As some of you know, I LOVE to travel and I try to take at least one trip a year to a new place. As an artist I get a lot of inspiration and new photographs. As a Wiccan, I enjoy learning about the mythology of a place and seeing ancient structures and classical art. This past November my friend and I journeyed to Italy…yes, we were two modern Witches visiting the Holy City, Rome and it’s surroundings including a trip to Naples and Pompeii. Talk about the old meeting the new!!
We were surrounded by ancient structures built almost 2000 years ago yet still looming powerfully today. There were amazing structures representing two millennium everywhere we turned! We traveled far below the earth’s surface to the surreal catacombs of Rome that would make a perfect setting (and have) for role-playing video games and fantasy novels. Seeing the walls pocked with tombs, along with the altar rooms, really made me feel like I was in another world. The ancient ruins of Pompeii still displayed the colors and glorious past even after the monster volcano froze this city in time. And amongst these ruins, people from 2011 roamed them like time had frozen. The Pagan temples still stand in all their columned glory!
I shot over 400 photographs, both 35mm and digital, color and black and white, and am currently working on them for future exhibits (and hopefully print sales). As someone who is completely fascinated by times past, this was an amazing trip filled with artistic inspiration! And why did I mention that my traveling buddy and I are Witches (Eclectic Wiccans to be exact)? Well, because I was booted from the Sistine Chapel!! OK, it probably had nothing to do with the fact that I was all in black, gothic clothing, or that I have 17+ inch fingernails on both hands and long, black hair & goth-style make-up (although it was greatly toned down for this visit to Vatican City…and I showed no flesh as advised by the tour guides), but had more to do with the fact that I tried to snap a photo of their “money-maker” Michelangelo ceiling; this despite the fact that we were allowed, nay encouraged!, to take tons of pictures everywhere else in the museum and other chapels…and in one room two guards even helped me excavate my digital memory card from its tough, plastic encasing and then proceeded to pose with me! Plus I was accused by the ornery “Sistine section guard” of taking many photos of the famed ceiling when I shot one with NO flash then turned off my camera. He was having none of it and shuffled me out of the dark, crowded, eerily silent room. Well, I still got to see the room and still have my blurred photo as proof I was there. The hypocritical thing was every other room in the museum sported a gift shop with tacky mugs and puzzles of what??? Yes, the Michelangelo ceiling image!!! Guess they don’t want anyone else making money off their “big attraction”! Luckily I got some amazing shots of the ornately carved and painted other rooms throughout the Vatican Museum as well as the gilded and marble statues, jewels, etc. that lined every wall.
Aside from this and an incident with the evil bus ticket Gestapo, our trip was amazing. I took photos from every angle of the Coliseum, saw Trevi Fountain lit up at night with tons of people throwing in coins and making wishes, saw intricate and columned war memorials, the ancient Pantheon with it’s domed roof, and walked around down-town Rome enjoying the carved buildings from many eras…and especially enjoying the amazing wine and food (gelato…YUM!). Judging from the three areas I visited, Italy is truly a country that embraces both the old and the new, ancient myths and culture as well as the modern life-style. Most of the people were very friendly and accommodating to tourists and made us feel welcome. In particular the gentleman who owned the little pastry shop down the street from the hotel. We went there for our daily fix of incredible treats and he gave us surprise, free samples every time! I think I miss you most of all, Pastry Man!
So, for all of you with adventurous spirits and a love of travel, I highly recommend a visit to Italy where you can experience a multitude of time periods all in one location! Safe travels, All!
Note: If you’d like to see more Italy photos and are interested in ordering signed prints, please contact me for details.
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