The eternal Rome they call her, with good reason. MAGNIFICENT would be one of the multiple terms I’d use to describe the dame and I foresee what will happen when you see her, YOU’LL BE SPEECHLESS.
All in her is beauty, starting with the imposing Coliseum, grand and majestic when you face it, arouses expressions like my mum’s when she saw it “oh my God, it is so big, I never thought it’d be soooo big and imposing”. Imagine the thousands of people it could hold back in those days, all of it covered in white marble that must’ve shone in the distance. I don’t think any nomad traveller back in the day could resist a stop in this city.
Connected to the Coliseum through the Via Sacra is the Roman Forum, which was the centre of the city in its days, reason why it has so many basilicas and temples honouring their multiple gods; all of it is mixed with the Rome of today, a few steps take you away from your era, others bring you back to it.
Next to the Coliseum is the Palatine, one of the seven hills where Rome is settled, and where Romulus founded it. The ruins of a few palaces remain there and you can still see their water system, which has been one of their legacies to our contemporary society, how fab! A tip: I’d buy the entrance ticket for both monuments in the Palatine, in that way you’ll save the long queue of the Coliseum.
Right behind the Palatine is the Circus Maximus, where they used to celebrate chariot races, nowadays is a park where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Palatine. We took a lot of pleasure sitting there, just like that, amazed again by the beauty we’re seeing, before taking the street on the left and sticking our hand in the Mouth of Truth, that is on the wall of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin Church; the same mouth our lovely Audrey and the handsome Gregory Peck made famous in their movie Roman Holiday, another one of my favourite classic movies.
The Pantheon is one of my favourite places in Rome. When it appeared in front of our eyes, it was SPECTACULAR, we were astonished. Those gigantic columns holding it, its circular interior with the hole in the ceiling that produces magical effects, it was wonderful. They say that when it rains the drops of water seem to be floating in the air.
Even though Rome looks beautiful on TV or on photos, when you are standing in front of these wonders, which have endured all these centuries, it’s a different story, they make your jaw drop.
You’ll find a lot of art that “talks” in this city, like the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini, in the baroque Piazza Navona. Its figures are backwards to the building in front; the two architects who created them didn’t get on well, so they “confront” their works, MAGNIFICIENT, like the square itself. Did you know that all the piazzas or squares in Rome have something in common? Yes, they all have an obelisk in the middle.
In the Piazza de Spagna, besides the Spanish Embassy, are the most famous steps of the city, the Spanish Steps, immortalized again by our beautiful Audrey. It is an ideal place to have a rest and a delicious gelato admiring the fountain with the shape of a boat also designed by Bernini which is decorating the piazza.
The ins and outs of the Eternal are full of ruins, in every square and every bend they show themselves to the nomad visitor. I recommend you to get lost in it, not only the big monuments are beautiful, but its streets and buildings full of history also are.
Strolling the small streets we found the Fontana di Trevi, big, beautiful and with half of the planet in front of it, of course, who would want to miss it? We wouldn’t. Do you know about the tradition that says if you throw a coin in the fountain you’re assured to come back to Rome?, well let me tell you that IT WORKS, so throw, nomads, throw.
The book I’d like to share today is “Eat, pray, love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It narrates the journey of a writer who, after a divorce and a failed relationship, initiates a quest, spending time in Rome first, where she enjoys the good food and the pleasure of not doing anything or dolce far niente, like they say there. In the time she spent in the eternal city she meets people who help her, not only to learn Italian, but to find herself.
From Rome she flies to India where she learns to meditate and calm her mind; after a few months she comes back to Bali, where she meets her guru she’d met in previous visit. He will help her understand her inner child and there she will also find love. Entertaining, fresh and funny. Ideal to read on your own Roman Holiday.