After breakfast, I set out to find the Chiostro del Bramante, a religious structure which now houses temporary art exhibitions. “Chagall: Love and Life” is on display from March until July of this year. The Chiostro is located on a quiet street just off of the Piazza Navona. After walking through the Piazza I was able to easily find my way there. I bought a ticket then entered the cafeteria for a cappuccino before touring the collections. I enjoyed the cappuccino on the second floor overlooking the beautiful central courtyard. The bottom floor of columns are heavy and large, whereas the columns on the second floor of the convent appear light and airy.
I collected my audio guide then began touring exhibit, which featured over 140 works by Marc Chagall with commentary and interactive displays. I was first exposed to Chagall at a temporary exhibit in Madrid which gave me a glimpse into the eclectic and colorful style of his work. His paintings are easy to pick out in any museum because of their bright colors, floating people, and symbolic figures placed in odd spots. This exhibit included many of his black and white ink sketches created before the full color works which were interesting to see.
Chagall’s religious influence as expressed in his depictions of Biblical scenes and his childhood as the son of a poor Jew in Russia was also fascinating. Because Chagall is often noted for his paintings of lovers, I never would have seen him as a religious painter. As it turns out, he was skilled in many subject matters and was contracted on several occasions to provide illustrations for books. The museum audio guide provided excellent commentary that was supplemented by printed descriptions next to most of his work. Overall, the curators did an excellent job of educating museum visitors about Chagall’s personal life, inspiration for his works, critiques, and significance of the painter during the Surrealism movement in art. The many multimedia, interactive parts of the museum including videos, movable magnets, a postcard stamping area, and a white screen where you could immerse yourself in a Chagall painting all added to the educational value of the visit.
The Chiostro del Bramante is also famous for the Sibyls fresco executed by Italian painter Raphael around 1515. A window in the Sibyls room allows visitors to gaze down at the masterpiece and two telephones near the window provide a recorded commentary about the work, which has been beautifully restored. Full of color and detail, the Sibyls fresco is said to have provided inspiration for many other painters in Rome at the time.
After my visit to the cloister, I walked to the Cannoleria Siciliana along the Tiber. There is purchased two small cannoli; one hazelnut and one pistacchio to enjoy as an afternoon pick me up.
After a short time at my apartment, I headed out for an afternoon jog. I jogged down the Via Puerto Puertonese in Trastevere until I reached the river, then crossed over and jogged around the Circo Massimo. I think that running in a new city is one of the best ways to get oriented and explore the city! I ran for about 50 minutes then showered and got ready to meet Joey. His shuttle dropped him off at the cafe near our house and we both arrived there around the same time. After he had some time to shower and relax, we walked down Viale Trastevere to a restaurant called Da Augusto in the touristy part of Trastevere. Da Augusto does not receive raving reviews on Tripadvisor, but I had read about it in one of my many books about Rome. On the way there, we stopped into the Basilica of Santa Maria to admire the ceiling and the mosaics which appear to glow. Once at Da Augusto, we ordered “primi” pasta plates and “secondi” meat and fish plates. I got the ravioli, Joey enjoyed the rigatoni. I ordered the cod (baccala) and Joey had chicken with spicy tomatoes. We also got a litre of the house red wine (poured out of a cask) and tiramisu for dessert for 45 Euros. Not a bad price for a full 3 course meal with drinks in this area!
After dinner we walked across the Ponte Sisto to the Campo de Fiori, then took tram 8 back to the apartment. Joey was beginning to fall asleep even though it was only around 10. The jet lag was kicking, so we headed back to get some rest before his first ever day sightseeing in Rome!