Perhaps more than any other city, Rome is a palimpsest - history overlaid on history, each layer acquiring new meaning as it acquires new neighbors. Friend of No Man Neil Watson visited recently and came away with this eternal city that has survived a republic, an empire, and still today is capital to both a nation and a faith.

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The Pantheon began as a Roman temple and is now a church. There used to be a McDonalds right in front of it, making a triple stack of Western cultural history, but it is gone now. Sic transit gloria.


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The Roman Forum is in good enough shape today that you can walk through it and imagine ancient commerce and society whirling around you. 

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Renaissance architecture in Rome is often a bit more angular than its Florentine counterpart. Here you see straight lines and circles, whereas in Florence arches are more common.

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Rome has always been a city that enjoyed feasting. Ancient Rome did not know anything like what we now think of as pasta, although the story that Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy from China is probably false.

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Usually the weather is warm enough to eat outdoors.

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Old buildings, new signs. Here again you can see the slightly more angular Roman architectural styles, with some of the windows framed by triangular or straight pediments.

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Rome was hit hard during WWII, but won the world over again with the 1953 movie Roman Holiday, which featured Gregory Peck driving Audrey Hepburn throughout the city in a Vespa not too different from this one.

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Never gets old.