Tuesday, April 20, 2004

After 30 minutes of thinking about what to write about Rome I gave up; I would only recount tourist stories told a thousand times over. Sadly, but predictably, Rome was heaving with us; sufficiently so that I’ve since decided to further minimise my time spent in such hotspots. Despite that I’ve more good pictures of Rome than I have of Naples; testimony to the former’s beauty and the impossiblity – for this amateur anyway – of recording the vibrancy of the latter on celluloid.

However, you may not know that a Nike was an angel that supposedly accompanied Roman emperors on victory parades through the town. One is depicted on the victory arch at the front of the Forum. And the Nike symbol is of said angel’s wings. Fantastic.

My reflections on the colloseum were of awe – at its size – but also pity – at its present state. Having seen how well-preserved the Arena in Verona is – concerts are still played there – it became a pity that – at least while we’re in the building itself – the sound of the colloseum’s audience and the atmosphere of its crucible will only ever exist in our imagination. Fortuanately special effects now do most of the work the mind ever had to and Gladiator brings it all to life, even if it is apparantly littered with historical inaccuracies.

The only thing unique to my trip – or perhaps, sadly, it isn’t so unique – was the awful performance of the Italian railways. However I wouldn’t, sometime in the future, want to reread my thoughts on a lovely Easter holiday and have them marred but a reminder of the farcical details. So I’ll leave those rants and thoughts to another day. And besides, it’s a whole conversation in itself. In the meantime, here’s the early morning spendor of the Roman Forum. How many cities do you know have 2,000 year-old ruins just lying around between their main streets?

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