Friday, December 25, 2009

Rome: Digging Past the Past

In Switzerland, if you stand in a street corner, you see at least 3 clocks; in Rome, it is 3 obelisks, or may be fountains, or churches, or all of the above.

I have my favorite observations of Rome, ancient and modern. They may be wrong, but they are plausible and therefore good. The first is that Romans could scale buildings as much as they did because they used bricks, stone-based constructions would not have scaled, much as without steel-based constructions, modern cities will not be. The other is their modern metro, DC-like, plunges deep into the ground because they had to operate below the antique sites and their treasures. Even in the CS dept of La Sapienza, where WINE was held, a little digging hit ancient Rome and you can see the remains where the stairs end.

The US coffee market that has scaled coffee from regular (8 oz), to tall, grande, venti (20 oz) and beyond, may want to scale the other way with their espresso. How about a regular (US) and micro (Italy, as someone at WINE said, call them "espre")? Luigi Laura said of Espresso in Monaco: "they have Italian machines, Italian people, almost Italian water, but still can't make an Espresso".

ps: Not Rome, but Parma: Must read nytimes note of travel guide to Parma, or is it book review of The Charterhouse of Parma from 1839?


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