A year in the life...

Etruscan face
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 - Etruscan face - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

During our visit to Rome, we stayed in a hotel with individual apartments in a residential neighborhood near the edge of town. Right near the hotel was a station for one of the main rail lines -- the Ferrovia Metropolitana FM3. This was a rail line that served the areas around Rome. The endpoints of the line were posted at the station. One end, of course, was Rome. The other end was a town called Viterbo.

So, one day, the Hobbitt and I hopped onto the FM3 and, for a measly six Euros each, were on our way to Viterbo, about 60 kilometers to the north.

It turns out that Viterbo is a very interesting walled city, steeped in its own history. The most interesting place we found was the unassuming Museo Civico. Viterbo is not much of a tourist town and when we wandered into the museum, it appeared deserted. Finally, someone showed up and went searching for the box that contained the tickets for entrance to the museum.

The museum is in a building that was once a convent. On the first floor, the cloister, an open courtyard, contains archeological items like sarcophagi from Etruscan and Roman digs in the area surrounding Viterbo. Further exhibits had things like the Etruscan face in the picture above. It seemed like just another museum full of old historical objects.

But we were unprepared for what we found on an upper floor. It was a gallery of paintings, large and beautiful. Most of them were by a painter called Sebastiano del Piombo (not his original name). It turns out that he was a contemporary of Raphael and Michelangelo. The paintings were every bit as awesome as those we had seen in the Vatican.

One of the museum personnel who had been following us around (easy to do, since we were the only ones there), seemed impressed that we were genuinely interested in the paintings. He gestured to us to come around behind the rope that cordoned off the paintings. On the back of one, he pointed to a note, signed by Michelangelo.

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