More of the


Eternal City



Tiberius and Caligula (Rome's second and third emperors) are associated with this villa. The first century A.D. was an era of turbulence, deceit, betrayal, disappointment and maybe personal depression among the empire's rulers. Certainly it was a fairly chaotic time to be alive. One of the most consistently steady emperors was Tiberius. He was followed immediately by one of the most brusque and barbaric specimens of capricious madness, Caligula— "little boots."

I mentioned the Via Appia earlier. Here is a little movie cobbled from scavenged videos from online. Trimmed and with improved color of course, but overall showing excellent camerawork. From the viewpoint of the drone that's generating this footage, this sprawling historical preserve looks like a vast vacant lot, with trees growing where they happened to sprout, and weeds everywhere. Not a bad analogy, except that this derelict piece of property happens to showcase villas and columbariums and catacombs dating back a generous 2300 years.

Which if one can somehow secure a bicycle, may be freely explored. Bring a picnic.


Churches are here in Rome, and more churches. These photos happen to show some of the fifth century mosaic artwork in Santa Maria Maggiore, one of Rome's oldest. The structure you see from the street has been extensively modified and made to look, well, more practical than elegant, so that you would never suspect the history that still clings to the walls within.

Beneath the edifice is a major archaeological project that has been quietly underway for years. It has uncovered (literally) millennia of past occupants and functions at this very site. I pray it will be open to visit.

And no kidding, this is the mid-18th century revision of the basilica. Happily the inside remains unscathed.


Again to the Forum on at least two different days, the first with a "free-for-tips" walking tour and the second more slowly to digest concepts and process facts that I was just told. So many, many layers of history lie behind these stone columns and arches and crumbling foundations.

Inside and outside of St Paul's Within the Walls (Episcopal) in Rome, where I'd like to attend an evensong service. The place seems not to convey the exuberance or extravagance of even the humblest RC basilica hereabouts, but it is elegant nonetheless.


It's an ordinary condominium up there, and yet the ordinariness of it is part of the attraction —this is how and where Romans live, by and large. One of my windows is opened, at the top left side (above). And the bright, designerly table here has three espresso cups: one for me and....

Sleeping indoors in Rome.


une fois encore