Thursday, March 20, 2014 | Rome, Italy

This bella donna looks to have been cruising Rome's streets for quite a few years.
Recently I joined Rebecca in Rome for a long weekend, which we spent walking from restaurant to gelateria to restaurant to gelateria. I ate in sufficient quantity to bring eternal shame (or pride, depending on your point of view) upon all my ancestors before me and descendants hereafter. But this was, at long last, my first trip to Italy, so I don't feel particularly regretful about my gastronomic excesses.

In the rare moments between mouthfuls of succulent gnocchi, chianti, or gelato, Rebecca and I had plenty of time to catch up and to explore central Rome.

My favorite experience, however, was a solo walk I took one sleepless early morning. Rolleicord in hand, I meandered along the undisturbed streets, empty but for the occasional delivery man or jogger. I passed a deserted Trevi Fountain and Pantheon before arriving at the ruins that stretch out beside the Coliseum. That was where I heard a faint buzzing noise overhead, and looked across
the sunken ruin to see a pair of guys peering into the sky, manipulating a large control pad.

A drone. They were flying a drone over the ruins.

Immediately and thoroughly psyched, I dashed over and introduced myself in an alley beside the ruins. Matt and Marco, Australians now settled in Helsinki, Finland, were on a week-long tour across Europe to film famous sites for a forthcoming but still top-secret travel industry project. I'm excited to hear how it turns out, and hope to update readers here. For now, they've shared a small preview.

Also forthcoming: my Rolleicord pictures from Rome, including what I hope will be some very cool portraits of the two Aussies and their flying machine, as well as the more traditional Roman sites. Update: Rolleicord photos from Rome are now here!

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