I liked all of these sights in Rome but I was intrigued by something at pavement level. All of the manhole covers displayed the Roman symbol SPQR which, I learned later, is the motto of the city and appears in the city’s coat of arms, as well as on many of the civic buildings.
SPQR comes from the Latin phrase, Senātus Populusque Rōmānus (The Senate and the People of Rome), referring to the government of the ancient Republic. It appeared on coins, at the end of public documents, in dedications of monuments and public works, and was the symbol on the standards of the Roman legions.
Ha! I knew that – thanks to Mr Bond’s Latin classes. Amo amas amat amamus amatis amant…amabo amabis amabit amabimur amabitur amabunt…plenty of words but not much of a plot.
Thanks Richard. My school wasn’t posh enough to have Latin on the curriculum!
SPQR is also prominently displayed on white granite walls at Milano’s Stazione Centrale train station, the setting of my thriller, “Thirteen Days in Milan.” (Ebook and paperback on Amazon and other sites.)
The inspiration for the book came when my wife and I were at Centrale during a four hour layover before heading to Paris in 2011.
My wife got on the train earlier, I left my luggage, passport, wallet on the train and was in station taking photos for my WP travel blog, “A Year and a Day.”
A lightening bolt hit me — ‘what if an American woman, a commercial photographer and single mother, was taken hostage by terrorists during a political assassination at Centrale? She’d snapped pictures of them entering the station, one of them tries to get her camera, she fights back, they throw her in their van and escape.
When they get to their hide out, they discover she’s an American, her father is a wealthy Wall Street investment banker.
They have a hostage and demand a ransom.
That’s where inspirations for books come from — a personal experience in an interesting location!
Great story Jack!
So you married the daughter of a wealth Wall Street investment banker or is that part of the story fiction? 🙂