The Aesthetic Evolution of Raphael at Vatican Museums

One of the best examples of the gradual evolution of Raphael’s style can be found in the Papal Apartments of the Vatican.

Four magnificent rooms known as “Le Stanze di Raffaello”  that were the Papal residence between 1507-1585.

 

 

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Though the order of the rooms does not reflect  the chronology of when Raphael created the frescos, viewers can appreciate the ever changing  style of Raphael as executed into each scene. Influences of great artists such as Bramante, Michelangelo and Leonardo are evident while still maintaining the artist’s personal touch.


The first room that can be visited is the Room of Costantine, dedicated to the life of the first Christian Emperor who symbolically donated the city of Rome to the Pope in charge during his time, Pope Sylvester I and his successors . Even if this room carries an important meaning, it is the last room that Raphael painted, therefore only the preparatory cartoons were executed by the artist himself while the majority of the painting was carried out by his pupils due to Raphael’s premature death.


The second room is the Room of Heliodorus. The frescos were created towards the end of his career between 1511-1514, about 6 years before his death. The most impressive artistic achievement in this room is the Liberation of S. Peter. In this scene Raphael masters his ability to depict glowing and moving light, working in a medium that  does not allow the gradual manipulation of colors.


Effects of this kind were unparallel by Raphael’s contemporaries until the arrival of Caravaggio almost 100 years later. The frescos in this room also reflects Raphael’s observation of Michelangelo’s style in the Sistine Chapel. In fact the two artists were working in the Vatican at the same time.


The muscular density and powerful solidarity that classifies Michelangelo’s figures are borrowed by Raphael beginning with the School of Athens in the following room.

The Room of the Signature is perhaps the most celebrated works of Raphael’s career. With respect to the chronology of the artist, we are actually moving back in time, viewing the first room that he was commissioned to paint at the young age of 25.


A clear transition  in Raphael’s style is evident in viewing the Disputation of the Holy Sacrament and the School of Athens side by side.  In the latter painting is where we also see an homage to Raphael’s biggest rival. The representation of a philosopher, Heraclitus with the resemblance of  Michelangelo is prove of Raphael’s admiration for his contemporary. After seeing his masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo became an idol for the young artist.


The last part of the tour shows the forth room, which lends its name to a fire that broke out in the 9th Century in a neighborhood of the Vatican called the Borgo.

Let StefanoRomeTours and their team of licensed tour guides take you back in time to relive the crucial moments that marked Raphael’s career. This description only scratches the surface of the many historically nuances that are present in Raphael’s frescos.

Do you have any favorite artists or pieces of art inside the Vatican Museum? We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

 

Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.

with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team 

 

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How NOT to lose your passport or other valuables

Thankfully losing your passport and other valuables doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen.

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And when it does, it can wreak havoc on your vacation when you have to trade a guided tour at the Colosseo or a daytrip to Tuscany with the family for a day at the Embassy for a passport replacement.

 

In most cases, passports get lost when travelers carry them in their handbags or frequently used pockets.  

While it is necessary to carry a valid government issued ID for credit card use and basic identity purposes, it is not absolutely necessary to carry your passport around with you all day unless you plan to specifically use it.

Hotels offer safe boxes to place your valuables, and your passport IS valuable. You are less likely to lose if it you keep it safely locked inside your hotel room (just don’t forget to take it with you when you leave!)

If you must carry your passport with you during the day, try to use the practical and inexpensive money belts. Sure, during the hot summer months money belts are not quite comfortable to wear under your clothing, but it’s the safest place to carry your passport and money.

There are other safety measures that help reduce the likelihood of losing your passport.

Ladies:

If you don’t have a money belt or cannot wear one, be sure your handbag stays secured to your body at all times. Long durable straps that go over your shoulder with the handbag resting comfortably at your side is a popular choice. The handbag should have a zipper across and never stay open.

The less you have to remove your handbag from your person the better, especially in public places such as buses, trains, taxis, restaurants and cafes. Italy is a safe country, but even at home you must take precautions….even more so when you’re traveling.

