Nota bene.


Santa Maria della Concezione Crypts


“Quello che voi siete noi eravamo; quello che noi siamo voi sarete.

“That which you are, we were; that which we are, you will be.”


On the Via Veneto in Rome is a small church, Santa Maria della Concezione, attached to which is a crypt of Capuchin monks. The burial ground consists of a few small chapels, the pilasters, arches, and vaults profusely decorated with the bones of four thousand exhumed monks that were brought to the church in 1631.




Ah, Roma…



Imagine being three thousand years old. Suppose by some mysterious process you had managed to avoid the limitations of mortality, and year after year you keep going, adding more and more experiences to your life story until you have no choice but to repeat them because you have exhausted all possibilities.

You are the very essence of what it means to be human. You have had more than your share of victories and defeats, triumphs and tragedies, moments of glory and those of abjection, times when you wish you had never been born and times when you want to go on forever. You have loved and lost, have abandoned and been left behind, been rich and poor, skinny and fat, lived high on the hog and been forced to scramble for a few morsels of stale bread. You have seen it all, done it all, regretted it all, and then gone back and done it all again.

You are la città eterna, Rome, the Eternal City.

Epstein, Alan. As the Romans Do: The Delights, Dramas, And Daily Diversio (p. 1). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.


You may not know this about me, but…

Update with a new picture, to explain the hazards of driving in Italy!


get back, lauretta!

I have always been afraid to drive in Italy!!  Not because, as is generally known, Italians ignore rules and regulations; not because the signs measure kilometers and not miles; not because I don’t the directions to where I’m going….but because I have never been sure I could find my way out of and then back in to the city!  Whether the city be Roma or Firenze or wherever.

I could always picture myself going around and around some round-about, not being able to get off; or, driving wrong way both up and down one way streets in the historic center.

So, it is not with a little pride that I share with you that I not only rented a car myself last weekend, an adorable Fiat Cinquecento, as seen below:


But I successfully drove it out of Florence, through Tuscany, to the area around Val d’Orcia in the south of…

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