January 31, 2007
When in Rome, the Pantheon is a must-see. At one time the building was a temple to all gods. Now as a temple to great men, it houses the tombs of famous Italians like Raphael and Vittorio Emanuele II. Great Man Napoleon didn’t spend much time in Rome (he was too busy conquering the rest of the known western world), but his sister Pauline and mother Letizia like the city so much they decided to stay. Ultimately, the Pantheon didn’t get his tomb (Paris did), but Rome was left with a lovely little museum that houses Bonaparte family artifacts, including jewelry, portraits and busts and documents relating to the Corsican’s Italian Campaign (especially the Battle of Rivoli). Some of the most touching items are the personal effects. My favorite is the Indian scarf Napoleon wore during his exile on St Helena. The museum is organized by three historical periods: The Napoleonic Period (during Napoleon’s lifetime); The Roman Period (which follows after Napoleon’s death all the way to Napoleon III); and the Second Empire (Napoleon III’s reign in Paris).The collection is closed on Monday.
From journal Alternative Rome