Roman Cats

A few years ago I saw a TV program about a cat sanctuary in one of the Roman ruins of Rome. My past experience with Roman ruins is as off limits spaces so I was fascinated to see a site being used for this purpose.

When I had the chance to spend a couple of days sightseeing in the city, this was one of the must see places for me.  I found out that the sanctuary is located in the Largo di Torre Argentina so on our way from the Colosseum to the Pantheon we made a detour to see it.

This square is pretty amazing with beautiful buildings all around and the ancient ruins in the centre.  At first I could not see any cats and started wondering if the shelter had closed but as we focused our look on the ruins we started seeing cat after cat – it was a bit like playing ‘where’s Wally’ 🙂

Most of the cats were just dozing in the winter sun and blended discreetly into the background which, besides making spotting them difficult,  did not help with getting some good shots of them.  Here is a selection of what I did manage to capture.

The Torre Argentina Roman Cat Sanctuary website has the history and other information about the sanctuary and the resident cats.

Another old house

The summer before last I went to a village (Alcaria, Portugal) to take photos of windows with my sister, as she was entering a photo competition run by the village council on that topic. The village has some newer housing but mainly it has very old houses with a number of them empty and decaying.  As in so many other places like this, the inhabitants are mostly older people and there is not much going on, however the county is actively trying to promote the area with events such as photo competitions and other cultural activities.

The window featured in my previous post belongs to a house in this village and these are some of the other photos I took of it. I did not have my wide angle lens with me so the views are limited, giving just glimpses of the spaces.

The house is on the edge of the village and at the back there is a low stone building and a brick building.  It is a very little house – it has a ‘kitchen’ area, a small living room and two miniscule rooms off of it.

ImageThis window is from one of the small rooms at the back of the house


The front of the stone out building (barn)


The side of the stone barn


The house was open so I ventured in to take some photos.  This is the ‘kitchen’ area.


The fireplace in the ‘kitchen’


And some of the furniture and belongings left behind.

The other rooms were too dark so I didn’t take any shots of them.


And it is for sale! No matter how cheap it might be, there is a LOT of work to be done to restore the house and other buildings.  I think it has electricity (ancient wiring) but there is no bathroom and probably no running water either.  However it was wonderful being able to look around and imagine how people lived there.

*I did not enter the competition but my sister did and actually won one of the prizes with a photo of the window with the ripped curtains shown above.