Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tiber Flood Markers

It is always interesting to take note of the flood markers found around Rome.
This marker on the Hospital of Santo Spirito has a finger pointing to
how high the water got when the Tiber River flooded on Christmas Day in 1598.
My friend Damion is clowning around, as if he is under water!

Night time Birdwalking

This past week I went to Enoteca Trastevere to hear the Ambrit Women's Choir. It was a wonderful evening with friends and we enjoyed great wine and nibbles in the wine bar as the choir gathered around a piano and gave a wonderful performance of songs that included madrigals and jazz.

As I walked from Largo Argentina to Freni e Frizioni (in English "brakes and clutches") a former mechanic's workshop on the river bank in Trastevere to celebrate a friend's birthday, I took a few pictures of things that caught my eye.

A building entrance between Campo de Fiore and the Ghetto.

Slices of Pizza for a quick bite to eat.

A stationary store with a window of RED for Valentine's Day.

Lovers caught kissing on a bridge.

Singapore Sling
I don't think I have had one of these drinks since the 1970's!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Proietti: Santo Spirito in Sassia

While walking along Borgo Santo Spirito I noticed an interesting alms box attached to the complex of Santo Spirito in Sassia. Today the Hospital of Santo Spirito continues a work of caring for the sick that began in 727 as a place for Saxon pilgrims (from where the word "Sassia" originates) to receive medical care while visiting the nearby tomb of St. Peter's. The original buildings were destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 12th century and given a papal directive to help the sick, the poor and the "proietti" (abandoned and illegitimate babies).
To the right of the alms box is the revolving door
that anonymously received abandoned babies.
An interesting octagonal lantern is above the door.

BAV: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

On the left side of St. Peter's Basilica there is currently an exposition corresponding to the reopening of the Vatican Library (BAV: Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana) after a three year renovation project.
Through wall graphics, projections, facimile and actual artifacts from the Vatican Library, the visitor is presented with the history of the library and exposed to the scope of the collection, moving from room to room with an audio guide.

Wall graphics give a sense of how the many volumes of the library are stored.

This is a page from a facimile of Dante's Divine Comedy originally made in the 15th century for Federico da Montefeltro, the Duke of Urbino.

This is a picture of an actual page from a hymnal made in the 16th cenury.

The exhibit also included many wonderful maps and interesting coins.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mimmo Paladino: Victims Memorial

On my way home today I noticed a slightly drooping bouquet of flowers beside a sculpture by Mimmo Paladino near the Porta San Paolo and Piramide. The ribbon on the flowers said it was for the Roman Day of Memorial, January 27th, a day to remember the millions who died in the holocaust.
Approaching from the west the viewer encounters the "backs" of five steel silouettes. With hands chained and a target marked between the shoulders, the figures are facing a steel wall with a mirror of their image. As people pass by they can see their own reflections in these mirrors.

If you stand between the steel wall and the figures you can see colored triangles on the front of each figure. From left to right, the triangles are: Black - assigned to people who were deemed "asocial elements," including Roma (gypsies) and the mentally ill; Red - political prisoners; Double Yellow - a Star of David that marked Jews; Blue - foreign forced laborers; and Pink - homosexuals and other "sex offenders."

On a nearby wall a plaque dedicates this monument, not only to the victims of the Nazi Holocaust, but also to all "potenziali bersagli - potential targets" of fascism and rascism.
The sculptor Mimmo Paladino was born in 1948. His sculptures for the Way of the Cross in the Church of Santo Volto di Gesù are posted on this blog.

Pasta Discovery: CALAMARETTI

I am always amazed at the many different types of pasta I encounter in Italy. My latest discovery was calamaretti.The other night we had calamaretti with a zucca sauce. It was delicious! The pasta was cut like pieces of calamari and the sauce was made from pumpkin (zucca), ricotta salata and pumpkin seeds.

The Blogger is Back!

After taking a break during January, I am back on the blog. I will again be sharing 6 to 8 postings a month about my "birdwalks" inside and outside the walls of Rome. AMOROMA!

The morning sky over Piazza Oderico da Pordanone
as I leave our building to catch the bus to go to work.