Veni, Vidi...

...and then, well, I returned home. But it was a good week in Rome. I had arranged this trip some time ago—it just coincidentally happened to be the same week that Pope Francis was elected. This made for an awkward plane trip back to the USA, as I was sitting next to a priest. Guessing what was on his mind, I tried to cheer him up, telling him that maybe he'd be elected next time.

Anyway, here are some random views of the city. Click on any for a larger view.

This is my Zen view of the Fountain of Trevi, where you don't actually see the fountain, but rather the throng of tourists around it.

I burst out laughing when I saw this corridor, because it sums up the insane surfeit which is the Vatican museum. Statues next to statues, on top of other statues....

This was one of my favorite statues from the Vatican museum. The Cynocephali "dog-headed people" were a mythical race, but also the real name of a group against which the Romans fought. Maybe they were really ugly.

Whatever criticisms you might have of the Vatican, they are certainly not ones to waste valuable ceiling space. What do you have on your ceiling?

I also enjoyed this tapestry, which shows Jesus eating the dismembered carcass of some mysterious animal.

Bernini's colonnade of Saint Peter's Basilica is surmounted by larger-than life statues of saints. Every one is in an exaggerated drama-queen rapturous pose.

I just had to take a picture of this tree on the Palatine hill. I mean look at it—it's goddamn perfect.

In a city where you find statues of naked people on almost every street corner, the Fountain of the Naiads shows a particular sensuality.

Next time I hear some one going on about his "Beemer", I'm going to picture one of these babies. Italians would no doubt be shocked and appalled at the bloated vehicles in the U.S. For that matter, so am I.

The "Altar of the Fatherland" was completed in 1925 to honor the first king of unified Italy. I hear a lot of Romans dislike it for it's sheer whiteness and excess of ornamentation and bad taste. We have a name for such people in the USA: "haters of fun."


And finally, a contemporary update on the naked-people motif: a "No Parking" sign.

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