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This new photo header of a lady dressed in a beautiful Balenciaga ball gown on the balcony of one of the old palaces in Rome, she symbolize to me elegance and style which must always remain in our lives.

I believe this is Palazzo Altemps which is part of the Italian National Museums, formerly a Residence of Cardinal Mark Sittich Von Hohenems, an interesting man, who had a military career in various wars against the Ottoman Turks, a politician, a governor of several Italian Cities, a Bishop and Cardinal who had a son, Roberto. He was from the Italian-Austrian border area. He latinized his name to Marcus Siticus Altemps to blend into Roman society. He was also the nephew of Pope Pius IV and participated in the election of several Popes during his life time, 1533-1595. He purchased the abandoned Riario palace, re-named it, renovated it completely and housed his own collection of antique statues. Today you can see many other famous collections like the Ludovisi-Buoncompagni collection, all in the old centre of Rome.

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The Altemps Palace is one of the most interesting examples of Renaissance architecture in Rome. The building was started by Girolamo Riario in 1477, the nephew of Pope Sixtus, in an area that in antiquity was dedicated to the administration of imported marbles for Temples and Roman Public buildings.

Speaking of the passage of time, here we are again, into the last week of 2015 and as we are told, once it expires it will never come again, it will enter the world of memories. I suppose this is true of every day and every week, time moves on and waits for no one. I prefer to move along too and not dwell on the past since we cannot do anything about it. My life has been about change, cities, continent, houses, cultures, people.

2015 has been a year of passings, for me and for many of my friends. We are now at an age when elderly relatives, parents, those who came before us are entering immortality, I am thinking of all those who have left this year. My father on 12 July suddenly and other family members, parents of friends, acquaintances, for whatever reason death often comes as a surprise to me, like the visitor you are not expecting but will not be put off. We also buried the ashes of my Mother with all of her relatives in the family cemetery, as was her wish on a crisp but sunny day.

But 2015 was also a good year in so many respects, Fate is still smiling on us, we can only say thank you to Fortuna. We went to PEI and discovered wonderful things, we really enjoyed ourselves on the Island. We had the visit of our friends from far away Arizona, who had never been to Ottawa, such intrepid travellers.

It was not a terribly eventful year, despite the change in National government in Canada bringing about a new era after years of despair. I was busy at the two National Museums and at City Hall on the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. But otherwise we went about our daily lives.

I know that 2016 will bring change, at least in our domicile, since we have to move. That is another story which will unfold and as they say, stay tuned for developments.