Arkiv | november, 2009

Ara pacis in colour

27 Nov

When visiting the Ara pacis the group discussed what it might have looked like  in its (likely) original state, in colour. Imagine my dismay when I found out that such an experiment was conducted on the very day I left Rome. Here are some pictures from another blogg, writen by students of a Swedish art history class who get to stay in Rome for six weeks.


Lost in the City of the Dead

26 Nov

The Verano cemetary is a city within the city. You could get lost in here. Every tomb tells a story, if you have the knowledge or imagination to hear it. But most of these stones won’t yield their secrets so easily. Take the one here to the left. See the grenade? Was that the grenade that killed this brave aviator in 1916, or is it something he carried in his plane when it crashed? What kind of family would put a grenade on their grave? Who was this man? How did he die? More importantly, how did he live?

Isn’t this a strange coffin/sarcophagus? Stella Domheur, I think her name was, born in New York, died in Fiano Romano. Placed on top of the Montenovesi family grave. Why? An American, not good enough to bury within the family grave? Or too good for them?


As long as you don’t know the people buried, I think a cemetary can be an inspiring place to visit. An endless supply of stories, if you are tuned in.

Here lies a story, quite literally. Her name was Story, Emelyn Story and her husband was a sculptor. This piece is his work. He died himself shortly after finishing it. This is in the Protestant, or Non-Catholic cemetary. More on Emelyn and her husband here.


26 Nov

A beautiful door-pull on a shop-door on Via Piemonte. There is a shop just off Piazza di Spagna where you can by all sorts of nice door-knobs, door-knockers and the like. But nothing as exquisite as this.

Speaking of shopping, I found the streets around the Metro San Giovanni to be a good place to shop. Not as crowded as the Corso but still a very big selection. Coin is located here, which is a good department store and for the market enthusiast (meaning me) there is the Via Sannio market. Here some sellers are rather obtrusive, but if you’re only in the right mood, the market experience is always rewarding.

Leam is a good shop to browse for clothes in, but too expensive for me. I went to their outlet, close to their real shop on Via Appia Nuova. Outlet prices starting at €100 may be cheap for some, but not for me.


”I was so moved I almost fell asleep”, said James Joyce.

24 Nov

Professora Ruggieri talked about Rome as seen by foreigners. She mentioned, among others, Laurence Sterne, who wrote A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. This copy in Swedish is for sale in my bookstore. Sterne’s novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy is an astonishing – sometimes exasperating, sometimes tedious – but still astonishing novel. Too strange to describe, centuries before its time. An indication of just how strange this piece of fiction, first published in the 1760s, is, can be seen in the film made from it, just a few years ago. It is directed by Michel Winterbottom and stars Steve Coogan, the brilliant comedian who created the character of Alan Partridge. Tristram Shandy, the movie is similar to The French Lieutenant’s Woman in that the actors both act as themselves and as their characters. But Tristram Shandy takes this device to a whole other level. It is up there with Charlie Kaufman. His name is mentioned in this amusing review by Roger Ebert. If you don’t have the patience for the novel I’m sure you will enjoy the movie.

The hoax of the subliminal message

24 Nov

Remember Carlo’s bike and what it signalled? Towards the end of his interesting lecture, Professor Edoardo Lobardi mentioned the study done in 1957 on subliminal messages. During the screening of a film at a cinema, the message ”Drink Coca Cola” flashed on the screen so briefly that it wasn’t perceived by the audience. During intermission people rushed to the concessions and bought large amounts of Coca Cola. They had been influenced subliminally.

Or so the story goes. It is such a good story, it feels a pity to ruin it, but the fact of the matter is that that particulary study was a hoax and later studies in the field have proved that these kinds of subliminal messages don’t work. Read more here. There are many ways to influence people, and Prof Lombardi showed us some good examples, but the one with messages cut into films is just a case of an untrue story too good not to be told.

The language of banana boxes is universal

23 Nov

The market at Porta Portese. Banana boxes are used universally by market sellers, especially book sellers. I hear they are good for transporting bananas, but they are even better for carrying books.

The only books you’ll find in Via Condotti, in a designer bag store:

Two weeks in Rome

23 Nov

The coming week I will be writing a few posts in English, dealing with my stay in Rome the past two weeks. I took a course there together with Swedish and Italian students. I will posts some pictures and observations.















I let my shoes lead me forward through Rome.

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