Tagged with Rome

Reclaiming Rome

This is from last week’s ‘i’ paper Armed with shovels and sacks of asphalt, Rome’s residents fill potholes. Defying rats, they pull weeds and pick up litter along the Tiber’s banks and in city parks. Tired of waiting years for the city to replace diseased trees, neighbours have dug into their own pockets to pay … Continue reading

Rome, Sink of Iniquity

This is from Christopher Hubert’s The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici: “There were reckoned to be almost 7,000 prostitutes in a population of less than 50,000, most of them working in brothels licenced by the papal authorities and many of them  suffering from syphilis, ‘a kind of illness very common among priests’, … Continue reading

In Ruins

Art historian Christopher Woodward’s brilliant book, In Ruins begins with a description of Charlton Heston as an astronaut returned to earth in the closing scene of Planet of the Apes when he sees the ruined Statue of Liberty and realised what happened to the idiots that had been the all conquering human race. In a csimilar vein, … Continue reading

Britain’s Borderlands

Rory Stewart is, as his name suggests, a Scot, but he is one of the most English in his extraordinary life to date. A talented linguist, he has spent a lot of time walking the deserts of the middle east, and for a time was deputy governor of Iraq, and is one of the most … Continue reading