Monday, August 16, 2010
And I thought Lourdes was great for souvenirs -- with their unending supply of Catholic kitsch!!!
The thing about Lourdes, though, is that there's really no reason to go there unless you're Catholic (and/or happen to be visiting an aunt who's a nun, like we did). But with Rome? There are so many reasons to visit, many of which have nothing to do with Catholicism! (Catholicism and Christianity became important largely because of Rome, not the reverse...)
The hilarious result is that the souvenir stands have all of the Catholic devotional made-in-China souvenirs, with the secular-questionable-taste items displayed right beside them! One very popular item was boxer shorts with the genitals of Michelangelo's David printed onto them. And the souvenir shop across the street from our hotel had a whole selection of rosaries on one shelf, while the shelf just below it was cartoon figurines of gladiators and of the emperor giving the "thumbs down."
Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera handy when I was at that shop. But maybe you can make out the pope plates in this one, featuring the current pope putting on his best trying-not-to-look-like-the-evil-emperor smile: