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This is a HUGE page full of eclecticism and discovery.
Discover a mix and an overview of books, people, faces, movies, and places I love ...
We are heading to Vatican City ...

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. Within it, you will find the Sistine Chapel (click the link to view an interactive tour) where you will see the amazing frescos painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.

Vatican City is one of the most unique places in the world thanks to the fact that it is the only nation state that is located within the boundaries of another nation - Italy. It is the main hub of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the Pope. As a tourist destination, Vatican City is one of the most culturally rich places in Europe and is an important stop on your tour of Italy even if you are not a Catholic. To see everything in Vatican City requires more than just a couple of hours. Spending a full day exploring the riches that it has to offer is ideal.

If you only have time to do one thing I recommend the Sistine Chapel as it is Vatican City's most beloved and breathtaking attraction. This is where you'll find the famous frescoes painted by Michelangelo. {Webmaster note: I am working on expanding the section on the Sistine Chapel below}.

St. Peter's Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world and is a pilgrimage destination for Catholics around the world. Inside the basilica you'll find beautiful sculptures and monuments by Bernini like the high altar that reaches ten stories tall! If you have the energy and the time, climb the stairs to Michelangelo's dome of the basilica and take in the 360-degree views of Rome.
Note: The Vatican has posted a series of virtual tours that you should make sure to view!

The Vatican Museums contain the artwork that the Catholic Church and its many Popes have collected over the centuries. Here you'll find Renaissance masterpieces, classical sculptures, and so much more. I recommend taking an official tour of the museums to learn as much as you can about the pieces on display.

If you have the time, spend a while hanging out in St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro) enjoying the architecture, fountains, Egyptian obelisk (which is over 25 meters high) and people watching opportunities. (Note: St. Peter was the Catholic Church's first Pope and that's why so many things in Vatican City are named after him.) Don't forget to dress accordingly! It is not allowed to visit Vatican City with your shoulders or knees exposed so tank tops, miniskirts and shorts are out. Hats are also not allowed. They sell plastic wraps that you can use to cover yourself if you forget or don't have time to stop back at your hotel for a change of clothing. Photography is allowed as long as it is for personal use (but not in the Sistine Chapel). Flash photography and tripods and professional equipment are not allowed.

Look carefully, you’ll notice that most of the columns on the ceiling are not actual columns — they’re painted. The narrative begins at the altar and is divided into three sections. In the first three paintings, Michelangelo tells the story of The Creation of the Heavens and Earth:
The subjects of the frescoes:


More Amazing Art is found here!

The Vatican Museums display works from the immense collection amassed by Popes throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display and currently employ 640 people who work in 40 different administrative, scholarly, and restoration departments.
Location map of Vatican City
Vatican Museums is located in Vatican City
Opening days and times:
From Monday to Saturday
9.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. (final entry 4.00 p.m.)
Every last Sunday of the month
9.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m. (final entry 12.30 p.m.)
Contact:
General information
+39 06 69884676
+39 06 69883145
info.mv(A)scv.va

Tips to visit Rome:

April to June and late September to October are the best months for travelingSt. Peter's Square is beautiful at night, as the Colosseum the largest amphitheatre built during the Roman Empire: Climb the Spanish Steps:
Next: Get an ice cream near the Trevi Fountain and view other must-see attractions in Rome, the surrounding the city  (note also: "Of Further Interest").
And going across the globe ... A great site to visit: British Museum - With Google: Museum of the World
We head on to more wonders ...
  Favorite Films:


OVERVIEW: Filmmaker Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) struggles to find creative inspiration. Overwhelmed by his work and personal life, the director retreats into the fantastical territory of the imagination. As he tries to sort out his many entanglements, romantic and otherwise, Anselmi finds his production becoming more and more autobiographical. Director: Federico Fellini

Apocalypse Now Redux


OVERVIEW: Secret ops assassin Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is sent on a mission up a river during the Vietnam War to “terminate with extreme prejudice” the errant Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Director: Francis Ford Coppola. Make sure to see the longer version (ie: Redux) and to turn the volume up.

