Evocative U

(ee-vok'-uh-tiv) Bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind

Glenn Murray

Written by Glenn Murray. I design and build cool software. CV

Here's my latest think piece.

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It's fascinating seeing the levels of history literally unfolding beneath me in Rome. Ten feet down, it’s the middle ages. Thirty feet down, it’s ancient Rome. The Forum has great examples of this stratified history.

My favorite unexpected surprise in Rome - Palazzo Doria Pamphilj - a private art collection housed in a 1000-room palace in Central Rome. The collection was mostly accumulated by Pope Innocent X's nephew in the 1600's. Camilo was a man after my own heart, being particular to the Breughels and Caravaggio.

The Pamphilj family is one of the few old Roman families who have kept their fortunes and art collection intact. They currently own huge chunks of Central Rome, and are headed by Prince Jonathan Pamphilj, who has shaken up the conservative Roman establishment by raising a family with his civil partner; gay marriage has not been legalized in Italy.

Jonathan narrates much of the audio guide for the museum. He is witty, urbane and utterly charming. There is a great profile of him, detailing family scandals old and new, in a recent Vanity Fair

Regardless of how one feels about Roman Catholicism, no visit to Rome is truly complete without seeing Vatican City. I wanted most to see Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but on this relatively short visit to Rome, I was unwilling to spend a long wait only to be rushed through the chapel.

The wait getting into St. Peter's Basilica was much shorter and I could take all the time I wanted. Perhaps the pinnacle of Roman Catholic architecture, it is an astounding experience.

Every once in a while in my travels, I capture a first glimpse of something that sends a frisson of excitement through my body. In Rome it was the Colosseum, first seen on my way from the Forum.