All roads lead to...
Monday, June 04, 2007 by Dave Winer.
This morning (Sunday) it was pouring rain, I was feeling better after a second consecutive night of non-jetlagged sleep in a comfortable bed (I'm in a four-star hotel, very nice), but still fighting a nasty head cold that was creeping down into the chest. I slept in, had breakfast, dressed warm (it's unseasonably cool here), put on my rain coat, left the laptop in the room, and headed out for Vatican City, thinking I'd see the insides of some fantastic churches, where it was nice and dry, and try to seen ancient Rome tomorrow.
Flickr photo set: Italy June 2007.
It's small when you think that for centuries, this was the capital of the western world. It's the size of a small college campus. Smaller than UW-Madison, or Harvard, about the size (or so it felt to me) of Tulane University when I went there in the 70s.
The largeness was best expressed by the feeling standing where an emperor could have stood, looking at something that man had created. At that point in time, it wasn't the only such achievement, but it was a 2.0, compared to the earlier capitals. Yes, they stole ideas from the Greeks and the Egyptians, but the scale of their accomplishment, their power, was unparalleled.
That was the ancient experience. Walking back from the ruins of ancient Rome, you visit functioning architecture of stunning beauty and modernity but also ancient by the standards of civilization where I come from. But the beauty. Oh man. Of all the sites I saw today, the one that impressed me the most was Trevi Fountain. But that's with the caveat that I saw only a small fraction of what Rome has to offer.
I came back to dry off, upload pictures, and take a rest (nursing a cold) before going back out again. The sun won't set until 8 or 9PM and it's ony 3PM, so I should be able to get in a bit more touring before turning in for the night.