Three Days of the Condor


OVERVIEW: Joe Turner (Robert Redford), a bookish CIA researcher with the code name Condor will spend seventy-two hours of high value movie viewing. Director: Sydney Pollack

Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot


One of the more charming films you will ever see. Director: Jacques Tati

Mon Oncle


This film has to be understood in the context of a world that is being replaced by technology and “progress” that is actually not an improvement. Director: Jacques Tati

Sleeper


A classic comedy for ADULTS. Director: Woody Allen

The Third Man


Wonderful. Director: Carol Reed

Eyes Wide Shut

The last film by one of the great film directors of our time is based in part on "Traumnovelle" 1926 novella "A Dream Novel", also known as "Dream Story" by the Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler.
Some of this movie will shock even world-aware adults. NOT for children. Amazing in so many ways! Director: Stanley Kubrick

Dr Strangelove


Peter Sellers taking on several roles in this great classic by Stanley Kubrick.

Barry Lyndon - in my view the greatest film by Stanley Kubrick



Second extract:

A masterpiece.

The Godfather Part II


Of the 3 films – the second, to me, is the greatest. Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Sunset Boulevard


Many see this as Billy Wilder's greatest film and a classic for all time. It stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star who draws him into her fantasy world where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen, with Erich von Stroheim as Max von Mayerling, her devoted servant. In the movie, Norma Desmond's address is 10086 Sunset Boulevard in the film but in reality, the filming location was 641 S. Irving Blvd at the corner of Irving and Wilshire. See > The home right before it was demolished in 1957. Make sure to see the actual SCREENPLAY (a wonderful read). 


North By Northwest


OVERVIEW: Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) is pursued by ruthless spy Phillip Vandamm (James Mason) after Thornhill is strangely mixed up in one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest films. Includes: the renound scene on a country road with the dust cropper scene

Body of Lies


To date the coolest counter-terrorism films! Director: Ridley Scott

Dog Day Afternoon

At times darkly comic, very touching as you see the heroic side of criminals in a ridiculous scheme (taking hostages and trying to rob a bank for a lover's sex change operation) based on true events :
A masterpiece of acting. With Al Pacino and John Cazale. Director: Sidney Lumet


Scarface


A wonderful, amazing movie. Director: Brian De Palma

Chinatown


NOT FOR CHILDREN – An amazing film. Director: Roman Polanski

‘Dekalog’

Not for children: 10 films, each based on a BROKEN commandment, set in and around an apartment block in Warsaw, Poland. The stories share the fractured quality of modern family life, its dreams, hopes and sadness; focus on the CHOICES we all make, every day of our lives.
I would suggest taking 5 days to see all the films in one go and NOT watching anything else (save the news if you have to).
Director: Krzysztof Kieślowski

The Apu Trilogy

"Pather Panchali, is one among the finest films ever made. The film won about a dozen awards at various film festivals world-over. Pather Panchali, eventually, became the first film of a trilogy." Read More. Discover: Satyajit Ray

Fanny and Alexander


Two young children experience the many comedies and tragedies of life. Director: Ingmar Bergman


Lascaux

We head to Dordogne to see Paleolithic cave paintings ...


Lascaux Cave is famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac. The paintings are estimated to be 17 300 years old. They primarily consist of images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time.
Make sure to also see this guided tour followed by this media collection.

The original cave was closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the art. What you will visit is a REPLICA. The discovery of the monumental Lascaux cave in 1940 brought with it a new era in our knowledge of both prehistoric art and human origins.

So what do these images mean? See: http://archeologie.culture.fr/lascaux/en/interpretations and then I would suggest this essay by Dr. Mary Beth Looney.



Education-Wonder

The Montessori Method

The Montessori Method allows children to realize their instinctive drive towards self-realization. It fosters initiative, self-esteem and the joy of learning (where education becomes a support to the inner life of human beings). On this page we will examine this teaching method in detail. But first, let us turn to the life story of Maria Montessori.

Maria was born on August 31, 1870 in the town of Chiaravalle, Italy (about 15 kilometres west of Ancona). Her father Alessandro was an accountant in the civil service and her mother Renilde Stoppani was well educated and had a passion for reading. Maria attended a school in Rome with a focus on science and engineering. In 1890, against opposition from her father, she pursued her goal of becoming a doctor. In 1896 she became the first woman to obtain a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Rome. (See: Timeline of Maria Montessori's Life). See also: This (right scrolling) timeline.

Soon after her medical career began, Dr Montessori became involved in the Women’s Rights movement. In 1897, Dr Montessori joined (as a volunteer) a research program at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome. This work initiated a deep interest in the needs of children with learning disabilities. In particular, she focused on the work of two early 19th century Frenchmen, Jean-Marc Itard (who had made his name working with the "wild boy of Aveyron") and Edouard Séguin, his student. Montessori was appointed as co-director of a new institution called the Orthophrenic School.

