PHYLLIS ODESSEY

when in rome

…don’t go the Japanese Cultural Institute to see the Japanese Garden. It was the first garden made by a Japanese architect in Italy.  This seemed like a reason to visit the garden.  The most interesting aspect of the garden are the olive trees.  These were planted as a symbol of friendship between Japan and Italy.  We were told on the mandatory garden tour, that the Japanese government is sending a Japanese gardener to restore the garden.  At the present time, an Italian gardener takes care of the garden. The Italians are worried the olive trees will have to go.

In contrast to the Japanese garden, on the same day, I visited the Palazzo Barberini garden.

On the following day, a visit Ara Pacis Museum which houses the “Altar of Augustan Peace” dedicated to Pax, the Roman goddess of Peace.  The monument was commissioned by the Roman Senate in 13 BC to honor the return of Augustus to Rome.
From a horticulture standpoint, what is interesting about this monument is the identification of plant species in the frieze.

This day of horticultural experiences was upended when I stopped at a building on my walk from place to place. Doors wide open; I stepped in to take a look at a mosaic floor. Almost all Rome buildings have a porter. The porters  usually tell you to skedaddle. This time the porter came out and “translated” the roman numerals: 1890.  I nodded and asked if it was ok to take a photo.  He nodded back in the affirmative.

I spotted a beautiful mailbox in the lobby.
Ready to leave, I thanked him, and came to the step before the sidewalk. He walked towards me and pointed out two small, brass plaques that I had walked over on the way into the building lobby.

 

 

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