Observing Rome – Last Looks

Vat TikThe Vatican

The crowds are here again, of course. Must be at least a thousand waiting to get in. Takes ninety minutes, then we pass through airport like security, conveyor belts and plastic tubs for metal objects.

Rome Vat Enter - FixedWe’re given recorder gadgets when we pay admission, and a pair of ear buds. Don’t like wearing these, but when in Rome . . . .

Rome Vat Enter 2BWe spend three hours wandering, amazed . . . hard to absorb so much, and we have seen so little. It’s beyond imagination. Statues everywhere with penises chopped off, and men dressed up like chess pieces.



People lining up for holy water in a courtyard near a huge brass thing. A present to the Pope from some famous sculptor. I’m sure it has some deep meaning, but my audio device went staticy.

Rome Vat Sculpt

I missed the explanation of it. See scaffolding (in green at left) part of the endless maintenance required.

Rome Vat Repairs
Inside again we pass by tapestries as big as England, hanging flat against the walls below long hallway ceilings painted with more detail than a person can take in.


Rome Vat Ceiling Vat Crop WorkingIt starts to feel too much, a cake too sweet that gives a queasy feeling in the stomach, massive decoration, wealth and power – scary. We’re inside anther world, another country, once surrounded by great walls. Now sixteen Euros gets you in – to the museum.

Street Details

Rare Antique Pay Phones Everywhere.

Phone Pay Fixed



Rome Arch Detail Fixed Best Not sure if the bars are to keep people from falling out, or prevent them from climbing in.

Collage A Eye - NameLast Look


About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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11 Responses to Observing Rome – Last Looks

  1. Ah those chopped private parts – vandalism in effect.
    Great pictures, Bruce, once again.
    Thank You

    Best to You


  2. Some of that art looks amazing.

  3. My, your shots are interesting and comments equally good. Do they chop off penises to keep celibacy? Or, are those parts just old and easily broken!!

    • From Google: The Catholic Church has long been against any showing of the female or male body “immodestly”. In the eruption of Counter Reformation fanaticism following the Renaissance, the edict of the Council of Trent forbade the depiction of genitals, buttocks and breasts in church art.
      In 1557, the fig leaves were instituted by the bull of Pope Paul IV. Most of the fig leaves that we see were put in place on the personal initiative of Pope Innocent X (1644-1655) who, for reasons of his own, preferred metal leaves to the plaster ones. This Pope, to his credit, spared most of the art in the Vatican. By 1857, Pope Pius IX discovered that these few remaining statues constituted grave threat to the faithful and destroyed most of them; the fig leaves were promptly added by his successor to stop the iconoclasm.

  4. ShimonZ says:

    When I go to a museum, I often quit after a short while. Not because I didn’t enjoy what they have to offer. But because I know we can’t get everything in life… and museums can lead to over saturation. Which is like over eating… you feel heavy and worn out from the experience.

  5. We can’t have all those penises on show Bruce, the great unwashed may get thoughts about a bit of the other. I read that the Vatican has vast amounts of art, books and statues of an erotic nature tucked safely away from prying eyes. I do like your photos, especially the last one, brilliant.

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