At the age of 28, Montessori began advocating the belief that the lack of support for mentally and developmentally disabled children was the cause of their delinquency. The notion of social reform became a strong theme throughout Maria's life, whether it was for gender roles or advocacy for children. According to the Montitute Montessori Training Institute: " (...) Over the years Montessori established her reputation as an educator who could accomplish miracles with children who presented special challenges. However, Montessori was becoming increasing interested in apply her educational approach on normal children. The opportunity came to her itself, when she was offered the position to run a day-care center that was being organized for the working class children, who were too young to attend public schools in San Lorenzo, one of the worst slums of Rome. Although many of her colleagues and family members disapproved the idea, Montessori, like always, took on the challenge and grasped the opportunity of working with normal children. Bringing some of the educational materials she had developed at the Orthophrenic School she established the first Montessori school in one large room with one co-worker. (...)" (Source). So it was that Dr Montessori opened the first Casa dei Bambini (The House of Children) in 1907 at 58 Via dei Marsi in Rome.
By 1909, Dr Montessori gave the first training course in her new approach to about 100 students. Her notes from this period provided the material for her first book published that same year in Italy, appearing in translation in the United States in 1912 as The Montessori Method and later translated into 20 languages.

A period of great expansion in the Montessori approach soon followed. Montessori societies, training programs and schools sprang to life all over the world and a period of travel with public speaking and lecturing occupied Dr Montessori, much of it in America, but also in the UK and throughout Europe.
Montessori long held the ambition of creating her own permanent, long-standing center for research and development but she was held back by the rise of fascism in Europe. Montessori schools were closed by Nazis and both books and effigies were burned. In 1939, Maria and her son Mario went to India to lecture. Initially only intending to stay there for three months, the trip lasted seven years as, because they were Italian, the outbreak of war saw Mario interned and Maria put under house arrest. In India, Maria trained over a thousand Indian Teachers. Upon her return to Europe, Maria addressed UNESCO in 1947 with the theme of Education and Peace and ultimately received three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Over forty years of constant observation and experimentation, Maria Montessori developed her approach to education. The Montessori approach is concerned first and foremost with the development of human potential. This approach is based on "following the child," on recognizing the developmental needs and characteristics of children of each age group and in constructing the corresponding environment that best meets these needs. Maria died on May 6th, 1952 (at the age of 81) in the company of her son Mario, to whom she bequeathed the legacy of her work.
Maria Montessori observed that the child moves to adulthood through a series of developmental periods which she called the Planes of Development. Each period is different but is built on the foundation of the preceding one with the Montessori environment and approach tailored to meet the child's needs at each stage.

In the first plane from birth to age six, the child is characterized by his or her 'absorbent mind,' absorbing all aspects of his or her environment, language and culture. In the second plane from age six to twelve, the child uses a 'reasoning mind' to explore the world with abstract thought and imagination. In the third plane from twelve to eighteen, the adolescent has a 'humanistic mind' eager to understand humanity and the contribution he or she can make to society. In the last plane of development from age eighteen to twenty four, the adult explores the world with a 'specialist mind,' taking his or her place in the world. Maria Montessori believed that if education followed the natural development of the child, then society would gradually move to a higher level of co-operation, peace and harmony. More: Dr. Montessori's own handbook (PDF).

In a Montessori classroom the place of the traditional teacher is held by a fully trained Montessori director or directress. Montessori directresses typically have a traditional teacher qualification as well as an additional one-year full-time Montessori teacher education diploma. The directress is a guide or facilitator whose task it is to support the young child in his or her process of self-development. The directress is foremost an observer, unobtrusively yet carefully monitoring each child's development, recognizing and interpreting each child's needs.

The directress provides a link between the child and the prepared environment, introducing the child to each piece of equipment when he or she is ready in a precise, clear and enticing way. On a broader level, the directress provides a link between the classroom and the parent, meeting with each child's parents to discuss progress. She needs to be an example; calm, consistent, courteous and caring. The most important attribute of a directress is the love and respect that she holds for each child's total being. The Montessori classroom is not merely a place for individual learning. It is a vibrant community of children in which the child learns to interact socially in a variety of ways. The three-year age range enables older children to teach the younger ones and to learn much themselves from the experience while the younger children are inspired to more advanced work through observing the older ones. With such a variety of levels in the classroom, each child can work at his or her own pace, unhindered by competition and encouraged by co-operation. Children attend daily for a three-year cycle.


