Thursday, April 7, 2011


My daughter was enchanted with this more or less modern house in central Rome that had clearly been frescoed in the traditional style fairly recently. What struck her was the fact that it didn't look contrived or deliberately vintage, but simply natural and ordinary, given its setting.

We never walked anywhere very fast because buildings like this one engaged our attention on every block. Even if they did not have pictures painted all over them, some everyday detail or color or texture or perspective would catch our collective eye and we would stop to admire and discuss. There was no mistaking us for anything other than the unembarrassed tourists we were.

Graffiti was rare, Rome being a notably tidy town. In fact, the one in blue below was absolutely the only one we found with any political content, and we came across it the day after the big pro-labor demonstration we chanced to witness in Piazza del Popolo.