Saturday, May 16, 2009

"La Dolce Vita" with David, Mona.. & Anita

Anita Ekberg in the 'Trevi Fountain' scene

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 Colosseum

Castel of San Angelo along the Tiber river

The Basilica of San Pietro

stairs leading to the entrance of the Basilica

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.

Marcello Mastroiani & Anita Ekberg at the fountain

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'.


  1. Ahhhh, you are so right, Duta. I love Rome and all its beauty. I think one day I walked from one end to the next and back several times eating gelato the entire way...LOL
    And La Dolce Vita....what a beautiful movie! You've brought a huge smile to my face today!
    Thank You! I needed that.
    Have a Wonderful Day, Duta :)

  2. Kelly,

    I'm glad it reminded you of nice things. Rome is not big compared to other cities and one can indeed walk from one end to another in one day to catch a glimpse of its landmarks. And then if there's more time , dedicate it to a deeper acquaintance with each of these landmarks.
    Have a wonderful Time you too!

  3. I would love to see Rome so much! It's lovely to see those pictures, and you in them. You must have had a wonderful time!

    I have been to Paris, and I thought it was exquisite, with all the wonderful art galleries and museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral. But there is something special about Rome, isn't there?

    And yes, sadly, the North American way of life (and I mean Canada as well as the US) has become soft, corrupted and artificial. Everyone has false breasts, false hair, phony overly white teeth -- all artificial. A friend of mine last night said that when people go into a restaurant in North American, they look "up" to see the menu, rather than "down". That says it all...

  4. Jo,
    Thanks for your nice words.

    Yes,Rome is special. And I don't know about any other city with so many famous idioms referring to it:

    "When in Rome do as romans" (follow the local customs)
    "Rome wasn't built in one day" (be patient)
    " All roads lead to Rome" (Rome's control over the roman empire).

    A trip to Rome has to be very carefully time-organized. It's very easy 'to forget yourself' in front of some picture or statue and this could spoil the whole sightseeing plan of the day.

  5. Ahhh, thank you. 25 yr ago as a young woman I went to Rome (and other places). The thing I remember most about Italy besides the wonderful food and wine it the ice cream/gelato. I'd never before nor never since tasted such wonderful stuff. I threw my coins into the Trevi Fountain so shall someday return!

  6. newfie-girl,
    Welcome! Regarding the coins I was told later, that they had to be thrown in a certain manner in order to have effect(something about raising right hand around left shoulder). Well, that's probably the reason I haven't returned yet to Rome. LOL