I returned last night from a fantastic vacation to Rome, and have documented some of the highlights. Please click on each photo for a larger image.
Every time I travel to a new city, I bring along a caricature of myself and give it to a local. Here I am seen presenting it to a confused Italian caricature artistt.
As I stood on this street corner in the high end shopping district pondering where to spend $6000 dollars on a designer bag, I wondered, “Do people debate the superiority of Gucci vs Pucci on internet forums?”
This is not an actual salami, it is merely a half scale replica of the one that Jorge Garcia ate when he stopped into this shop in May, 2006.
This is La Bocca della Verita. An Italian “Blarney Stone” of sorts, you stick your hand in the mouth and if you tell a lie, it bites your hand off. Evidently it plays a prominent role in “Roman Holiday”, which I guess is some sort of indie film starring two unknown actors, Audridge Hepburn and Gregory Pock.
The line was too long, so we started our own tradition, La Garbage Can della Verita. If you lie while sticking your hand in, a rat bites your hand. (This picture taken just before rat bite and subsequent swelling occurred.)
This statue of Marcus Aurelius is located in the Piazza del Campidoglio, which was designed by Michelangelo. One of our guidebooks describes it thusly: “Perhaps the most perfect public space ever built – a marvel of harmony and elegance.” (Theodore K. Rabb, Historian, Princeton University). I hope in their next edition they also include “Take a picture of me under those!” (Conor Lastowka, Writer, RiffTrax)
This carving was displayed in the Vatican Museum. It is entitled “Death Waits Out Abe Vigoda.”
Sienan lore has it that if you take a picture of yourself imitating this glasses-wearing wild boar head and nobody punches you in the face for being a touristy doofus, you will have good luck in the new year.
My family got a great rate on a huge, ornately decorated apartment right near the Spanish Steps, but the only catch was that at all times somebody must sit in front of the portrait of the eccentric owner with a lit candle. This was taken on Christmas morning at 4:36 AM.
The mascot of Italian gas station chain “Agip” bewilders me. It’s some sort of six legged, fire-breathing dog. In the backstory I’ve invented for him, his fifth leg is prosthetic, he drinks diesel for breakfast, (unleaded for dinner), and rewards good children with a ride on his flying submarine.
And that’s it! Happy New Year to all and may your 2008 be full of riffing!