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A(nother) Walk in Rome + Japanese Gardens Conference [Dec. 6th, 2015|05:45 pm]
Daeva from the Soil
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[mood |impressedimpressed]

Another report of my recent, usual walk in Rome-- Apparently in this period terrorism is spreading around the world in place of the usual flu, the FBI is saying that Rome will be targeted in the next days, personally I couldn't care less, I'll keep wearing my scarf rather than fear (as for umbrellas, the exterior decor supplies them)!
On my arrival, I noticed that the Christmas tree was being set in Piazza Venezia-- I think it's the first time that I saw the actual thing being put in place!

I went on my rounds to gather materials for my articles on my Rome's blog, but walking around in this period means facing all kind of delicious smells around the streets (well, besides that of the poo of horses and pigeons, but those are far from delicious, and fortunately much less frequent XD)-- Here in the pic some typical Roman sweets, the mostaccioli:
Actually, I never tried them x'D

Lunch time was closing by and I couldn't resist any longer, so I presented myself a slice of pie with ricotta and visciole of Jewish tradition as I was taking a few pictures in the Ghetto:
It was the first time that I had it and the first time that I find that shop open XD
--It was simply delicious, in case you wonder T^T; !

After the sweet I was longing for something salty, so I took some piping hot fried bits of artichokes from my favourite spot to calm my needs-- Gotta say that after this snack I just skipped lunch as I was full enough XD

During my walk I stumbled on this shop selling kimonos and haori-- It was quite expensive, but a picture was due, as some pieces were simply breathtaking!

I kept on my walk to reach for Saint Peter's, but since I was on the way I took my time to take a picture of this emotional piece by the sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz:
The title of the statue is "Whatsoever you do", and what looks like a simple beggar reveals himself as Jesus at a closer inspection... It's really moving.
If you want to see it, it's by the entrance of the hospital of Santo Spirito, almost unnoticeable.

Finally I reached the square of Saint Peter's (this time I made sure to go after the daily appearance of the Pope, so to avoid the usual crowd!)! I went there to view the nativity scene :3 !


This year the nativity scene was inspired to refugees and poormen, the favourites of Pope Francis.

On my way back, I took a peek to the recently restored Fountain of Trevi (in case you're wondering, "Trevi" is the name of the quarter where it's located XD):
SIMPLY STUNNING T^T !!!!
The maison Fendi founded the restoration. THANK YOU, FENDI!

Later in the evening I attended an interesting conference led by my friends Antonio and (newly-acquired XD) Francesca:
This was only the first date of three conferences dedicated to the subject-- Unfortunately due to work I could attend only this one.

The theme of the conference was the difference between the Western and Eastern gardens, what are their similarities and differences, and a brief introduction on the different kind of Japanese gardens.

First thing was exploring the meaning of the world: "garden" derives from the German "gart", that literally means "fenced area".
This was curious, because even if this word surely defines a characteristic of the garden as we know it, it doesn't really describes it effectively.
Curiously, the original word that defined a garden in Japan was shime, that designed a rock or an element with a cord tied around it (締) that acted as a border of something... the word shima (島), meaning "island" derives from this.
So, we realized that in both cultures, the garden was something that implied a "separation".

We then analyzed the religious/mythological origin of the garden.
In the West, the first important example is that of the Garden of the Eden: an enclosed place filled with all kind of plants, fruits and animals created for the leisure of humans.
Fun fact, the word "Paradise" derives from the Persian Pairi Daeza, which was the word that described the Hanging Gardens of Babylon!!

The Eastern tradition has something similar: the idea was that of a group of eight Immortals who lived in a mysterious island.
The island was impossible to find because it was located on the back of a giant turtle.
The Immortals, when they wanted to look around to see what mortals were up to, jumped on their cranes and flied around. Incidentally, this is why turtles and cranes are symbols of a long life.
Anyway, a Chinese Emperor wanted to discover the secret of immortality, so rushed some expeditions to find the Immortals. As the expeditions turned into a failure, he decided to do something to attract the Immortals into his house: with the use of water, rocks and vegetation, he created a place that from above could be taken for the Island of the Immortals, hopefully confusing the Immortals who would land in the "garden" of the Chinese Emperor instead than on their island.
There are also further interpretations, coming from Buddhism and Shinto, but this one was the interpretation that stuck my imagination the most!

So, what would be the main difference between the two approaches?
In the Western Garden, the human being is the "maker", his presence and intervention must be blatant, as the garden is made for the pleasure brought by the contemplation of his work.
In the Eastern garden, the human intervention is hidden: what you see must give the impression of something "natural" when in reality everything is perfectly planned and mantained.
--This comparison made me think of the art of bonsai: huge trees are "forced" to grow tiny but at the same time looking as perfectly natural... An interesting insight into Eastern modus pensandi indeed--!

And well, this is all for now, see you later!

Originally posted at http://daeva-neesan.dreamwidth.org/573656.html

If you want, please comment there :3

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