Casina delle Civette in Villa Torlonia

Photo by Stefano Scarselli

Once upon a time an imaginative and melancholy Prince …

"Wisdom and loneliness" was his witticism, carved in stone above the door. Black bats of molding flying around painted the sky blue of his room, enlightened by a chandelier decorated with wrought iron owls. The owl,distressing bird, symbol of clairvoyance, was his favorite picture, multiplied with obsessive insistence in every corner of the house.

"The little house of owls" was therefore called the eccentric Roman residence of Prince Giovanni Torlonia, surprising fusion of eclectic architecture and decoration, built between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the heart of the Park family, on the Via Nomentana, beside the Casino Nobile, a large villa neoclassical where he lived Mussolini. Occupied by the’44 to’47 by Allied Command and damaged by soldiers, returned to owners in’48 but not restored, purchased in’78 by the City of Rome, which opened the park to the public, however, forgot to ensure the surveillance of buildings, looted then by thieves and vandals (and curious in hunt for souvenirs), and finally in the summer of’91, was devastated by fire, and the “ the little house of owls” - reduced to a desolate skeleton, has been reopened for public after a long and costly restoration funded by the City … Well…..A fairytale with a happy ending :-)

I’ve retaken this shot about 10 times. The first time I took it, I was rushed and had to shoot at ISO 800. Of course that time it came out perfect. It’s just a bit too noisy for me. This is the closest I’ve come so far to recapturing the lighting of the first shot.

North Brother Island is in the East River  between the Bronx and Rikers Island. It was used until the ’40s as a  quarantine hospital, but has been abandoned and closed to the public  since then. Photo by Richard Nickel Jr.Submitted by cburke

Victorian morphine set

This is beautiful.

Steampunk Laptop ( a closer look)

Brassaï, Chartres in Winter, 1946
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