Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Rome day seventeen

A 37 day imaginary travelogue of a trip to Rome (with a few scattered other places such as New York). This is written to match the journey I am actually taking, and so each post is concurrent with the more or less actual day my wife and I are experiencing in Rome.

What day number are we on?: seventeen

Level of writer's drunkenness (in real life, scale of 1-10): Back injury continues in second phase. I try to remain calm, but have not had wine yet today, which puts my drunk level at minus one.

What am I eating (in real life again)?: Nothing

Map or picture?: This is it. Hang in there and you can read about it!

Any other notes/Status: No, let's move it right along.

Today's Entry:

We have said a few things about art here in my account of this trip to Rome. Mainly they have featured Caravaggio and painting. And while today's cultural excursion to the Barberini Palace includes a gory and horribly beautiful painting of his involving a decapitation, we're instead going to calm ourselves with the consideration of a helicoidal staircase.

What is helicoidal, you wonder. Me too. Every time anyone would talk about this elegant, snug, and lovely Borromini staircase in the guidebooks or on the web they'd toss in helicoidal as soon as they could. And let's face it, helicoidal is a very nice sounding word. I find it to be extremely well suited to this staircase.

So naturally we tried to track down someone at the museum who could tell us how to say "helicoidal" in Italian. We finally found a friendly, sort of bilingual security man. He had no idea what we were talking about, but finally he took out his smart phone and looked up a translation. The Italian word is apparently "elicoidale". When I asked the guard what elicoidale meant, he said he did not know. No one does.


  1. I don't know what it means, but I can pronounce it! Many thanks to Duolingo.

    1. In real life we saw the staircase unobstructed, but by the time we left its interior was full of scaffolding as befitted all the Borromini stuff under repair while we were there. It means, nope, still not clear...

  2. Okay, so I'm burying this comment in the past, because how boring for people. But did Grape tell you I've been having the Dickens of a time posting my comments all of a sudden? I did have to send my Mac to Apple to have it repaired (on their dime, thank goodness), so now I'm trying this on my old laptop in Firefox instead on my new Mac with Safari to see if that changes anything. Here goes nothing...

    1. Yes, I have heard from Grape. And... It works! Because it's on an older (more than two weeks) post I had to approve it, and because my computer at home is also broken and in the shop that might have taken a little longer than normal.

      And you know Grape! I'm crazy about Grape. I have all his baseball cards! Have you ever heard his album?

  3. Ha ha, no, but I've read his book and I thought it was wonderful.

    ohhhh, I didn't know that you had to approve if I commented on an older post. Good to know. I think I'll stop doing that now! :D

    1. I'm glad you found it wonderful. And on the off chance it sounds like I'm kidding he really does have an album! I just love that album.

      The comment approval is just a spam protection device and not a problem for me at all. I wouldn't even mention it except it can explain the delay in a person's comment posting, so please feel free to comment on anything you like from any time. I do.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.