I mentioned in a prior post that I had a bit of a Stendhal syndrome moment at the Siena Duomo (cathedral).
First of all I love the exterior of the Duomo, the campinile (bell tower) is alternating stripes of white and black which is a bit jazzy (I like strong patterns) and the face of the church is covered in marble carvings and I do so very much enjoy a good gargoyle and/or grotesque!
Inside the fun continues with the stripes and there are some Donatello’s and some very nice capellas but what stopped my heart was the Piccolomini Library! It is just stunning!
The library adjoins the cathedral and contains beautiful choir books and frescoes, speculated to be based on designs by Raphael, that recount the life of Siena’s Enea Silvio Piccolomini who became a cardinal and then Pope Pius II (mid-1400’s). The colors are incredibly vibrant and magnificent! The size of the room is also perfect, not too big, not too small.
It has been about 10 years since I have been to the Vatican but I recall the same overwhelming disbelief of the colors. It is as if they were painted yesterday! In the Vatican I recall getting a bit fatigued by it all, so hopefully when I am in Rome in a few weeks I will be better prepared for how much there is to absorb.
Other places that have moved me or left me with deep memories of awe and admiration?
- The Sistine Chapel, Raphael Loggia, etc
- Arriving at Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate
- The Grand Canyon
- St. Basil’s at Red Square
- Musee D’Orsay in Paris
- The Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain
- The moai of Easter Island
I will also say that there are two stunning rooms at Casa Buonarotti (Michelangelo’s home) in Florence, too.
There are also many, many stunning vistas scrolling through my head right now!