There’s something odd about Rome

Ccino was behaving badly – giddy and delirious – claiming to be in heaven. We had arrived in Rome the previous day and wondered if he had perhaps succumbed to Stendhal’s syndrome.

“It’s OK Ccino, all the angels and cherubs and men pretending they’re god are just paintings,” grot boy reassured him.

“Of course! I know that. They’re just stupid old pictures,” Ccino responded.

“I said we must be in heaven because there is moneys everywhere. The fountains are full of moneys. They throw moneys at the funny people in the piazza. People who just stand still in the street collect moneys. I want to put on a silly costume so people will give me moneys too.”

Ccino was right. We hadn’t been able to see the bottom of the Trevi fountain it was so full of coins. And the buskers in Piazza Navona appeared to be earning more than either grot boy or me.

We wondered if Ccino had the explanation for the decline of the Roman empire when he concluded, “Rome isn’t going to last very long if people keep throwing their moneys away thinking it will make them rich and successful. People should work hard to earn their moneys.”

St Peters and bearsBobby felt very at home in Rome too, but for quite a different reason. “Do you think the cherubs on all the walls and ceilings are a special type of teddy bear?’ he wanted to know. “They’re all soft and chubby, I think they look a bit like me. Someone must look after them well – I wonder who feeds them. Do you think they like chocolate too?”

Each new church we went into Bobby would wave at the cherubs, hanging upside down in imitation, trying to play with them.

That was until we went to St Peters! Despite all the crowds and noise and flashing cameras, Bobby’s friendly gestures were singled out for opprobrium. “Mr Teddy Bear, this is an important religious building,” a guard admonished him “and your making fun of the angels is not appreciated.”

Bobby was confused, “I was just trying to be friendly. I think they might be relatives of mine. I thought it would be rude if I didn’t say hello. We’ve come all the way from Australia to see them, you know.”

This response caused the guard even more confusion and consternation, and as he stood there speechless we made our escape.

As we were leaving Rome, Ccino summed up the place with an innocent, insightful comment, “Rome is a city all about money and religion.” After a brief pause he added, “and old stuff too. I wonder what the people here eat – or drink, or smoke – that makes them all act strange.”

©, 2013


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