Never remove your handbag and place it on the back of your chair in cafes and restaurants, place it on the floor by your feet, or set it anywhere that anyone can grab it and run. Never leave your handbag open or unattended. Be careful not to leave it behind in public toilets or dressing rooms. 

If you carry your passport inside your handbag, first place it inside a sealed ziplock bag to protect it from accidental spillage ( sometimes people get water or drinks spilled on their handbags).

 Never store your passport in the main pocket that you often reach into for your wallet, sunglasses, or other items throughout the day. Your passport should be in the safest possible pocket inside your handbag.

 

Gentlemen:

Carrying wallets and passports in your back pockets is highly discouraged because it’s the easiest way to have them lost or stolen. Deep front pockets or side pockets (as in cargo pants) are safer. For added measure, you may safety pin or velcro your pockets together to avoid accidental opening or unauthorized hands dipping into your pockets.

Again, Italy is a safe country, but things can get stolen anywhere you are, even in your home town.

Fanny packs are also popular to carry wallets and ID in. However, they can easily be snatched off or accidentally left behind if removed in public bathrooms or dressing rooms.

If you prefer to carry a fanny pack a few preventive measures go a long way. If it’s possible, pull the fanny pack strap through you pant belt hoops to ensure it will not fall off if it snaps open, and no one can grab it and run. If you are already wearing a belt and it’s not possible to add the fanny pack strap through the belt hoops, you may secure the fanny pack strap to your belt hoops with safety pins(safety pins may not be stylish, but better safe than sorry!). You may also safety pin the zipper of your fanny pack shut to prevent anyone from opening it.

Safety pins may be flimsy, but the idea is to first deter petty thieves from making an easy run with your fanny pack, and to keep it secure to your body so it doesn’t fall off. Always store your passport inside a sealed ziplock bag and placed securely in a pocket you least use and closest to your body. Never keep your valuables in the main pocket that you reach into throughout the day.

Always make several copies of your passport (as well as all your ID’s and credit cards) and store them inside your luggage (which you should always keep locked in your hotel room when you are out and about) in case you do lose your passport and need a replacement.  Be sure to leave a copy of your passport with trusted friends or family so they can quickly scan it and e-mail it to you if necessary.

Another costly mistake that is quite common is forgetting to retrieve your passport from the hotel concierge. Worst case scenario this can cause you to miss your flight or your cruise. It pays to be extra diligent to wait a few extra minutes and not leave the front desk until you have your passport back in hand. It’s very easy to get distracted and forget to go back to the concierge to retrieve your passport, and the concierge can not be relied upon to make sure you don’t don’t leave your passport behind when you check out.

Wallets, cell phones, cameras, credit cards, jackets and yes, even ID’s and passports sometimes get left behind in taxis, buses, trains and private driver vehicles. If you book RomeCabs for your transfers and tours, you have the security of knowing you can contact us and let us know what you left behind and we will return it to you as quickly as possible. If you realize you lost something after your plane has left Rome, we will gladly mail them back to you. If you lose your items inside a taxi cab, train, or bus, chances are you may never see them again.

 

For more information on Stefano Rome Tours, please visit our website at www.StefanoRomeTours.com. We’d love to hear from you!

What other safety measures have you used or recommend??  Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below, we’d love to hear from you!

Sharing is fun: If you found this article helpful, please pass it along to anyone who might benefit from it.

Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.

with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team

 

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What to Wear in Rome, Italy

 

A popular question many people visiting rome for the first time ask is what to wear in Rome?
Our answer is: first and foremost, be comfortable!

 

 

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Type of Shoes to wear in Rome

Whether you are spending a holiday in Rome, or are sightseeing on a shore excursion from Civitavecchia, what you plan to wear is very important for comfort, safety, convenience and style.

Many streets in Rome (and Italy alike) are made of cobblestone, are sometimes uneven, and other times uphill.

Comfortable shoes  are key. We do not suggest flip flops because they don’t offer any  support, exposes your bare feet to accidents (think stubbing your  toe, cuts from sharp objects, getting stepped on in busy buses and  Metros), as well as infection should you experience a cut.

