Curio Cabinet Molto Grande

About Rome Goethe says, “Truly, there is nothing small here, although a few things may be objectionable and tasteless; but even they reflect the general grandeur.” My own experience of Rome is much the same; everything seems bigger in Rome: light, sound, color, structures, the graffiti. As to the latter, which one finds everywhere, even marring the edifices of antiques and ruins, the graffiti seems to reflect a larger than usual desire to express the soul. For example, the Pantheon marks not so much a tribute to the gods, or even to its current single god, but is an expression of and for those who worship them. I stand under an oculus 30 feet in diameter, straining my neck to imagine a ceiling once overlaid in gold, and suddenly I realize Rome’s purpose–it’s a display case, a curio cabinet of memorabilia on an unimaginable scale.

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