Photo Journal: TMNT, Michelangelo and the Papal Sites of Italy

“Who’s your favorite Ninja Turtle?” my friend, who legit looks like a turtle himself, thought-provokingly asked me this weekend.


I thought carefully for a good 3 minutes because, well, the answer to that question is really quite revealing about your personality, isn’t it? I imagine it’s the guy equivalent to: “Which Sex and the City character are you?” (it’s Miranda by the way and don’t you judge me).


And so like any logical person, I sang the theme song (from 1987, not 2012… don’t do the math. Really.):


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Turtles Heroes in a half-shell
Turtle power!

Splinter taught them to be ninja teens (He’s a radical rat!)
Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (That’s a fact, Jack!)
Raphael is cool but crude (Gimme a break!)
Michelangelo is a party dude (Party!)


“Michelangelo,” I answered after singing along to youtube. “He’s the least political, egotistical and offensive I think. He just wants to have a good time.”


Although the Michelangelo he was named after (the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, try saying that 5 times fast…) was quite the opposite.


Considered one of the greatest artists throughout history, Michelangelo was an extremely serious and focused sculptor, painter, poet, architect. And one glance at any of his timeless works, such as Pietà, David and the Sistine Chapel, you too would be awe-stricken into silent and serious wonder.


Anywho, so Michelangelo and the Ninja Turtles are my segue into the Papal sites of Rome and the Vatican. Somewhat relevant? Yes? No… Oh well, please enjoy anyway!:


Palazzo del Quirinale:
The official house of the President of Italy, the Quirinale has housed thirty popes, four kings and eleven presidents of the Italian Republic.


Castel Sant’Angelo:
This castle was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family and was later used by the Vatican popes as a fortress and castle. It was even equipped with cannons and a moat!


Villa Borghese:
Started by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V, Villa Borghese houses the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities including works by Bernini, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian and others. Apparently the Cardinal secured some of these works by using his political muscle (aka, the threat of imprisonment and death?), OK take it take it!


St. Peter’s Basilica:
Designed by Bramante, Michelangelo, Maderno and Bernini, St. Peter’s is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and is the largest and among the holiest Catholic sites in the world. The magnitude of this place made me feel like a little schoolgirl trying to be on my best behavior. Must. Not. Touch. Anything.


Sistine Chapel:
Commissioned by Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted 12,000 sq ft of the chapel ceiling in just four years! Depicting more than 300 painted figures on the ceiling, Michelangelo unfolded the story of the bible covering the Creation, the Fall, the last Judgement. The lifelike frescoes covering scenes from heaven and earth commanded a room full of silent awe even 500 years later. I opted to listen to David Guetta’s “Titanium” for a modern twist on a infallible masterpiece.



Hotel Stendhal
Via Del Tritone, 113
00187 Rome Italy
+39 06 422921


The First Luxury Arts Hotel
Via del Vantaggio, 14
00186 Roma Italy
+39 06 45617070


Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria
Via Alberto Cadlolo, 101
00136 Rome, Italy
+39 06 3509 1


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  • Geoff Howie

    Sam Sam is Leonardo, JJ is Donatello and I am Master Splinter, which means you can be Michelangelo next time you visit us in Singapore :)

    12 August 2013 at 7:56 AM