Angel flying too close to the ground…

The Ponte Sant’Angelo, also called the Angel Bridge, spans the Tiber River in Rome.  It was originally constructed by the Emperor Hadrian in 134 AD to connect the city center with his new and enormous tomb on the far bank.  Recycling being a time-honored Roman tradition, a succession of popes converted Hadrian’s resting place into a castle.  And as we learned from Dan Brown the forward-thinking Pope Nicholas III built a covered passage linking St. Peter’s to Hadrian’s tomb, for those times when a pope might need to beat a hasty retreat.  It was Bernini’s vision (though not all statues are by his hand) that five angels holding symbols of The Passion would flank each side of the bridge leading from secular Rome to sacred Vatican ground.  The threatening clouds and calm reflections on the water this day called for a classic black & white treatment.  (18 September, 2006  Tiber River, Rome, Italy)

Just havin’ a really bad day…

Here, in a marble from the Vatican’s collection, is poor Laocoön and his sons being strangled by the serpents.  Laocoön is said to be the source of the admonishment to beware Greeks bearing gifts…his warning to the Trojans regarding their gift of a wooden horse.  Turns out it’s not always a good idea to share your thoughts.  (18 September, 2006  Vatican City)