About an hour outside of Rome is a beautiful area called Tivoli. And within it there are three grand villas. This one is Villa d’Este and it’s indeed amazing. Built in the seventeenth century, it was commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, grandson of Pope Alexander VI. The story goes that he tried and failed to become a Pope himself but went on to become governor–and create a villa and garden worthy of “one of the wealthiest ecclesiastics of the sixteenth century”. But it’s not just another castle.
The gardens are a phenomenon, just when you think you’ve seen the most beautiful fountain, there’s another to take your breath away. Go Europe phrases is perfectly saying, “The garden, like many other forms of art, is designed in a way to encourage exploration, stimulate imagination, and elicit surprise. It will.”
Mansion, castle, villa. Call it what you like but it must have been a delight to live in one of these homes. Especially when the gardens look like this–and someone else is doing the work.
And Phoebe was there too.
Nursing a sore elbow, I hope to have him back in shape by the time I figure out where this is…
In Rome, summer has gone to the dogs
Canines hit the pool as scorching temperatures slam Italian capital
updated 2:36 p.m. ET Aug. 19, 2009
ROME – The Dog Days of summer hit Rome on Wednesday as temperatures soared toward 40 degrees Celsius, but for the city’s canines salvation was at hand in the form of its first doggy swimming pool.
While tourists and Rome residents who stuck out the sizzling summer temperatures devoured ice-creams or splashed in the city’s historic fountains to keep cool, pet lovers accompanied their dogs to “Bau Beach” by the banks of the river Tiber.
“This is a paradise, especially for dogs but for the owners too,” said Massimo Lupo, as his pet splashed around in the 50-cm deep pool, surrounded by grass and trees.
The organizer of Bau Beach, Pierpaolo Azzone, said animals were provided with water and bins of food, but owners had to remain with their pets at all times. Before being turned into Rome’s first doggy pool, the area was a disused sports facility.
Summer heatwaves can be detrimental to dogs’ health as they have a higher internal temperature than humans and can get hot very quickly. Unlike humans, who have sweat glands all over their bodies, dogs have glands only between the pads of their feet. They also pant to remain cool.
For some owners, keeping Fido happy was their top priority during the traditional mid-August holiday. Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Bau Beach has notched up more than 3,000 dogs registered in its first month.
“I do everything possible for him,” said pensioner Vincenzo Vinci, gesturing to his dog. “I give up my holidays too.”
The Dog Days of summer, or caniculae dies, was the term used by ancient Romans to refer to the hottest days of the year falling between early July and late August, presaged by the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, just before the sun.
© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved
So, we’ve got a new fitness plan in our house. There are sit-ups, push-ups and squats. Long walks, brisk walks and hilly walks too. Paul does the exercises, Carter does the walks. And as when this all started, Phoebe’s just along for the ride. With the extra LBs not exactly melting off, I’ve wondered a few times if I should just cut back on the gelato…but let’s not get crazy. There will be a time for desperate measures. It’s called jeans season. Until then, we’ll just keep it moving.
Filed under Carter, Phoebe