We spent three days in Venice in May 2010….beautiful as ever and as many people as ever…. We had rain and fog and sun and rainbows……
Oh, I know he’s been dead for 400 years, but you never know who you’ll run into while wandering along Rome’s skinny cobblestone streets. Caravaggio, whose straight name was Michelangelo Mensi, is hanging out on the museum walls of the Scuderie del Quirinale, where he grabs you with stark reality: from a bowl of fruit – you reach for a pear – to Goliath’s decapitated head. He, the conquering David, is a self-portrait and his last painting . More contrasts; the Annunciation sharing space with a prim lady cutting a man’s throat. Not to mention believable angels, seductive St. John the Baptists (no less than four versions) and a game of cards. continue reading »
Check them out in the May 2006 section.
Four is the normal quota. At last, on a muggy Saturday afternoon, one did pop up: long shot Alize Cornet – she of the lovely name meaning ocean breeze — overcame No. 6 Anna Chakvetadze, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, as a slim crowd cheered her breezy two-fisted backhands down the line.
By that time the customers were justifiably fed up with the two week tournament. Because of injury pull-outs there were no semis in the men’s precinct, only 38 minutes worth of tennis. Move ahead, the women’s looked promising – until Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova decided not to play, citing pains in the back and the calf respectively.
Originally named Il Foro Mussolini for the dictator of the 1930s, who had it built and fancied himself as a high-grade hacker playing with a private coach, it nestles beside the Tiber at the foot of Monte Mario. Numerous of Respighi’s glorious “Pines of Rome” are hunched beside the courts, and the crowds become wildly passionate if one of their own is on view. They adored Adriano Panatta, the last homeboy to win the title in 1976, and threw coins at the young Swede, Bjorn Borg, to distract him in the 1978 final against Panatta. Borg cashed in, however, and never returned.