If you are on pacific coast highway just past palisades in Malibu, all roads really lead to Rome! I spent most of the day at Rome created by J Paul Getty. My summer vaca in Europe has been put on a hold coz of the 'save my job' silent campaign that i'm running in this dwindling economy so this was a nice dry run.
Mr. Getty has recreated ancient European history at two spots in LA - Getty museum and Getty villa. I've been a couple of times to the Getty museum before and done the usual: take the tour, look/read/absorb a little, a few pics, a little fun in the sun and back. But today was my first trip to the Getty (Romanesque) Villa and was I surprised! 'Villa' was such an understatement. It's a cool 120 acres of beautifully landscaped area that was face lifted for only $275 mill, right across from Pacific ocean. The views were breathtaking. And the experience was unique as well since it was my first time with hubby, who's a huge history buff. I cannot recall how many period films and tv series (Rome being one of them) have I been mercilessly subjected to in the years gone by. If boredom could kill, I would have died a thousand deaths. I knew instantly today was going to be educational Saturday. I had to go with a 'bring it on' attitude. :P
As I moved across the villa, I couldn't help marveling at how much were they able to accomplish in good old times. The Colosseum in Rome, I learnt, has a mere capacity of 250,000 and here I see Staples Center with a capacity of 20,000 every day and go wow. The villa offered a whole lot, from silver treasures, vessels, deities, temple of Hercules, stories of the Trojan war with endless galleries and exhibits. A broken and restored Hercules statue with lion skin in one hand and club in another was so larger than life, made me feel like a midget.
I got the point. There's nothing they couldn't do, in the double digit A.D. era, that we can do now. They strategized and fought wars without the disasters of the likes of Afghanistan, created marvelous monuments with structures that no earthquakes could shake, had artisans with more refined skills than most today, had extra marital affairs without the courts and the dramas, relished Asparagus as a delicacy and produced the likes of Spartacus who managed and led an army of 90,000. I can't even manage my own kid.
Did they live happier and more enriched lives? Guess I'll have to ditch my plan of 'just spend a day in Rome and run away on a pilgrimage to Milan' to find out. :P
Photo credit: moi