Babyfest 2007 Babyfest 2007
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February 2007
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What to do with 4000 monk skeletons?

February 17, 2007
Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 5:13 am

Turn them into art.  Not kidding. Yesterday we visited a church in Rome near Barberini square, Santa Maria della Concezione, which has an impressive crypt for Cappuchin monks.  The word ‘cappuchino’ came from this order, as their robes are brown.  They moved the order into Rome and brought their entire cemetery.  Space is a little limited, so instead of having multi-person coffins, the 4000 sets of bones were used to decorate the walls and ceiling of the crypt.  Thousands of skulls, vertebrae, ribs, femurs, scapula, and pelvic bones are arranged in attractive patterns on the walls and ceilings.  Floral and tree-like patterns,  stacks of skulls line the walls, and skulls with 2 scapulae (shoulder blades) make nice flying heads that look a bit like creepy butterflies. My role for the visit was to identify al the types of bones, and there was a distinct lack of hand and foot bones.  Maybe they’re too difficult to fasten to the ceiling?  There are also whole skeletons, still wearing their brown robes, suspended standing or bowing in the crypt.  All very interesting, if a bit disturbing.  Worth seeing on a visit to Rome, but 15 minutes is plenty of time to spend there. 



Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 5:12 am

Somehow, with TinyD/Genghis getting bigger, I have to pee a lot more often. There’s seemingly less room for my bladder now.  As described, I’ve seen all the Vatican bathrooms and bathrooms at the Colisseum as well as a host of others throughout Roma. 

I now know that the Vatican has the best hand-driers in all of Rome (ie they actually blow hot air).  The toilets also often don’t have the rim part that women like to sit on, so there’s a bit more squatting or careful balancing involved than normal.  I thought this was part of a plan to keep women from loitering in the bathroom, but according to Eric, our host, people steal toilet seats.  Hmmm…. Not sure why you’d need a spare or how you’d use it in decorating (scooter bling?). 

One nice change from my previous visit here is that the toilettes are all free to use.  Each has a sign prominently posted in 4 or 5 languages (English included) stating that service is free.  Presumably this is as much for employees as tourists.


Filed under: Baby Dunbar, Blog — Kerry @ 5:11 am

It’s surprising how many tasty things I can’t eat here.  Fresh mozzarella (which is on almost all pizza and sandwiches), prosciutto (tasty, tasty cured ham, but not cooked).  Fortunately, there are plenty of other tasty things to eat – pastas like the one I had at the Vecchia Roma restaurant, which consisted of spicy tomato sauce, bacon, and romano cheese from a giant cheese wheel that is lit on fire to melt the cheese into the sauce.  Yum.  Other tasty things include potato pizza and lots of tasty grilled meats.

 The best part is the gelato – the Italian version of ice cream.  It’s better than any ice cream I’ve ever had in my life.  The chocolate version is very rich, very dark, and quite tasty - way better than Ben & Jerry’s.  The fruit flavors are what make gelato outstanding.  Strawberry that actually tastes like strawberries and not ‘pink berry’ flavoring.  Cantaloupe, pineapple, pear, raspberry, cinnamon-ginger, caramel, and other flavors make it pretty tempting to eat gelato every day. 

Well, actually, I have been eating gelato every day.  Sometimes twice a day.  Two of the best gelaterias are San Crispino which is near the Trevi fountain and Old Bridge which is near the Vatican Museum.

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