

20140727-154807-56887683.jpg

20140727-154809-56889245.jpg

20140727-154811-56891549.jpg

20140727-154810-56890026.jpg

20140727-154812-56892312.jpg

20140727-154806-56886860.jpg

20140727-154808-56888493.jpg

20140727-154813-56893890.jpg

20140727-154810-56890791.jpg

20140727-154815-56895469.jpg

20140727-154816-56896303.jpg

20140727-154814-56894680.jpg

20140727-154813-56893083.jpg

20140727-154915-56955097.jpg

20140727-154913-56953507.jpg

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] PIAZZA NAVONA

Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651), topped by the Obelisk of Domitian, brought to Rome in pieces from the Circus of Maxentius. Still pretty much awed by the beauty that lay in ruins all over Rome, scattered amongst the masterpieces that bring in the bulk of the country’s capital in tourism. This is Piazza Navona as seen through our eyes and captured with devices that will never bring out its maximum aesthetic capacity.
20140727-154028-56428199.jpg

20140727-154029-56429955.jpg

20140727-154033-56433678.jpg

20140727-154032-56432662.jpg

20140727-154029-56429017.jpg

20140727-154031-56431806.jpg

20140727-154026-56426527.jpg

20140727-154027-56427373.jpg

20140727-154030-56430868.jpg

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ITALY] When in Rome…

Do as the Romans do!
Arrivederci
20140701-035436-14076266.jpg

We found our way to the Vatican City and it was amazing. It’s like living the Dan Brown/Robert Langdon dream! Every minute spent walking along the ancient grounds was a sacred moment for devout Catholics, and a fangirl moment for anybody who loves Dan Brown’s works.

I love Rome, enough said.
20140701-035437-14077227.jpg

More pictures to come! I’m just too tired to write anything else. I spent 2 hours unpacking from Rome and then packing for Seoul, before getting on an evening flight into Incheon, and hence am spending the night at the airport.

Everybody needs to do crazy things in their 20s.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean