Saturday, October 04, 2008

More Italy Trip: Aquileia and Grado

Rico and I took a day to explore the area to the South of my Grandmother's house, setting of many a memory from my younger years. We drove through beautiful countryside, gawked at ice-blue rivers, visited Aquileia (ruins of an ancient Roman city) and had lunch at the seaside town of Grado.

Rico in the Basilica at Aquileia, built in 1031 and, according to Wikipedia, one of the "most important edifices of Christianity." The entire floor of the cathedral is covered in mosaics from the 4th century, though they don't come out so well in photos.

Mosaic detail of the fight between the tortoise and the cock. Each mosaic has some sort of Biblical or historical symbolism, but I'm not able to remember much...I admit, my fascination with the mosaics is much more aesthetic in origin.

More detail from the mosaic pavement in the basilica, taken without flash.

There are 2 crypts in the basilica, also covered in mosaics and featuring frescoes from the 12th century that depict the origins of Christianity in Aquileia (no photos due to no flash rule and lack of tripod).

Classic Ali and Rico arm's length photo inside the 5th centry baptistry.

The "basin" used for baptisms in Aquileia (large stone structure behind Rico) was easily as big as the small wading pool in our house in Rio!

View of the belltower from the archealogical walkway behind the basilica. Unfortunately, the day was quite overcast but with bright light, making it hard to take decent photos with the point-and-shoot.

This once was the site of the Romans' fluvial port. A lime green, moss-covered trickle is all that is left today.

Ruins of the fluvial port structure, with a modern-day soccer field in the background.

Reconstruction of arches and columns at entrance to fluvial port. I love all the scroll detail!

Rico and I went out one of the secondary exits of the Aquileia site, and had to walk along the highway for a bit to get back to our car. This was the view through a gate along the road. Ah, Italy!

After visiting Aquileia, we headed to Grado. Rico went crazy with all the sailboats in the marina.

A group of painters worked to capture the imagery of the main canal.

Rico decided Grado would be an "acceptable" place to have a sailboat, if he were forced to lead such a hard life at any point.

This photo is from another day, but I love it. Here we were walking around Gorizia, if I remember correctly. I am wearing my favorite necklace, one I made from a bit of abalone shell my mom found on the beach in California. I wrapped it with some silver wire, put it on a cord, and now wear it all the time.


Anonymous said...

God, you look exactly like Sarah Palin.

Ali la Loca said...

~Anonymous - I shall take this is a compliment. After all, looks are separate from politics!