Rome: July 6 - 8, 2003
July 6, 2003:
- Sometimes you get lucky. This is actually a decent representation of part of the Roman Forums.
- The long view of the Roman Forums.
- Two Smarties! I want one of these cars. Why don't they sell them in the U.S.?
- A view of my hotel, Albergo Sole, from the excellent restaurant next door.
July 7, 2003:
The Catacombs of St. Priscilla are closed on Mondays. Now they tell
me. I spent all day getting there, taking an exciting detour through
the police office at the main train station. It turns out the illegal
taxi operator I hired to drive me to the catacombs was being staked
out since 8 a.m. - I probably negotiated with him around 10:30 - and
as soon as we got into his very non-taxi-like car in a parking lot
(again, an unlikely spot for a taxi), the police officer was tapping
on the window. I had to come along and fill out a report, saying that
this man was trying to rob me. This ended up robbing me of my narrow
window of time to get to the catacombs before lunch. After lunch (and
my usual sojourn in nearby internet cafes), I got a legit taxi driver,
who dropped me off miles into suburbia. Catacombs closed. Taxi gone.
No busses, no taxis. I first nourished myself with some gelato then
walked for two hours to get back to Piazza del Populo. I was proud of
myself (briefly) for cleverly taking a short cut through the extensive
gardens of the park up above Piazza del Populo, until the gardens had
me turned completely around and I despaired of getting to Cafe Rosati
(which I have decided is my favorite cafe in Rome.) . But I made it
and happily sat down and drank a liter of mineral water. Moral: pay
attention to "opening times" in the guidebook, and avoid illegal
taxis. Although the police station was somewhat interesting, sporting
all sorts of vivid grisly Christian art, and some vaguely
neo-Mussolini kind of art.
- You can't quite see them, but there are gorgeous workmen on the scaffolding around Piazza del Populo. View from Cafe Rosati.
- Public art, spread across rock columns in a park. "Saying or writing that rome is an open air museum is too easy. It should be demonstrated even in the little details."
- Emporio Armani.
- Co-opera. And cooperate. Or turn back. (I'm not sure opera and operate share a common root ... then again, they just might.)
- European Juggler, juggling the common currency?
- "Only For Today." Well, the art is a bit perplexing, but you can see it was a lovely little park.
- Barefoot in Rome - not Roman women, surely ...
- Shadows on columns that stoically support the passing moment's whimsies.
- Actually, now that I think of it, this park was really some sort of partial small local excavation.
- An unfortunately washed-out picture of the church near the park.
- Why is it that the vines and flowers add so much grace and lightness to the old building?
- A yellow Smart car!
- The piazza next to my hotel: Piazza Farnese, location of open-air street market (most days.)
July 8, 2003:
- Local legend: put your hand in Bocca's mouth (2 A.D.?) and if you tell a leg, chomp! Off goes the hand. Buses upon buses of eager tourists show up at this magnificent church from the 4th century (they never peek inside) just to have their picture taken with their hand in Bocca's mouth. It is really preposterous. This is just some unknown guy, since it was impossible to get a picture without someone's hand in peril.
- An ancient Roman temple (1 A.D.?), a fountain added later (18th century?), and decidedly 21st century traffic, featuring one of the ubiquitous scooters.
- A quieter view of the Roman temple. This temple is across the street from the church where Bocca is chomping off hands.
- The second temple in this area - and, to the left, aforementioned Bocca church. It is actually used as a Greek Orthodox church these days.
- Ruins near Teatro di Marcello, just up the street from ol' Bocca. I tell you, you just stroll in any direction in central Rome, and you either find excavated ruins, or ruins in the process of being excavated.
- Said ruins. I love the juxtaposition of church-from-last-few-centuries with Roman columns.
- One mo' agin. Next to my favorite local ruins, these are my favorite ruins, since they were just unexpected and no one seemed to be paying them no mind.
- I will have to ask my psychiatrist what it means that I love winged chariot and winged victory, flying off into space from atop any old building. This shot gets bonus points: two winged creatures in one shot.
- This one is too great. The fountain of the turtles. Look closely, you'll see them crawling up towards the water. This is an absolutely lovely piazza, by the way.
- This appears to be a quiet piazza with a fountain. Sorry, can't get more specific than that ... I have no idea ...
Last modified: October 22, 2003