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Why Rome still remains the Eternal City

To Rome With Love – I remember watching this delightful Woody Allen film a few days before I left for Italy and I couldn’t get over how impossibly beautiful the city looked. Or for that matter in Eat, Pray, Love – I stopped watching after the ‘eat’ part! Or in its black & white glory in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and overshadowing the combined beauty of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. Surely a place cannot be that beautiful, I thought – until I got there.

 

 

So when the daily prompt for BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project threw up ‘poetry’, I thought no place other than Rome could do ‘poetic justice’. However, poetry is not quite my strong suit so I’m going to attempt couple of haikus for this photographic jaunt through Rome. I hope it makes you yearn to visit the eternal city. I know I will be going back; after all I did toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain!

Light


Rome is bathed in a gorgeous light during summer. Be it in early dusk, as seen from atop the Spanish Steps…


 
… or Trevi Fountain in its marble glory by day and then a glowing golden when night falls.

 



St Peter’s Basilica at Vatican City, which is home to Michelangelo’s Pièta.

Late evening light
poetry in marble
mother and son



 





Pillars

 
Rome stands on the pillars of its ancient history, relics of which are abundantly strewn about the city. According to legend, Rome was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus in 753 BC. Recent excavations inside the Roman Forum have led to the discovery of the remains of a wall that dates back to 900 BC, ‘ageing’ the city overnight by 2 centuries!
The 16th century Piazza del Campidoglio designed by Michelangelo looks out over most of Rome’s history, and it’s free entry (read 5 free things to do in Rome).
Pantheon, the temple to all the gods of ancient Rome (read Rome’s 5 best ancient sights).
 
Ponte Fabricio, the oldest bridge in Rome (62 BC) across the Tiber river, in the charming neighbourhood of Trastevere.


St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City

 

These are not ancient pillars but nevertheless a part of Rome’s history. The EUR district was built by Mussolini to host the 1942 World’s Fair, ostensibly to celebrate 20 years of Fascism. Of course the exhibition never took place as World War II changed the course of history. Today EUR is largely a business district.





Steps

Rome is built on seven hills so there is a lot of climbing up and down as you explore the city. From the 135 Spanish Steps (built in 1725)…
… to the incredibly deep escalators leading to the Metropolitana di Roma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A view down the steps of the Vatican Museum, and up.
In the well-preserved ancient city of Ostia Antica.
The day we visited the Spanish Steps, a newlywed couple with their entourage of groomsmen and bridesmaids had descended upon the steps to celebrate their wedding.
Old steps
a happy couple
to new beginnings

Faces

The proud Roman profile is visible everywhere. In the Vatican Museum.

 

 

On statues with heads, and without.
In Antico Caffè Greco, the oldest cafe in Rome (established 1760). Have you seen such well-dressed baristas elsewhere?!



Tastes

 

What more can be said about Italian food? A simple bruschetta
At Ristorante Pancotto, Viale di Trastevere
a glass of wine…
At Ristorante Pancotto, Viale di Trastevere
some pasta…
At Ristorante Joseph, Via Accursio
a gelato (or three)…
At Ciampini, Piazaa di San Lorenzo in Lucina
and a coffee – I ask no more!
At Antico Caffè Greco, Via dei Condotti
Silky smooth crema
freshly brewed
a deep dark elixir

Do – take a walk in Rome with Walks of Italy. They have some fabulous walking tours, coupled with fascinating stories, not to mention a delicious food walk.
Stay – at Aurelio Aqilone BnB. It’s a bit far from the city centre but is well-served by the metro and the stop is at a walking distance from the apartment. The apartment itself is gorgeous, with a lovely terrace garden and in a quiet neighbourhood. The hostess Francesca is a gem of person, most helpful and has great suggestions on how best to cover most Rome attractions. Read my TripAdvisor review for more info.
Have you visited Rome? What is your one favourite memory of the city? Leave me a comment below. A presto!
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4 comments

  1. Tara Goldsmith 15 April, 2014 at 10:59 Reply

    Very nice post! I traveled around Italy as a student and we had a wonderful time. When we visited Michelangelo's Pièta there were no glass around! Things changed —- maybe I should re visit!

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