Sunday, 8 December 2013

This is why Rome is a great Capital.

I blogged often on Rome and Italy because I had the very good fortune of living there for several years. You often think you know something only to discover that you missed a fact or you did not quite understand what you were looking at. Italy and Rome is a complex place, contrary to popular belief Rome is not just a unique one sided place, it is and has been for 2700+ years a very cosmopolitan Capital. Once the Capital of the World, everyone came to it and it shone back unto the world its influence. Though the Vatican is located within the City as a separate country and has undue influence in the affairs of Italy, Italians on the whole have their own views and at times fought against and died by the hundreds to liberate themselves from Papal Authority, think of Garibaldi.

The recently elected Mayor of Rome, Iganzio Marino has brought much desired changed to the City and new direction after a few years of a far-right rule at City Hall.

For Christmas this year, a novelty and a surprise in a gesture of public recognition for 3 gay youths who committed suicide because of bullying.
The rainbow lights are part of the Christmas lights in the Capital and run from 2 strategic points in the City, Piazza Venezia and Piazza del Popolo down Via del Corso. In antiquity this consular road was the Western thoroughfare to Rimini on the Adriatic, known then as Via Flaminia.

Today Via del Corso is a great shopping street lined with beautiful monuments like the Column to Marcus Aurelius, the Prime Minister's Office (Palazzo Chigi), the Palace of Prince Doria Pamphilij and many other sites. The lights cover about a 2 Km length quite the sight.

This project comes from the Mayor Ignazio Marino and Councillor Imma Battaglia who heads the LGBT group at City Hall. The idea is to send a message of acceptance following the outcry over the suicides of 3 gay Italian youths this year.

The Far-Right (Fascist) parties are of course against this display, they use to be part of the former coalition of Sylvio Berlusconi the now disgraced Senator.



  1. Love this post and those photos! How beautiful!

  2. I guess I never stopped to consider is a (alleged?) Catholic country like Italy would be so 'anti-gay" . I wonder what it is like to be gay in Italy; or for that matter, "not Catholic".

  3. It can be complicated depending on your family or your employer. But Italian society is very complex at many levels, in many ways it is difficult for us to understand. There is much that is left un-said but everyone knows. As for not being Catholic it really does not matter that much, Rome has an ancient and large Jewish population which have been there for 3000 years. The Protestants (mostly non-Italians) use to have a hard time of it, but that is really ancient history now. Many Italians are non-practicing Catholics, some are old guard communists, socialists, anarchists, etc..
    The Catholic Church is viewed with much suspicion by many in society. It is also resented deeply my many for the Interference of the Vatican in Italian affairs.

    1. perhaps they are cross for not having an Italian pope anymore?

    2. Well the current Pope's family is Italian in origin, they migrated to Argentina, like million of other Italians in the 1900's