Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunny Sunday Morning in Trastevere

Trastevere is the oldest neighbourhood in Rome, where one is most likely to meet people who are descended from the original inhabitants of the ancient city. The Trastevere dialect of Italian is the one, I am told, that is closest to Latin, and it can still be heard if you know what you are listening for.

It is also the home of one of the largest flea markets in Europe, the Porta Portese market, open on Sunday mornings.

Shoes..ten euro.

The actual "Porta" of the Porta Portese.

Built, no doubt, by one of those eeeevil old Renaissance popes who did nothing but wallow in money and mistresses all day long in between bouts of persecuting Jews and innocent heretics theological investigators.

Posh neighbours. This is the home of the Knights of Malta on the other side of the Tiber.

No leaves on the plane trees yet, but sunny and lovely today. Very springy. (So, how's February where you are?)

A wrecked houseboat from the flooding of the Tiber in the autumn. You can see the level to which the water rose by the plastic bags and garbage hanging from the trees lining the river. Rome: where squalor and magnificence live together.

This little church was built to preach the Good News to the Jews of Rome, whose

synagogue is across the street. The largest surviving one in Europe, thanks to Pius XII.

Ancient stuff in the entrance to the Jewish Ghetto.

This house is built on columns because in the old days, the Tiber used to flood into the City and the houses near it had to be all on stilts. When the banks were built, the lower portion of the houses between the columns was filled in to live in.

A medieval house, built on ancient columns, filled in with modern living quarters on the ground floor.

Ancient stuff, medieval stuff, baroque stuff...all jammed in together. Often in the same building. That's Rome.

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