Friday, September 20, 2013


All around Rome you'll see the letters SPQR on various signs, water fountains, doorways, traffic lights, manhole covers...SPQR comes from a Latin phrase, Senātus Populusque Rōmānus - "The Senate and People of Rome". It refers to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, but is also used as an official emblem of the modern day municipality of Rome. It appears on coins, at the end of documents made public by inscription in stone or metal, in dedications of monuments and public works, and was emblazoned on the standards of the Roman legions. During the regime of Benito Mussolini, SPQR was emblazoned on public buildings and manhole covers in an attempt to promote his dictatorship as a "New Roman Empire". The Romans must like it, because its use persists today.

So SPQR -- means ROME. Here's a photo journal from a recent visit to Rome, skipping the famous monuments and focussing on a few details of the Eternal City.

"we're against frozen food."

Boromini staircase, Palazzo Barbarini.

Roman water: Piazza del Popolo.
A Barberini bee.
Everything happens in the middle of the street in Rome.
Roman water: Piazza Colonna.
A pigeon perches -- on Bernini's sculpture.

Conservationists at rest: Pyramid of Cestius.
A quiet corner in Sant'Apollinare.

Street art, Rome.
Spotted in an apartment block courtyard:
domestic re-use for a Roman sarcophagus, and
a few spare capitals.

The artists of Piazza Navona.
Piazza Navona.

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