RomeSaturday, 2 October 2010
It was our final continental excursion during a long visit to London, a trip to Rome where Maureen and I were speaking at the Festival della letteratura di Viaggio (Travel Literature Festival). The festival took place at the Palazzetto Mattei at the Villa Celimontana, the home of the Societa Geografica Italiana (the Italian Geographical Society). Exhibits at the festival included interesting old maps and travel accounts, like Pietro della Valle’s account of his 1614-1626 travels to India and back.
We had enough time to do a little Roman sightseeing as well, such as admiring Bernini’s erotically charged figures of the Ecstasy of St Teresa in the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria. The cute little cupid figure thrusting his passionate arrows into the saint makes you wonder what it’s all about and the saint’s own description of what’s going on hardly helps.
We paused at the Spanish Steps as well. In a couple of days time we’ll be setting off on a much more extensive trip. We’ll be making our way back to Australia, on a flight which will take us 25 days to get from London to Darwin.