White sneakers can and will get dirty, and if you want to pack less by being able to mix and match as many things as possible, white sneakers may not match everything or transit well from day to night.

Comfortable walking shoes, preferably dark in color to withstand dirt, are the most practical way to go.

During the summer sandals are more popular due to the heat, so make sure your sandals cover and protect your feet as much as possible and have comfortable soles. If your walking shoes and sandals are not overly casual, you can continue to wear them from day to night (unless you choose to dress up for a special evening).

Please do not try to break in new shoes on your vacation; you’ll be walking a lot and your feet will suffer if your shoes don’t fit properly.

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Shorts, tank tops, and other summer attire in Rome:

There’s no fashion police in Rome that will stop you for wearing tank tops, shorts, or mini skirts, but many churches will prevent you from walking in under-dressed.

Under no circumstance can you walk inside the major churches like St Peter’s without your shoulders and knees covered. Yes, there is the Vatican “fashion police” who will measure you up and down to see if you’re dressed properly. It’s worse than Project Runway, and equally embarrassing when you’re told to leave because you’re showing too much shoulder and leg. And it’s quite irritating if you just spent 40 minutes under the hot sun of the piazza waiting in line to enter the piazza.

Lesser known churches are often understaffed, and they may not prevent under-dressed visitors from entering, but it’s a matter of respect and it’s nice to cooperate.

If you plan to visit churches on any given day, dress accordingly in advance, or bring a shawl to cover your shoulders (ladies), and wear shorts and skirts that at least cover your knees. Convertible pants are great because you can switch from shorts to long as needed.

 

Jeans:

Yes, Italians wear jeans, especially younger people given the wide variety of denim styles available. Middle age Italian men and women wear jeans too, although less often.

If in doubt, slacks and dockers are a great choice because they are light, great for any occasion, and easy to mix and match.

 

Casual or dressy?

What can we say? It’s Italy, the land of Armani, Prada, Versaci and Valentino, so Italians know style. It’s in their DNA it seems.

But it doesn’t mean you have to spend your vacation dressed up in the latest style. While we advise you NOT to worry about being stylish, we do recommend you dress in whatever way makes you feel good about yourself, you’re comfortable in, and you like being photographed with because you’ll want to take a lot of photos on your trip and show them to everyone!

If you’d like a more specific example of what to wear, one of our clients had her rule of thumb: dress like you’re going to lunch at a nice restaurant with your in-laws.

If you’d like to transform from a day of sightseeing to a dinner out afterwards without changing wardrobe, for men a sports jacket goes a long way. For ladies, a nice shawl over the shoulders or a nice jacket are also great for dinner out…and practical for the cooler Mediterranean evenings.

 

Hats

We love hats! Winter, summer, and everything in between, there’s never a wrong time to wear hats. In the winter hats keep your warm, in the summer it keeps the sun off your head and face.

Don’t worry about baseball hats. If you love them, wear them! And if you don’t want to bring your own hat, there are plenty to be found in Rome in all sorts of colors and styles.

At the time this article is written, fedoras are a huge hit in Rome with tourists and locals alike. Ladies, hats are also great if you’re not having a particularly great hair day. Hats are both functional and fashion accessories!

 

Climate

Before leaving for your trip, it’s always a good idea to check the weather in advance. It’s not always accurate, but it gives you a general idea of what to expect so you can bring appropriate clothing.

During the spring, summer and fall months, the Mediterranean climate allows for cool mornings and evenings, and much warmer during the day. If you plan to be out throughout the day including morning or evening, a good rule of thumb is to dress like an onion: in layers. This way you can take off layers as it gets warmer, and add them as it gets cooler.

With so many luxurious as well as affordable shops in Rome, you can always add to your vacation wardrobe and create your own style.

So next time you worry about looking touristy in Italy, here’s a secret: Italians already know you are a tourist, so forget about it, have fun, and embrace being a tourist because we love you no matter what!

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Do you have any fashion tips and ideas to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

Sharing is fun: If you found this article helpful, please pass it along to anyone who might benefit from it.

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 Thank you for visiting our blog.

With love,

The Stefano Rome Tours Team

 

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