Hello Kickstarters, and whoever else finds their way here. After 21 hours of travel, I arrived in Rome yesterday evening. I got in too late to head to the city, so I spent a fitful suburban night sleeping on a friend's couch. Lots of dogs howling and birds squawking. My friend is a Finnish violinist who's dating a Sicilian drummer, and I would have stayed with them longer if they didn't live so far from the city center (half hour by car). So today I made my way to the heart of the centro storico and settled into an apartment 50 meters off Piazza Navona. A very generous guy named Alessandro is letting me stay here three nights for practically nothing. For the next few days, I'll be living right in Caravaggio's old stomping grounds. If I walk to the corner, I can see the spot where he was arrested for carrying an unlicensed sword.
This afternoon I visited the smaller of the two current exhibitions about Caravaggio. This one, in the Palazzo Venizia, presents the results of xray testing on three of his paintings. The study reveals earlier versions of these works, underneath the final images, and it allows us to understand Caravaggio's artistic process more clearly.
But tomorrow I'll see the main exhibition, which presents dozens of police records for the first time, including new information about where he lived in Rome, the murder he committed, and his death.
For now, I'm going to shrug off this jetlag with a stroll to the Tiber to catch the last of the sunset.
I'm really filled with gratitude to all my patrons for helping me get here. And I'm feeling good about the work ahead. More news soon...