The keyhole of the Knights of Malta

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There is a keyhole you can look through on the Aventine Hill in Rome, in the door to the Priory of the Knights of Malta. It offers this view of St. Peter’s Basilica, perfectly framed by an allée of tree rows.

My friends Luca and Susanna took me here one night after learning that I’d declined to visit St. Peter’s because crowds make me edgy. Since then I have learned that visits to this keyhole are very common, though under-the-radar. Insiders take you here.

So of course I like the view, I like the keyhole, I like feeling like a kid, and I like that you don’t really know how this occurred, for whom this sight line was manufactured, or if it’s even intentional, and I like that your body meets a locked door but your eye keeps going.

But what I like most is that this is a kind…

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