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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.


Beneath the Santa Maria Maggiore 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.


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.

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