We love Rome, but we're very happy we didn't plan a trip this month. The beautiful ancient streets are filled with cultists and the more than idly-curious; the city's broad and narrow ways fill with their trash as soon as it is cleared away; and the pavements and walls smell of urine and sometimes more.
But People live and work in that great city. Some of them are less-than-eager hosts. The Roman father of an Italian friend of ours, an eminent linguist known for his bon mots, describes a city overwhelmed by unwashed hordes of media victims seeking to be a part of history, "It's like Popestock here!"
[image by Peter Dejong from the Associated Press]