Five days. That's all the time I had in Rome. It wasn't very much time to spend in this City, given its enormitude to the West. But I - with my esteemed travel companions - did the best we could to steep well in the Roman stew of history while enjoying what Rome had to offer 4 inquiring modern minds.
In that short time, I quickly learned that the concept of 'modern', to the Romans, has a slightly different meaning than I am used to. One phenomenal thing about travel - forced reframing of context.
Under the dome, on the left; and Triumph in the Name of Jesus, by Giovanni Battista Gaulli
This ridiculously detailed ceiling fresco graces the impressive, if not now iconic, Mideval era Church of the Gésu. From its inception it has been a Jesuit bastion, and clearly associated with the Borgia dynasty as a result. Regardless of it and its earliest benefactors reputation, the meticulously preserved and maintained church is undoubtedly impreasive. Catholic idolotry (and the pews) aside, the interior naves are akin more to an urban noble's throne room than a supposedly austere Order's stronghold.
Statues at the front entrance of the Church of the Gesu, depicting early influential Jesuits, include this one of St. Ignatious Loyola (or St. Francis Xavier) stepping all over an immoral sinner.
No wonder the Romans do what they do - and others continue to follow. Hasta luego, Roma.