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Rome Essentials

Eats 

Near Santa Maria Maggiore
Tempio di Mecenate Ristorante/Pizzeria Largo Leopardi, 14/18 (Via Merulana) www.tempiodimecenate.it This restaurant is always full of diners. There's usually a line in front of the outdoor dining room. The food is quite good and the bill for three with wine and bottled water adds up to €52. 
Panella Via Merulana This is a bakery and restaurant in one. They have a buffet table for a fixed price. Outdoor seating. Attracts a young crowd.
Cute animal shaped breads at Panella
Near the Pantheon
Capranica Enoteca and Taverna Piazza Capranica 99/100 www.enotecacapranica.it/en
Bar at Capranica
This is a beautiful taverna inside the Palazzo Capranica, a renaissance era palace.  The bar, in warm tones of brown, is the backdrop of this elegant dining room. I had their salmon with risotto and zucchini.
Across from the Colosseo 
Oppio Caffè Via delle Terme di Tito, 72 Colosseo, Roma www.oppiocaffe.it
This café not only has the best view of the Colosseo, it also has the …

The Ecstasy of St. Teresa of Ávila

The emergence of Baroque art in the 17th c (1600 – 1700) was driven in part by the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic Church responded to the Reformation movement by propagating Baroque art with its flamboyance and theatricality, in order to engage the faithful through religious art and architecture and bring back erring believers to the Church.

The Cornaro Chapel is inside the Church of Santa Maria della Vittora in Rome. Here is Baroque art at its finest. St. Teresa of Ávila, a nun from the 16th century, is seen with an angel who has pierced her heart. Rays of light emanate from the heavens to illuminate the scene. On the side walls of the altar are theatre boxes where spectators (modeled by the Cornaro family) are watching the scene unfolding in front of them. St. Teresa is experiencing an intense spiritual vision that leaves her “utterly consumed by the great love of God”. Here is St. Teresa’s account of her vision:
It was our Lord's will that in this vision I should see the a…

Random Rome

I spied this courtyard filled with antique statues on my way to Santa Susanna. It would have been lovely to take Venus or one of the busts home with me to adorn my ho-hum garden. How many interesting conversations it would have started! But I console myself that I didn't have to pay extra for excess baggage.

These two turbaned gentlemen in orange robes sit here all day in perfect balance across from the Pantheon. One man holds the stick on which the second sits in mid air. Total concentration and control are needed to maintain this stance. Most importantly, how can they keep cool in the scorching summer heat? They must be thinking about winter!

Yes, it's a pedal car but not for a child. I wonder if all the knock off bags and scarves hanging from the rack will be packed away in the back of this motorized tricycle? A smart car indeed!


A piece of wall, a reminder of Rome's storied past, preserved in the center of the city and just down the street from Santa Maria Maggiore. I…

The Many Faces of the Colosseum

In mid afternoon, the Colosseum is tinged in chalky white.

At sunset, the Colosseum is baked in shades of sienna. 

The exposed inner rim was pockmarked by medieval robbers in search of iron clamps.  

My favorite view of the Colosseum is from the Via Sacra where ancient columns provide a linear frame to the elliptical curve of the Colosseum's walls.

Past events in this ancient amphitheater are put to bed in the dark shadows of night. If only walls could talk, what a fright they would tell!
An excerpt from Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto the Fourth, (1818): A Ruin — yet what Ruin! from its mass
Walls — palaces — half-cities, have been reared;
Yet oft the enormous skeleton ye pass,
And marvel where the spoil could have appeared.
Hath it indeed been plundered, or but cleared?
Alas! developed, opens the decay,
When the colossal fabric's form is neared:
It will not bear the brightness of the day,
Which streams too much on all — years — man — have reft away.

But when the risi…

Highlights of My Italian Summer

The Duomo, Milan
In the next few weeks I'll be writing in detail about my trip to Italy this June. For the moment, I'd like to share some highlights of our visit to this country that calls you, like a siren, to come back for more.

It took more than four centuries to complete the construction of Milan's Duomo. Napoleon Bonaparte demanded it be ready for his coronation as King of Italy. This photo was taken on a Sunday, sunny day and family day.
A short train ride from Milan to Lake Como and a total change of pace. Far from the madding crowd, Lake Como is naturally beautiful and peaceful in late spring. It might be quite a different scene in summer. 
Bellagio, Lake Como
We made a pilgrimage to Padua in the Veneto region to pray at the tomb of St. Anthony. The feast of St. Anthony is on June 13 and we we were lucky to have participated in one of the masses during the 13-day long festivities.
Basilica del Santo, Padua
Venice is such a fragile peninsula that has survived thro…