Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This blog started, almost one year ago, as an experiment in totally anonymous blogging. Also it was an exercise in a foreign language. It remained anonymous (and lonely) for the first months – nobody, not even my closest friends, knew about it. I probably expected visitors from the wide international blog-ocean. A few came and only one left a comment.

Then, tired of loneliness, I started to divulge my secret to some people and later to visitors of my site. This was wrong. My private diary became a blog like all others. It seems I could not resist the lures of publicity. Aiming to an audience, my texts and photos became predictable and trite. (You can see the difference from the first entries). I repent.

I will continue for a time, but my heart is cold. I plan to start a new anonymous blog, in another language – and this time I will tell nobody. I like talking to myself. It is a warm clandestine privilege.

Friday, September 12, 2008

It all began HERE! (Rome 3)

Rome. Piazza di Spagna. The college (of cardinals) for the dissemination of faith, founded by the Vatican in 1622. "De propaganda fide". Propaganda, from the verb propagare, became a noun. And what a noun!

Everything started here. Propaganda, advertising, marketing, public relations, spin doctors, Goebbels, Mao, brain washing... everything...

Impressions of Rome (2)


Rome is the city of Vespas, minimal Cars (nowhere have I seen so many Smarts, swarms of Smarts) and narrow undulating paved roads. With a lot of obstacles - tables, boxes, plants, parked vehicles...

In this photo you can see eighteen Vespas and two Smarts. This is the right statistical proportion.

Driving around can make you seasick. Especially if you ride in a classic Roman taxi - a Fiat Multipla - with a suspension to win you a gold medal in the trampoline.

As an alternative you can alway hire a horse driven carriage. Otherwise it is Vespas and Vespas...

Bur sometimes, in the depths of a magnificent portico, in the insides of a palazzo you can spot an expensive Merc.


Rome is also the city of herds. Not of cattle but of tourists. They dutifully follow their cicerone who holds high up something to be seen from afar. A number, a folded umbrella or a bouquet of flowers.

The herds come and go, cross and mix and sometimes lose a stray tourist...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Impressions of Rome (1)

The Pines of Rome

What I most love about the Eternal City are its elegant, slender "umbrella pines". For me the pines of Rome are its basic symbol. Whether in the Palatine hill, in the Villa Borghese, or the road to Ostia.

In their elegance they remind me of the women of Rome. In their power and durability, of its history.

Ottorino Respighi has written a symphonic poem about the Pines of Rome. For the time being, I can only produce one photo (the only one I was able to upload from my hotel connection). Now I added a second one.

The color of Rome

This is as close as I could get, photographically, to that strange tint of ochre, that most of the old Roman houses present on their facade. It descends all the way from the Ancient Romans - excavation vestiges have proved that it was their favorite color too.

And sometimes you see bushes and trees - olive trees! - adorning a Roman window.

More when I am back.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rome revisited

It is always difficult to revisit a place you love. Disappointment lurks. I know I will never attempt Granada or the Bretagne. You cannot surpass the absolute, and anything less will be a letdown.

I have being in Rome many times - starting in 1955 during a month-long vacation. But the crown was my last visit, in 1986. The Villa Adriana and a walk down the Via Appia Antiqua at dusk.

There is only one way out - not to revisit the same spots. Big and historical cities like London, Paris, Constantinople, have always new surprises for you.

No, this time I will definitely NOT go to Tivoli for the Villa Adriana. Hope I will discover something else, something different.

And after all, there is always pasta...

Packing suitcase. I'm off.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First Love...

Zapping by chance: an old black and white movie on TV and suddenly a woman's face makes me tingle. A beautiful woman - but what I feel is more than admiration for her appearance. It is something very strong and vibrant. And deeply rooted in my past.

Who is that woman?

I check the program. And now I know. She is the woman I saw on the screen sixty years ago and remained sleepless for nights.

Her name is Maureen O'Hara.

She was my first love. I was twelve and her beauty and temperament completely overwhelmed me.

I saw her again, later, in other movies. Color changed her - fiery red hair and limpid green eyes added to her radiance. But the magic of the first encounter was gone.

Decades went by. I had completely forgotten my first love. Until last night. I searched the Internet for photos. Here she is, in all her glory.

(She is still alive - but no, I will not publish newer stills).