After a while we all becomes somewhat jaded to our surroundings. Even in Rome the monuments, baroque facaded churches and the 18th century palazzi become common place. For the first year here I was constantly stopping to look at details and features on buildings and taking pictures. Often locals would stare and glance up to see what was fascinating me and shake their heads – what is the stranero finding so interesting in that old building. I’d found lately that, like them, I was paying less and less attention to my surroundings.
When my friends Ron and Gord where here last month they were continually drawing my attention to the details and colours on the buildings in my area. At first I was doing the jaded ex-pat stifled yawn routine but I find I’m back to spying the weird and wonderful details that make this city so fascinating. The intriguing combinations of colour that just wouldn’t work in other places – the plaster casts of creatures great and small, real and imagined that adorn buildings; sometimes discretely, sometimes in a riot of excess.
The view directly out my office window is pretty uninspiring – a blank terra cotta coloured wall and some gutter pipes. But if I stand at the window and look slightly to the right I look down a small street with two late 19th century buildings on either side. Nothing special but charming in their way and typical of the area.
If I look to the left again it is more reddish wall broken up by brown shuttered windows. Again nothing inspiring but on Thursday I notice that it is topped with a detail that is only visible from the back of our building. A click on the picture will give you a close-up.
I’ve been wondering why anyone would bother adding this bit of intricate iron work to the roof line when it can’t really be seen. Laurent has suggested that perhaps there is a terrace and its visible to the rooftop dwellers. If that’s the case, hopefully they still notice it.
16 novembre – Santa Gertrude, detta la Grande