Continuing with the Warren Zevon reference, as I am wont to do. If it’s OK for Hank Moody and the producers of Californication, it’s certainly okay for me.
I want to live alone in the desert
I want to be like Georgia O’Keefe
I want to live on the Upper East Side
And never go down in the street
I don’t need no one
‘Splendid Isolation’ is one of my favourite Zevon songs. Up until today, I had not really thought about why. But it was the song that immediately sprang to mind after posting the Part 1 blog on Rome. You work it out……
So reflecting last night on my day, I resolved to find things that would not make me feel closed in. A quick look at the tourist map and a big swatch of green stood out – the Villa Borghese and its parklands. So that was to be my target.
A quick drive to an area near Baldo degli Ubaldi tube station and would you believe the same free carpark space I used yesterday was still free. A quick tube ride to Flaminio station near the Piazza del Popolo, and then a walk straight to the park via the Pincio section below the park.
Aaaaah. Peaceful, with relatively few people. Not isolation in its truest form, but comparatively so.
Buying a frozen lemon drink, I let out a very satisfied aaaaaaah, and got an immediate response from a couple approaching the same vendor. They spoke to me in English and we had a lovely chat. Newlyweds in their early 30s, from Worcester and about to move to Isle of Wight for a better lifestyle for their 3 girls. Delightful people, and not a selfie-stick on them. Interestingly, they were looking for much the same experience, having quickly tired of the thronging crowds.
I felt better after hearing that, as I feared I was becoming misanthropic. 🙂
One thing I did not do is pay to enter anything obviously connected to the Catholic Church. It owns about 60% of landholding in Rome, last time I chased the stats. I was raised a Catholic, but my questioning mind never allowed me to comfortably accept the whole ‘faith’ thing. I’m an empirical person. I want facts and data.
Along the way I think The Church also let many of its constituents down – it failed to maintain a progressive approach, and became mired in its own form of fundamentalism. It’s attitude to women in the face of the Sexual Revolution being a case in point.
And a period of time in a Catholic high school did not give me reason to develop positive feelings towards The Church.
Now, the new bloke, Pope Francis, he may well drag The Church kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, but it won’t be without a fight. My jury is still out. Thankfully, I don’t plan on burning the people who disagree with my opinions……. Well, not right now, anyway.
So I am morally opposed to going to anything connected with The Church.
No Vatican Tour for me, or the Vatican Museum.
No St Peter’s Basilica.
Apart from Villa Borghese I went to the Museo Leonardo da Vinci, which had some interactive models that were fun to use, and some very interesting displays in general. At 10 EU maybe a little pricey but I liked it enough to buy a tee-shirt as well.
At the furthest extreme of the park I found the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna. 8.50 EU. What a gem! Quiet, with few people, unlike the crazy Galleries in Paris, and some damn fine art. Note that it’s worth enlarging these images and seeing the depth of detail. Bella’s work is luscious, and the Tommassi and Corcos paintings show incredible levels of detail and it certainly lifted my heart to behold these lovely things. I suppose Lonely Planet and similar sites will eventually put this place on the ‘Top 10 Undiscovered Treasures of Italy’ or something similar, and the place will go to hell in a handbasket fairly quickly as the selfie-stick brigade take over. LOL.
And I found a new artist to love, Giacomo Balla. Sorry if some of the shots aren’t square, but it was hard sometimes to get a decent shot because of other displays.
A couple from Bella, first up. Great colour.
I also found this Angelo Tommasi painting titled ‘The Immigrants’. Given what’s happening across the Mediterranean, including Italy, the placement of this large canvas near the entrance was not, I believe, accidental. And it is beautiful. Sorry about the bad angle, best I could do.
As is this sculpture from Umberto Boccioni.
And this one, ‘Sogni’, from Vittorio Corcos in 1896.
A Gustav Klimt, from 1905. Apart from the glorious use of colour, the topic will interest my daughter Ellen, who is a midwife.
And here’s some random shots. There was so much really good art here it was wonderful. Mission achieved, I had a great Day 2. Redemption!