Friday, December 17, 2010

pattinaggio sul ghiaccio

This year's Christmas ice skating rink at the Auditorium Parco della Musica no longer occupies the cavea, rather a much wider space in front of the ReD cafè.
This series was shot last weekend.
I'm happy I caught the smiles and happiness of these three kids, drenched and giddy, in thier rented skates and loose-fitting elastic clothing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

galleria nazionale d'arte moderna

This photo was taken exactly 1 year ago.
The National modern art museum is a beautiful 19th century building nestled in the Valle Giulia, between the river Tiber and Villa Borghese. It contains works by Burri, Colla, Capogrossi, Fontana, Balla, De Chirico, Guttuso, Schifano; but also Picasso, Mondrian, Pollock, Calder, Moore.

On the north-facing wall is engraved my favorite Michelangelo quote,  

"Questo sol m'arde, e questo m'innamora."

Michelangelo employs the word "sol" in a way that could be interpreted as 'sun' = sole; and 'only' = solo. 
It is a complex phrase. And so romantic, in both it's meanings:

"This shining sun makes me go up in flames, and it makes me fall in love."
"This alone consumes me, and seduces me."

What is Michelangelo referring to?
Art? Beauty? A person's smile? Or is he really only talking about the sun?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

muro torto

The Muro Torto (meaning, "askew wall") is an ancient Roman supporting wall located behind the Pincian hill, that cuts through the Villa Borghese, running all the way from Via Veneto to the Piazza del Popolo. 

Don't be fooled by this picture, weekday traffic here is always bumper-to-bumper. There are actual sayings to that effect, like for example, "Jammed like the Muro Torto at rush hour..." or, "Growing old on the Muro Torto," etc. I'm kidding, the maxims don't exist. But the traffic is indeed very real.

The wall–dating to the end of the Republican era (509 BC to 27 BC)–supports the sloping hillside that once housed many patrician mansions, like the ones belonging to the Anicii, the Acilii and Pinci families.

The wall was later included in the monumental Aurelian Wall complex; and in the late 1800s this is where suicide victims, thieves, vagabonds and prostitutes were buried.

For more interesting history and lore surrounding the Muro Torto, you can read this very well-written article (in Italian) by Domenico Augenti.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Yep, that's me. In a situation I am most likely to be seen smiling: in front of a plate of local salumi & cheese, while holding a glass of wine.

It was a great bottle of Cesanese del Piglio, that Deborah and her son John shared with me over lunch at a wine merchant called Buccone. The store is located on Via Ripetta, to the right of the Piazza del Popolo twin churches.  It's great to meet a friend made through blogging.

Image © Deborah S. M.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

buon pastore

Between Via di Bravetta and Via Silvestri, sits the monumental neo-Baroque Buon Pastore suburban complex. Built by Architect Armando Brasini between 1929 and 1943, the intricate system of buildings was initially a convent, then it became an orphanage, a hospital and later hosted a military hospice. Some say it was even a questionable asylum for little girls and a prostitute sanatorium. Today it's home to three important high schools. Whatever the destination, bars and strange vibes still remain...

The Buon Pastore has often lent its eery and majestic structure to cinema. Pierpaolo Pasolini, Dario Argento and many other filmmakers have used this place in their movies. Last week I shot here for the first time, but many of my colleagues had filmed here before. It was an astounding discovery to learn of this place, only a few miles from the more famous Roman landmarks.
Among other locations within the complex, we used the central courtyard for the concert scene in a TV movie that will air overseas at the beginning of 2011.