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Rome 2012

The beauty of a classical education is it never need come to a close. And as I approached very near the ripe old age of 60, I began what is called by the Australian Aboriginals a “walk about” of self-discovery that lasted a magical year that will forever rate as one of the most revealing of my life both about the worlds outside and in. I was able in this extraordinary twelve-month period to visit seven regions, sacred loci, if you will. This was my pilgrimage, my Journey to the East.

My first stop Rome, of which authors have written for a thousand years and it is not enough, but I hope each picture I present really is worth a thousand words. If so, we will be getting somewhere. It was a refresher course, long over due, after a more than 25 years absence.

This is where the Latin adjective classicus comes into play, for if not here, where? The making of a superior citizen through the study of Philology, Archeology, Art history, Civilization and history, Philosophy and Religion begins with simply walking out the front door and taking a deep look and breath.

But besides wanting to consider Imperial sculpture of Pagan Rome, I was and remain tremendously drawn to the archetypes of my Judeo-Christian heritage, the Mother and Child, Archangels and Saints, all representing a sublime ideal that resonated with me as did the architecture of the many churches I visited.

I was on a mission to understand not only the definition of classical aesthetics known in painting and sculpture but also in the art of the mosaic, which I pursued as if on the Grand Tour. The eye sees beauty in every direction in Rome but it is very important to look both up and down not to miss some of the finest tile artistry.

Not only did the ancient Romans take pleasure in the beauty of the human body, so too billboard ads for contemporary fashion capture the eye in the street. Not to be missed is the fabulous Museo Nazionale Preistorico Ethnografico “Luigi Pigorini” (long name!) with a stunning collection of Kongo nail fetishes, Pre Columbian and Oceanic art, a welcome break from visiting the Vatican!


I thank my friend the great carpet scholar Stefano Ionescu for serving as my guide and travel companion for the Rome and Amalfi sections of this trip and helping to arrange the journey to Palermo and for this I am most grateful. If you are interested in such an adventure, please contact him directly at:<stefano_ionescu@yahoo.it>