How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome

The Roman Campania

    "How shall I describe a day like today? - a boat trip; some short drives in a carriage; walks on foot through the most astonishing landscape in the world; treacherous ground under a pure sky; ruins of unimaginable luxury, abominable and sad; seething waters; caves exhaling sulphur fumes; slag hills forbidding all living growth; barren and repulsive areas; but then, luxuriant vegetation, taking root wherever it can, soars up out of all the dead matter, encircles lakes and brooks, and extends its conquest even to the walls of an old crater by establishing there a forest of noble oaks.
    Thus one is tossed about between the acts of nature and the acts of men. One would like to think but one feels too incompetent."
Goethe, Italian Journey (Naples, March 1, 1787. evening)