« Bologna......and Venice??? | Main | Women in Afghanistan »

At least I know what I'll be doing in Rome!



A new exhibition of works by Fra Angelico, one of my favourite early Renaissance painters, has recently opened in Rome in one of my favourite spots, the Capitoline Museums. I'm looking forward to seeing this in June!

I realize that I'll have less than 24 hours to spend in Rome. I'll be flying in and out of the city, spending only the late afternoon hours and final night of my holiday there before my morning flight back to Canada. I really love Rome, and have recently enjoyed thinking about how best to spend the very little time that I'll have there. Should I just stroll around, visit my beloved Bernini elephant outside Santa Maria Sopra Minerva and see the church and the nearby Pantheon? Try to squeeze in a late-day visit to the Galleria Borghese? Followed by dinner at Cul de Sac?

Problem solved! I'll stroll over to the Capitoline Hill -- which is always beautiful -- walk up the Cordonata, admire Michelangelo's piazza and then head into the museum complex to see this Fra Angelico exhibition.

According to the Italian news agency ANSA, this show coincides with the 550th anniversary of Fra Angelico's death and includes 49 of his works produced at different stages during his life. The selected works are designed to provide an overview of Fra Angelico's development and highlight his talents as a painter, an illuminator and a draftsman.

Born in 1395 as Giovanni da Fiesole, Fra Angelico became a Dominican friar when he was already an acclaimed artist. The exhibition starts with works from his youth, inspired by the late Gothic period, and continues through to his later years in Rome, where he had been summoned by the pope.

Among the pieces in the show drawn from this final period are his Bosco ai Frati altarpiece, a rich oil painting of Madonna and child (shown in the second photo above.) According to organizers, among the works on public display for the first time is Saint Francis Receiving The Stigmata, a rich tempera painting on loan from the Vatican's collection, and an Annunciation, borrowed from Dresden. A number of his most famous works are also on display, including a dazzling Annunciation, on loan from Florence. It's thought some of his most important works are in Florence, including his most important commission, the San Marco Altarpiece, and the frescos for the convent of San Marco in Florence.

People started calling him 'angelico', meaning blessed, shortly after his death, but he was only beatified in the 1980s, when he was made patron saint of artists.

The exhibition is on in Palazzo dei Caffarelli until July 5.

Comments (14)

This sounds awesome. I think I told you this before but I saw the big Fra Angelico show at the Met in NYC in 2005 - everything looked to be recently restored and the colors were so vivid. It was wonderful. I bet you'll see a lot of the same works.

Sounds like a fabulous idea, Sandra. I too love Capitoline Museum and that area. Fra Angelico's paintings look beautiful. I love the Madonna and Child painting.
Oh, I am jealous!


Annie, I remember you describing that show -- it sounded fantastic. I've always loved the really vivid colours Fra Angelico used, and I'm sure they'll be beautiful displayed in Rome. (BTW, most of my attention is still focused on planning for Venice -- so much great art! So many decisions!)

Candi, I know how much you love Rome as well. Even a flying visit there will be a joy!

If I was going to spend 1 day in Rome, the Capitoline Museum is just where I would go also. It really is too bad that we will just pass each other in different sections of the airport or perhaps in the air when you leave Italy and I arrive.


Girasoli, I couldn't agree more, on both counts! The Capitoline Museums are great and I love Rome's capital hill. Do you remember when we climbed up there after dinner in the Ghetto? There are such great views there at night.

And it would be so fun if our trips overlapped a bit, and we could meet for dinner again in Rome. That was such a great restaurant, eating amid the pillars of the Teatro di Marcello. Maybe next year.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, how great for you to be able to visit this special exhibit. You're going to have a wonderful time looking at these beautiful paintings. There is so much of Rome that I have yet to see. So much history.

Thanks so much for sharing your trip plans. I'm really enjoying reading them.


Hi Kathy! I'm excited about having something special to do in Rome on my last day in Italy. I must admit that I sometimes run out of steam at the end of a vacation and don't do much of anything. This will give me a bit of a focus to get out and enjoy Rome while I can.

I hope you're able to visit Rome again before too long. As you say, there really is so much to see and do -- it's definitely one of those cities where the more you learn about it, the more you realize how little you actually know!

Lovely photos, Sandra!
I'm a tinge green...please take a few seconds to look at them for me?

It sounds like the perfect way to spend a short time period in Rome - lucky you.


Hi Brenda, I'll definitely pass on your regards!

Thanks Jerry, it'll be good to have a plan so I don't just wind up shopping!

I sure do remember. If I only planned this better, I could have arrived a day earlier and spent the first night in Rome although I probably would be asleep by 8pm! It was because of you that I discovered the Capitoline Museums.

I love your plan for your short time in Rome. I'll have to check the Capitoline Museum next time I'm in the Eternal City.


Sandra, that sounds like a perfect plan to spend the short time you have in Rome.

I love the Fra Angelico photos you posted!


Susan, a GTG would have been fun, but I think you would have been pretty jet-lagged after your long, long flight!

Maria, the Capitoline museums are really, really interesting and in a beautiful spot. I hope you're able to check them out next time you're in Rome!

Nancy, I'm an admirer of Fra Angelico, so I'm really looking forward to this exhibition.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)