Sample My Wares

National Geographic Society, Finlay Photography by Bernard F. Rogers, Jr.

While this pretty maiden humbly offers two bunches of grapes on sticks during a Roman Grape Festival, her old-fashioned costume betrays her. She is no country bumpkin. As the article states, her wristwatch shows that she is a modern woman, and chances were high that she was actually an extra from a nearby movie studio.

This grape girl wrapped her finest grapes in paper packages, while the salesgirl below sold roses in assorted colors.

If a flower girl could not carry her burden, she used a beast.

Bernard F. Rogers, Jr.

This donkey was piled high with daisies, violets, and chrysanthemums, brought in from the fields to Nemi, near Rome. With such plentiful bounty, vendors often gave faded flowers to children to beat on the pavement and watch the petals fly.

Those who weren’t selling got into the spirit by wearing provincial costumes to celebrate products from the many district vineyards, displayed in the Basilica of Constantine. That’s a serious middle hair part.

Once the Grape Festival got underway, 25 floats made their way down the streets. This one depicts Bacchus (Dionysus), the ancient Roman and Greek wine god. As the oxen moved, the tongue revolved as if lapping wine. Ew.

 

I Was Espresso When Espresso Wasn’t Cool

National Geographic Society

Granted, the fellow on the left looks 57, but apparently, he and his buddy were both Roman university students, sipping caffe espressos made from Brazilian beans between classes way back in 1937. Each student’s neckerchief bears colors denoting his course. Would you get a new neckerchief each time you changed majors?