Rome is Rome and all in the eye of the beholder. I began my tour landing in Rome - September 8, 2012 and visiting the same places I had an opportunity to be close to; when in the early 1970 - I stayed within walking distance of the Bridge that is built over the Tiber and not far from the Vatican. My good old days learning and debating; and hanging around with scholars, tourists, and simple women and men on a pilgrimage - from all over the world.

The City of Rome has a lot to show - throughout the many centuries - the Romans ruled far and wide - and left scars and imprints - far too deep for us Philosophers to ponder and those who dabble with Theology, Anthropology, Sociology, History; all the empirical sciences and of course present day - "digital world" - has brought it all home and we have to make real sense of what is before us.

The Vatican draws millions and vendors from Bangladesh of all places - busy selling tickets to see the Sistine Chapel - saying and promising one thing and charging you more. Making you walk long distances to see what most dream to be something supernatural - but it is NOT what it is all - it is made to be.

In the early 1970s; I just walked to the Sistine Chapel and to Saint Peter's Basilica and there were no crowds - on Saturday's and Sunday's and festive days more - but not the daily throngs today - that have made the Sistine Chapel tours and visiting Saint Peter's - a market place - hard on Senior and those with children who want to be with their parents.

The tourists take the daily tours that last for 24 hours - you can hop off and get back on - buses running frequently - you wear cheap headphones and listen to what someone has transcribed - often spicing the landmarks, some personality, be it Mussolini and the fascists - and in some cases giving information that is far from the truth.

Bottom line the so called Eternal City - is now a Market Place - and Rome once went that route - when Caligula and Nero - deemed it fit to burn the City and to hell with the corrupt Senators and those that once deemed its duty to care for the populous - permitted GREED to absorb their every moment of its failing and spiraling - existence.

I am very happy I lived in Rome in the early 1970s - the population has grown from one million to over five million and the infrastructure is hard hit - daily. With population growth come all sorts of difficulties - the Eternal City has a big problem on its hands - but right now is raking in the millions - daily - and those in white robes, black robes, and fancy satin red robes and caps - are smiling all the way to the bank.

You may have heard of the scandals linked to the Vatican Bank. Man hanging over the Thames which is in London - and connected to billions missing from the Vatican Bank. No one knows about the secret operations - except those that play the cloak and dagger game - and have for centuries. Recently the butler and they do have butlers at the Vatican - leaking out document some unsavory to say to the least - and the plot thickens.

Jesus once went to the temple and what He saw He did not like. The merchants had turned the Temple into a Market Place. And Jesus got angry and turned the tables on those that were selling wares. Do not turn the temple of my Father into a Market place He said. That is that sordid impression, I got of the Vatican and the surrounding landmarks.

Once bestowed with honor - but today used to rake in the millions. Much like the many big corporations that treat the poor, the blue collar; those that live pay check to pay check - trying to do their best - with disdain.

Few know that Michael Angelo was a simple man, proud of his skills, and knowledge far superior to the times he was living in. Michael Angelo really did not want to undertake the painting of the Sistine Chapel. He knew more - and detested the corruption. In fact he fled from the task when begged to undertake it - then forced; came back and completed it. If you look closely all those he wanted painted in bad light are there - some powerful men of the times - even a Pope - that is the TRUTH - there is more to the murals of the Sistine chapel.

The Coliseum and other renowned landmarks are all going subtle changes. Rome has made "tourism" its number one business - it is all about money and more money. The Vatican ripe with scandals and other hard hitting headlines the world over - with priest pretending to be celibate; resorting to be perverts more pedophiles - bring shame and disgrace to millions of Catholics - worldwide.

We see this with fewer Catholics attending Mass on Sundays and lesser on week days. The youth challenging what is true "spirituality" and those in charge hard for words. Actions deceive their very existence; to be, what they purport to be.

Those with their supposedly anointed white collars - have deceived and what was under the rug - it now in the open. On the forefront of the many cases of priests and others in the Catholic church fornicating, harming children - the Catholic Church in Chicago, Melbourne, Ireland - the list in long and San Francisco is among them.

It is simply wrong to destroy the life of any innocent child by abusing them and having sex with underage children. You really do not have to be smart to understand that - but, those that purport to know too much - have used their power to hurt those that should be protected.

Children must not be treated like a statistic and used like furniture - many priests have not learned that - thinking their "white collar" makes them Saints and included in this shenanigan of sorts - the nuns that rule as if they have authority over all - not all of them - but many.

Rome is standing and there is so much to see - most over ground but a lot underground. The atrocities of the past are narrated as if it was accepted by all of the world. Throwing innocent people before wild animals to be devoured and suffer and die. Pitying man against man - the Gladiators and more - burning innocent people at the stake; just because of their faith - the list goes on - and when I took on one historian she did not seem to like it.

The world is getting smaller and it does make a difference when you take some time and go visit a place - and open your senses and see what is happening in reality.

The world economy has hit Italy and it is just floating - that is why when the tourists come and especially those from America - those that know stuff and are crafty - fleece Americans and more with our dollar pitied against the Almighty Euro.

Whatever the banks say - or the exchange rates say - when you go to exchange a hundred dollars - most any day - you will be lucky to get 78 Euros - take it or leave it. And if in some places they want a better commission - 75 Euros to a hundred dollars. More insulting; when they examine the dollar - as if it was fake and needs added guarantee.

I started my European tour with Rome and went to Florence and from there to Vienna, then to Nuremberg and on to Berlin. Came back to Nuremberg once again and went to Frankfurt and from there flew direct to San Francisco. I visited the same places - I lived before - and this time around I saw more and know more.

Here are some photographs:

photos of Rome

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