Friday, November 05, 2010

The Villa d'Este, or, a tonic for broken-hearted liberals

OK. We voted. And the Republicans pretty much cleaned our clock. However, Rob Andrews (D.) won again in NJ's 1st Congressional District (yay, Rob!), and Christine O'Donnell was defeated in her Senate race in Delaware. So ... not a total loss. I am not throwing myself under the bus. Not until 2012, at least!

But, enough whining.

J. and I went to Italy in October, to celebrate our 30th anniversary (actually, our anniversary was in May, but we were too busy to go then -- a sad comment on American life). One of the many places we went was the Villa d'Este, located in Tivoli, about 15 miles outside of Rome. I had been here once before, and it is one of my favorite places on the planet.

The Renaissance villa was built in the middle of the 16th century, and is impressive on its own. The Italian gardens, however, are stunning, situated on a terraced hillside. There are nearly 500 fountains, and all -- all -- are run by the water pressure of a partially-diverted river. No machinery at all!

In some ways, this visit was bittersweet. I first saw the Villa in 1969, with my parents, as I was on the verge of turning 16. That visit took place after dinner, as night was falling. I recall standing on one of the higher terraces, as the soft lights came on throughout the garden. I could see Mom and Dad below me, by a fountain.

They're gone now -- they've been dead a good many years -- but I thought they might be glad I was seeing this place again.







Monday, November 01, 2010