I've recently come across some online jokes with the following title: 'King David after a stay in America' , 'MonaLisa after a year in USA'. The joke shows the 'before' and 'after' pictures, and that makes us smile for a second. King David (Michelangelo's superb marble statue) with his youthful manly body is transformed into an obese person. MonaLisa (Da Vinci's painting) in her 'after' picture, has the looks of a definitely non-classy woman with dyed blonde hair, a very deep decoltee putting her feminine assets on display. And her original angelic smile? after being in America for a year or so, the smile takes the shape of a twisted grin. Well, those openly blamed for the 'dolce vita' (the good, sweet life) of Michelangelo's and Da Vinci's creations in America, are the Mc Donald, KFC, Burger chains, and other goodies' providers.
These jokes are not intended to make fun of the italian masterpieces but rather to laugh at certain aspects of the american way of life such as sedentarism and overeating.
In fact, people all over the world have great admiration , love and respect for Michelangelo's works of art as well as for many other works that have to do with ancient Rome. Year after year, Rome is packed with tourists who would not miss the painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum (that huge theatre were masses of citizens were entertained and distracted from the woes of life). the ruins of the Foro Romano (the center of ancient Rome's public life), the city-state of the Vatican with its art galleries, St. Peter's cathedral , the Castel of San Angelo (mausoleum, fortress, and now museum) , the well-preserved Pantheon where kings were burried, the Trevi Fountain, surrounded by crowds taking photos and throwing coins into the waters to ensure return to the city of Rome..and many , many other hisorical and artistic gems.
If you have a pair of good, sturdy legs, than it's a real "dolce vita", a life of of sheer pleasure and enjoyment to go visit the above landmarks with all their visible and hidden beauties.. That's how I felt at the time.
The Basilica of San Pietro
Fontana di Trevi
"La Dolce Vita" ( The Sweet Life) is the name of a classic movie directed by the italian Federico Fellini. depicting a life of corruption and decadence. Its female star, the blonde Anita Ekberg ,made the Fontana di Trevi famous all over the world by plunging ,during one of the scenes, in its waters , wearing ...a strapless black dress. A young journalist played by Marcello Mastroiani joined her in the dip. By the way, it was in this famous movie that the notorious concept of "paparrazzi' made its way to public awareness.
Not far from the Trevi fountain, one can buy the best ice cream in Rome. The aromatic ice-cream at the nearby 'gelateria' gives one a taste of real 'dolce vita'.