Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Roman Holiday

Back from Europe. More later but for now, here's this:

That's Pasquino, the legendary venue for protest in Rome.  He's just behind Piazzao Navona, in his very own Piazza Pasquina, though he's a modest little rascal and you'd have to have your eyes open to notice him (Cul de Sac, catty corner across the street, is a good wine bar, from which you can gaze in admiration).  

In his day, Pasquino was the pride of Rome's "talking statues."  "Talking,"  in the sense that Roman's liked to decorate him with scabrous verses and assorted political chitchat.  Some samples are in the lower right-hand corner above.  My old 1985 Blue Guide explains:
[A]s Stendhal noted on his visit to the city in 1816 'what the people of Rome desire above all else is a chance to show their strong contempt for the powers that control their destiny, and to laugh at their expense...'.
They still do decorate him, apparently.  As of last Thursday night, he bore the manifesto pictured at upper right above.  You  may not be able to read it, but trust me, it says "Siamo Il 99 %," "We are the 99 percent."  

It was gone by next morning.  Can't imagine why.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i was in italy once -- 1946 or maybe '47. i was able seaman on a Liberty ship that went to argentina to load corn for genoa. really long trip from east coast USA all the way across equator down the coast of south america up the rio plata to rosario and back down the river to buenos Aires to finish loading. everything was cheap - bifsteak con papas fritas con un vaso de cerveza, nice whores working out of cabs or should say in cabs and off a bed in the back of cheap bard charged 6 pesos -- buck and a half. biggest rats you ever saw -- corn fed -- went on the ship with the corn. they were all over the ship all the way to genoa. unfortunately, they didn't all get off the ship in genoa with the corn and were a serious nuisance all the way from genoa to brooklyn. i got off the ship there, put my payday in the bank for college tuition, and cauight another ship -- better ship -- a C-3 -- that carried cargo to northern europe, starting in hamburg and then ports all the way down to le harve. Genoa was pretty good, but it was no Rosario.