"More about the glories of Rome, less geekiness." "Open links in a new window." The feedbackers have spoken, and I have heard.

Yesterday I visited the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, a short drive from Rome. I had never been in winter before, and truth be told the garden doesn't change that much from season to season. OK, so the wisterias were bare and the ground was littered with crocuses, hellebores and anemones. But the gushing fountains gushed and the water rilled and the magnificence was as ever. It struck me, though, that the big difference in winter is that, although the garden is splendid, its coolness, greenness and wetness aren't nearly as impressive. When August has baked the plain below to a pale biscuit, and heat hangs over Rome, the contrast is astonishing. Just goes to show what one can do when one has the power to order a river diverted for one's amusement.

What on Earth did the ordinary people of the day make of it? Indeed did the ordinary people of the day even see it? Or did they have to make do with the reports of people less ordinary than themselves? It would be wonderful to know more about the fountain-makers of the day, and about the part that sort of garden played in everyday life. There's an Edith Wharton book listed at Amazon - with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish - that might be worth a read.

And another thing. The dragons in one of the central fountains are, I think, by Bernini. If they weren't, they'd be positively Disneyesque with their little pot bellies and friendly faces. Alas, I can't seem to find the picture I took of them a couple of summers ago.

I still need to mull over the geekiness question. There has to be an efficient way to create categories within Tinderbox 1 and make them look good. Geekiness and Glories, here we come.

  1. 12 December 2015: Yes indeed, that's correct. I originally built my website using the venerable Tinderbox from Eastgate. I cannot for the life of me remember where I hosted it, but I do know it was static, fully baked HTML. In the end the main reason I gave up on it was the business model. I didn't get enough value from it to justify the annual fee. 

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