A story about my personal journey has just been published in this book which is very exciting… …so I thought I would write about some of the places in Italy where I sought the Sibyls that feature in my short story. (The story published is more of a soul searching journey I undertook to find… Read More Seeking the Sibyls in Italy
I had heard about her so went looking. It didn’t take much to find her, she was right where I expected her, although I had expected her to have a more fitting setting. She was at the back of a carpark behind a fence. She was less blooming beauty and more faded rose. Her white… Read More Making a New Friend in Rome
Catholic church law forbids Protestants to be buried in Catholic churches or on consecrated ground. In Rome, non-Catholics, at least as far back as 1716, were allotted a place of their own by the Pope of the time. A patch outside the Aurelian walls and in front of the Pyramid of Cestius was set aside by… Read More The non-Catholic Dead in Rome
In the forum in Rome, at the foot of Palatine hill, is the remains of the Atrium Vestiae. In front is the Temple of Vesta, to honor the goddess of the hearth. There, in the cella of the temple is the hearth upon which the Vestal Virgins kept the sacred fire of Rome burning. The… Read More Keeping the Home Fires Burning
Shoulder to shoulder, I jostle for position in a small crowd. I take my photo. The well meaning, do-gooder beside me with an ‘oh dear’ smile looks at me and points to the other wall, …that is the Caravaggio. Slightly indignant I give a little nod. I want to convey I know that,… I just like… Read More Knowing your Caravaggio from your Carracci (or your Elbow).
I didn’t enjoy Rome so much this time. For all sorts of reasons it wasn’t flowing. I was jet-lagged, overheated and irritated. Instead of enjoying the places that in the past have given me the most profound sense of joy, I felt not much. I was noticing details I didn’t want to notice. The poor… Read More A Little Story: My Secret Sabaudia Visit.
Italy has so much history, so many sites to preserve and excavate further that it is a burden as well as a blessing. And they discover more regularly. Digging a metro station or even a garden can result in discoveries that will require costly preservation and hold ups. Culture is Italy’s natural resource, … home… Read More Too Much Heritage
Pre 1900s Rome suffered damaging flooding on a scale unimaginable to us, a couple of times every 100 years. The Jewish ghetto area seemed to take a large share of the brunt. Much of Rome was a marshy wetland between the seven hills. The last time the Tiber was in flood was December 2008, the last… Read More The Floods of Rome-At the Mercy of the Tiber
In Rome I spent a lovely evening on Gianicolo (in English: Janiculum) Hill at the lookout eating suppli. While enjoying the sunset and the rising of the full moon I barely noticed the imposing sculture behind me of a bloke on a horse. (There were a few tall handsome Americans throwing a frizzbee,… I was distracted). As I strolled… Read More Giuseppe & Anita: A Love Story
Twice I decided to get out of Rome for day trips. The first time I took to the hills, the Alban hills, the south eastern ones you gaze out towards from the roof of St Peters in Rome, (if the smog lifts). The area is a regional park called Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani and includes… Read More 3 Breasts in Frascati & a Boar’s Head in Orvieto