Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Acqua City and the Poverty of History

I think I mentioned these ruins on Facebook but I am somehow drawn back. It is extremely difficult to photograph ruins - the result is never what one expects. In this case I used many filters and adjustments but eventually returned to the original colour, complete with orange sodium lights. I used available light, so apologies for any camera shake - it was an eighth of a second. This is La Città dell'Acqua, the City of Water in Rome and it was discovered during the renovation of a cinema. Now the cinema and the ruins co-exist and you can see them at almost any time at very low cost. It's one of the best deals in Rome and most tourists pass it by - so don't miss it! Popular culture and Ancient Rome are sad bedfellows these days. We hear more about bloodthirsty events, rather than civilisation. Great and lasting architecture, mercantile trade, excellent plumbing and indeed, early democracy are savaged in an ahistorical tirade that rubbishes the ancients and (at least on television) privileges more dubious events of recent times. Jungians would describe this as the shadow. We point at others and fail to recognise ourselves. It's poor science to compare the mores of ancient civilisations with ones that developed over a further 2000 years - it's akin to blaming Archimedes for having not the slightest clue about quantum mechanics. My lecture is over! But if you want to see the fascinating Città dell'Acqua, it's at Vicolo del Puttarello 25. From the site of the Trevi Fountain, exit from the east side of the square, turn right, and walk a few meters to the Vicolo dei Modelli. Turn left onto the Vicolo dei Modelli, then turn right at the next corner. La Città dell'Acqua is mid-block.