Last Sunday Peter and I ventured off the Academy hill to the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. We’ve been slowly building a list of museums and sights to see in Rome and just as slowly checking things off the list. The beauty of being here for almost a year is there’s no pressure–at least right now–to sightsee. We can drink in Rome’s history like a rich digestif, slowly sipping so that it settles nicely. I’ve never been so aware of stretching out an experience, but that’s what this year is like. It feels like the more gradually I take everything in, the longer the memories will last.
Palazzo Massimo is a gorgeous museum with a large collection of ancient mosaics, one of the most vividly-colored intact frescoes I’ve ever seen, and the haunting 4th century B.C. bronze sculpture, “Boxer at Rest.” Can you imagine what it would have been like to be the archeologist who discovered this wondrous object in 1885? You can see the scars etched on the boxer’s face. You can get so close that he almost looks real (until you set the sensors off, like I did, and are jarred out of your reverie). We wandered through the galleries, blissfully alone in most of them, until we’d had enough. How do you follow up an afternoon of beautiful art? With pastries of course. So we stopped at L’arte del Pane for a sweet nibble and then we got on the bus to go back home.