Friday, 26 February 2010

A Life of Privilege

Another week in the toboggan, as the Finns say.

Seen more stuff, eaten lots of good food. Heard many interesting and some not-so-interesting things. Walked up and down the (im)famous hills of Rome. Even went out a few times. Nevertheless, I don't feel quite as beaten-up as this old fella:

The so-called “Thermae boxer”, 3rd-2nd centuries BCE, Greek.
Museo Nazionale Romano (Palazzo Massimo)

The gods of good times have been kind.

This nice marble piece with griffons devouring a deer is also currently on view in Palazzo Massimo. An unfortunate example of the massive illegal trade dealing with antiquities. It was recently repatriated to Italy from America, I think. We'll never know much more about it.

Went to a field trip to witness what's left of the ancient city of Lavinium (now called Pratica di Mare). The ruins themselves were not much to look at, and it was forbidden to take photos in the local museum, but the town itself had run-down sort of charm:


Rome by night.
Also the view I am enjoying from my current crib.

City lights... The sight of them just doesn't get boring. Much like staring into fire.

The interior decorator of this little trattoria must have been mad as a hatter :)

This is the real deal.
Memento mori, folks!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Tempus fugit

So much going on, so little time to ponder upon it online... (which is, of course, the right way round.) Most of it academic. A fair share of good food and wine. Walking around, looking at ancient stuff. Some rest over the weekend.

This week:

The Swedish Institute.

And the Danish. (It's been raining a lot. Have not been in the mood for shooting much outside.)

Brief moments of blue skies:

Villa Aurelia of the American Academy.

A photo quiz for Rome-goers: which famous building in Rome features in all the following images?

Ok, the last one might have been a bit of a give away... (The first one to leave the right answer in the comment box gets a golden star ;D)

Oh, and artichoke season is here! Which means it's time to find the best place in town for Carhiofi alla Giudia (i.e. deep-fried artichokes). This is a typical Roman (Jewish) dish, and considered quite a delicacy among the initiated. How many deep-fired things can you say that of? (Snickers bars, anyone?)

Thus, I gathered a sizeable team of aspiring foodies from the institute and headed to the Jewish ghetto (not a real ghetto, not for a while now). The first door we opened belonged to a place called Nonna Betta - it's almost next to the famous Giggetto, which is rumoured to be the best. While this was OK, we concluded that this can probably be done a lot better. (Connoisseurs among you are welcome to comment on the appearance). Maybe the menus in English and the fact that we got shoved in the basement instead of the main venue had something to do with my overall evaluation. Would not recommend the place. The quest continues...

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Made it here in one piece. Still sort of jetlagged, and a bit overwhelmed. But boy-oh-boy does it feel good to be here... There will be a lot of this in store for me for the next three months:

Bust of a man. 110-120 CE, Ostia.
Museo Nazionale Romano (Terme di Diocleziano).

And a lot of other cool stuff, too. Should get a lot of work done. So, if I start posting here every other day, I'm most likely slagging off, and should be told off immediately. (Please do. I mean it.)

Isn't this is just the cutest little thing? It lives on a small alley on the way to the supermarket.

The rest of this stuff is just me testing out all the nifty things I can do with my new cam. (We had margaritas on Friday at Margaritas.)

It has a little friend! This is also from back home (obviously).

And finally I can achieve this nice front-in-focus-backround-nicely-blurred effect. Whoppee!

A colleague gave me an Amaryllis bulb for Christmas. It grew up quickly and looked gorgeous for a few days. Such is life.

Kuurankukkasia. Wonder what that'd be English. Anyone?