Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hadrian's Villa

On the same day we ventured from Rome to go to Villa d'Este, we also took in Hadrian's Villa. As I recall, we had to take two different buses to get there. I bought the tickets at the local tabacchi and inquired as to where the bus stop might be. The vendor nodded her head in a general direction and so I went and sat on a bus stop bench. Just to be sure, I asked another local tourist shop owner and she said no, that wasn't the right place to go across the street. So we did. (This is quite common in Italy.) Luckily, a lady was sitting on the bench we where we were supposed to wait. Just to be sure, I asked her, too. She said yes, this was the right stop but more than one bus stopped here so she told me the number to look for. We had a rather nice conversation, although limited because I have a hard time understanding the dialect/accent in and, I guess around Rome. She was sorry she didn't speak English but when she was in school, she studied French. But she told me that all the kids nowadays learn English in school and that she wished she could speak it as well. She was a very nice lady and waved goodbye to us, repeating that the bus we were waiting for was yellow as she got on the bus with her grocery bags.

Hadrian was a busy guy. He loved to build or rebuild stuff. Like Hadrian's Wall in England, Hadrian's Column in Rome and he rebuilt the Pantheon as well giving credit to Marcus Agrippa as it's original builder on the facade. He travelled all over the Roman Empire and was influenced by the architecture of the places he visited. So when he came back from his empire touring, he had this place built and made it his capitol. I wonder how easy it was to get here in those days?

This was a lovely scene and I wanted to know was just so interesting about this spot that was of such interest to this film crew.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this handsome fellow. Yes, I'm sure he is a male italian lizard. Can't you tell by the way he's checking me out? And, even the lizards are sleek and stylish. Then, I came across these beautiful tile floors in need of a good scrubbing.

What beautiful patterns, don't you think? The niches are where the beds would have been so the floor is not as ornamented there. The historians were not sure if these were rooms for couriers or soldiers.

I would love to quilt the central pattern on this one.
Or this one.
Here is a nice geometric pattern.
And, this one of circles.
Unfortunately, the museum was closed by the time I got here. So, I guess I'll have to go back. But, maybe next time I'll bring a broom and mop and maybe some sketch paper and a tape measure to get some proper dimensions.
The Italians love to mix the old with new venues. I think they were setting up for a concert. There isn't much left of the architecture at Hadrian's Villa but it must have been a very beautiful and peaceful place. I wish that they would restore this but some say that it is too far gone for restoration. That doesn't seem quite fair to such a great builder.


mental mosaic said...

Brava, Homebody, I know how hard it is to get a decent lizard photo!

That tile would make a beautiful quilt, I agree.

Lovely shots and travelogue. There is just so much to see and learn in Italy, isn't there?

bleeding espresso said...

Gorgeous photos--love those patterns on the floor. Hard to believe Italians of all people would let them get so dirty though ;)

Meg said...

It's a beautiful place, isn't it? I'm torn on further restoration- it would be sort of cool, but a great deal of restoration is often (albeit educated) guesswork... which often leaves me in the position of wanting to keep it from decaying further. The mosaic does have a quilt-like quality.

homebody at heart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
homebody at heart said...

Hi Tui,

Yes, I think that I could spend the rest of my life in Italy and never be bored. The italians have spent 2,400+ years perfecting fashion, food, style and living down to the minutest of details.

Hi Espresso,

Yes, it was hard for me to believe, too! Maybe the cleaning lady was on vacation.

Hello Meg,

Yes, I agree with you and I doubt that the government could afford to restore the place to its original condition. But, certain places have vibes, vibrazioni, and I felt that here, particularly at some of the water features, restoration felt the right thing to do.