2010

1. You can transport small trees or shrubbery with ease.

Why I Need a Vespa Ape

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

 
The Madonna di San Luca sits outside the city of Bologna on Monte della Guardia. The church houses an image of the Madonna and Child attributed to St. Luke with miraculous powers which have made it a significant pilgrimage site. The church is joined to the city by an arcade composed of 666 arches stretching from the city gate out of the city, over the road and up the mountain. The arcade provides shelter for pilgrims and protection for the relic on its annual procession down into Bologna. The reasoning behind the peculiar number of arches is said to be an attempt protect the relic on its journey by beating the Devil at his own game. The arcade, gate and church were all designed by Carlo Francesco Dotti and built between 1674 and 1793. Sections of the arcade between the city gate and the pilgrim bridge now support five story buildings along what one hundred years ago would have been farmland, and since the builders seemed to have been more concerned with quantity than quality some of the arches list at disturbing angles. The walk to the top is quite a hike especially since each arch is numbered, reminding you how few arches you have passed.
 The beginning of the Portico di San Luca leading out of the city
The gate of the city facing the arcade

 The arcade stretching out to the fantastic gate and bridge over the road
 The gate from the inside
 View of the gate from the countryside. The pilgrim route climbs up a set of stairs, over the road and around the curve of the left wing of the gate and then up the mountain
The arcade stretching up the steep mountain
 Looking back down the arcade
 
The central portico of the church
The altar
The Madonna of St. Luke
An aerial view of the church and arcade
A great gypsy manouche band (Tolga During) performing  in Piazza Maggiore in front of the cathedral


 Looking down from the Silver Age to the Golden Age of human Invention
 The famous Water Chain

 The table of water in the Silver Age
 The back door of the right pavilion


Looking down the Via Barozzi to the old borgo of Bagnaia

Chancel arch, Palladio's Santissimo Redentore, Venice.

Il Redentore

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Process drawings for a palazzo and piazza in front of S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini, Rome.
 
A plan and panoramic view showing the existing conditions and the views down Via Paula (to the Ponte S. Angelo) and the Via del Consulato (to Sansovino's Zecca) from left to right.
The piano nobile and piazza with S. Giovanni's facade plan
Main facade
Longitudinal section
S. Giovanni's Facade

Built in 1637 by the Bolognese architect Antonio Paolucci, detto Levanti, the theater is constructed of fir and was designed to provide a space for the study of the anatomy of the human body. A cello-shaped marble slab in the center of the room would have supported the specimen, while benches rising in three rows around the room allowed medical students to view the procedure. 
 
The professor lectured students from a baldaquin supported by slightly disturbing flayed telamons at the rear of the room while an assistant performed the operation. The theater is surrounded by sculptures of great physicians from history including Galan, Hippocrates and the Bolognese Gaspare Tagliacozzi depicted holding a human nose (in the corner by the window below).

Medicine in the 17th century revolved around the belief that the body was composed of a harmony of separate humours. If these humours became imbalanced, the body, like a musical instrument, would fall out of tune.
Medicine was seen as a retuning of the harmony of the body, depending not only on the conditions of the case, such as air, water and specific circumstances, but on the celestial music of the heavens. Thus, the complex astrological information surrounding a patient's birth could directly influence his cure. The astrological signs are depicted above the theater in the coffers of the ceiling surrounding Apollo the god of healing.

The Villa Rotunda from S. Maria di Monte Berico in early morning.
 
A section of the inclined arcade leading up to S. Maria di Monte Berico. While this arcade is nowhere near as dramatically long or baroque as the one leading to La Madonna di S. Luca outside of Bologna (expect a post soon), it is quite spectacular.  

 The Villa Rotunda on a beautiful October morning.

The library was founded in 1604 by the Augustinians whose church, San Agostino, is right next door. The library holds the record as the first public library in Italy and can still be accessed by practically anyone. It houses a large collection of early manuscripts including the Codex Angelicus, a Byzantine New Testament. The reading room is quite beautiful with ambient light reflected off the ceiling from the upper windows and the shelves reaching all the way up to the beginning of the groin vaulted ceiling. Two tiers of precarious little walkways encircling the room ad are accessed by spiral staircases hidden in the walls behind doors painted to look like laden book cases. The lower windows are usually left open, so that one can see up from the street to the stacks of books and those inside can hear the bustle of the surrounding city.

Biblioteca Angelica

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Friday, October 15, 2010



I was very confused for a few seconds when I first saw this bike.

One of the most Roman of Roman palazzi, this palace was designed for Asdrubale Mattei by Carlo Maderno at the beginning of the seventeenth century. The cortile is plastered with antique reliefs and busts integrated into the design by Maderno. The building now houses the Institute for American Studies... The first book pulled off one of the beautiful book shelves proved to be, "American Supremacy:  Correcting the Misuse of American Power"... 







Palazzo Mattei

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Sunday, October 10, 2010