Note: Today, a Casa dei Bambini is a multicultural, international Montessori Preschool that provides the highest quality of Montessori education in a beautiful and enriching environment for ages 2 through Kindergarten.

WORLDWIDE:
Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
AMI Affiliated Societies:
Argentina Fundación Argentina María Montessori
Australia Montessori Australia Foundation
Belarus Montessori Belarus Foundation
Bulgaria Association Institute Montessori Bulgaria
Canada Association Montessori Internationale Canada
China Zhejiang Montessori Institute of Child Development
Czech Republic Asociace Montessori CR
Egypt Montessori Foundation of Egypt
Finland The Finnish Montessori Union
France Association Montessori de France
Germany Deutsche Montessori Gesellschaft e.V.
Germany Deutsche Montessori-Vereinigung e.V.
Germany Montessori Dachverband Deutschland e.V.
India Indian Montessori Foundation
Ireland Association of A.M.I. Teachers of Ireland
Japan Friends of AMI NIPPON
Mexico Montessori México
Mongolia Association of the Montessori Mongolian Teachers
Morocco Association Montessori Morocco
Norway Norsk Montessoriforbund
Pakistan The Pakistan Montessori Association
Peru Montessori Asociation Perú
Romania Association for the Development of Montessori Education in Romania
Russia Montessori Public Fund
Serbia Serbian Montessori Association
Spain Asociación Montessori Española
Sweden AMI Montessori Alumni Sweden
Switzerland Association Montessori Suisse
Switzerland Association Montessori Switzerland
Switzerland Assoziation Montessori (Schweiz)
Thailand Montessori Association of Thailand
Tunisia Association Montessori Afrique du Nord
Ukraine Support and Development of the Method of Maria Montessori in Ukraine
United Kingdom The Montessori Society A.M.I. (UK)
United States AMI Elementary Alumni Association (EAA)
United States Association Montessori International / USA
United States Montessori Administrators Association
United States North American Montessori Teachers Association

SEE ALSO:
Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA)
The Indian Montessori Association (IMA)
The Institute for Montessori Education (TIME)
Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)
Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI)
Montessori Europe Pan American Montessori Association (PAMS)
The Montessori Foundation (IMC)
The North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA)

From Hell to Heaven ...

The Divine Comedy

One of the greatest poems of world literature is the epic poem Commedia (The Divine Comedy) by Dante Alighieri. See more (from a really well written article at Poetry Foundation) and http://www.worldofdante.org/maps_main.html I was AMAZED by the quality of the UNABRIDGED version of Dante's work from Naxos AudioBooks read by Heathcote WilliamsThe Inferno PurgatoryParadise. Also: Get the INFERNO PDF HERE PURGATORY  PDF and HEAVEN PDF HERE (no purchase needed for the PDF downloads). Note: You may also find many free versions of this work being read - but nothing I have found online comes close to the quality of the Naxo collection.
Naturally the best possible reading might by your own! See: The Divine Comedy - translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


Dante in translation with Giuseppe Mazzotta and David Lummus given at Yale:

Dante's Purgatory:


Dante's Paradise:

General Review:


Casals and Schweitzer

Pablo Casals - Rare film by Robert Snyder of Casals playing Bach’s Suite no 1:Casals and the Art of Interpretation - by my father!


Albert Schweitzer


The Nobel Peace Prize (in 1952) was awared to this extraordinary man for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa).

"Ethics is nothing other than Reverence for Life. Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil."
— Albert Schweitzer


Synchronicity

Jung and the Paranormal

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychologyHis work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies
It may be said that he is best known for his work on the collective unconscious and archetypes (or vital founding myths and symbols which appear prominently in all cultures and across time). 
To Jung: The term synchronicity expressed: the acausal (meaning "no cause" and/or "relationships that are difficult to explain") connection of two or more psychic and physical phenomenaWe speak here of EVENTS whose occurrence is isolated one from the another but form a “meaningful coincidence”! Find out more by reading Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle - extract:


This book can be obtained in paperback here and/or you will find the full work free of charge for the following download formats: PDF,ePub,Plain Text,DAISY,Kindle.

Further reading: Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal - Edited, selected and introduced by Roderick Main - extract here:

To better understand Carl G. Jung it may be interesting to view the following:


And it will certainly be a wonderful discovery to find out about the RED BOOK. It recounts and comments upon the author's imaginative experiences!




MIXING into Iconographic Blast ...


Creativity, love, passion, charity and/or prayer unite with the ETERNAL NOW

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