I arrived in Rome last night, wrung out from 24 hours of traveling. It was raining here, so I just nipped across the street from my hotel to a supermarket in the Stazione Termini for fruit and scary health cookies, then went to bed. It must be said that I am completely in love with this train station and could easily imagine living in it.
Today started out quite cool, but got very warm later as I goggled at Rome's sights of the centuries. I will leave tomorrow for Florence, but will be back in early June, thus the two parts of visiting Rome.
I knew that if I walked away from the station a few blocks I should eventually come upon the Colosseum so, mapless and feckless, I set off.
I saw others ascending these picturesque stairs, so I climbed them too ~
Nice up here ~
Many people were entering a sort of plain church, so I went in too. I didn't get the name because I was distracted by a sign warning of pickpockets.
Nice, but rather plain and empty from this vantage point ~
There appeared to be something over on the side where there were fewer people.
OH. MY. WORD!
I demonstrated my well-known sophistication and preparedness by breathlessly asking the couple next to me if this was the real thing. Yep!
Glad you made it, Mikey did a swell job on the Moses thing didn't he? The depth and density of the history in Rome is unlike anywhere else I've ever been to. You can stroll into almost any random church and see masterpieces. And yes, Rome is hard on the feet. You want to look around as you walk and the paving stones are murder. I have no idea how women walk around there in heels.
Too bad about the rain, but the forecast looks pretty good except maybe Saturday.
And you must bee the first person I've ever heard give Termini Station love. I usually think of it more as an obstacle to be surmounted than as a place to let soak in. I found a pretty decent place to eat actually inside the station last year waiting for my train North to Arezzo, and eating in a train station is almost *always* a bad idea. Have no idea what the place was called.
Bixa can use her Spanish during her meet-up with Frankie. Have you brought your mantilla?
Termini was VERY dodgy indeed when I first reached it in the 1980s. Infamous for heroin addicts, pickpockets and very aggressive beggars. It has been thoroughly cleaned up, even gentrified. There are some decent tavola calda places in Rome. That is like a cafeteria, usually (but not always) fairly small. Though as everywhere, there are some that no longer prepare their own food.
Wow. Beautiful place, love your photos. I've only spent a brief time in Italy (day trips during a cruise) but loved it. The history everywhere is so exciting I practically vibrated my way around giving out little squeaks of joy (!)
The art is astonishingly gorgeously magnificent too. Keep the photos coming...what's the food been like ?
Indeed, Fumobici, to all you said! I don't know what I thought I'd be seeing when I set out to give a quick gawk to the Colosseum, but I didn't think it would be that much. And of course I'm still not over seeing that very famous statue stuck over in the corner of a church. re: station & food ~ I left home with a cough & sore throat which got worse during the flight. I was desperate for some nice soup. The night before I left Rome I found a place way back in the station's upstairs food court serving a special of smooth chickpea soup and two little meatballs. The soup was lovely, and they even found me some chile-infused olive oil to swirl through it.
Kerouac, re: "bearded statue" and religious education ~ so no frivolous art history electives for the serious political science major?
Thanks, Amboseli! I won't truly get a chance to enjoy it until the last leg of this trip.
Bjd, I give people a choice, so have spoken both and rather bonded with one of the desk ladies at my hotel over Spanish. LaGatta will find it amusing that her name was Francesca, so yeah ~ talked to "Frankie" in Spanish.
Yes, LaGatta ~ the big mantilla with the big comb. The bus from the airport let me out about a block from my hotel in the dark and rain. I walked along the wall of the train station (directly opposite the hotel), which was solidly lined with the homeless and their bedding. It wasn't menacing, just sad.
Oh Cheery ~ I could just imagine you in Italy being thrilled over and over. I have been emitting those same squeaks of joy! I'm just barely getting to the point where food might be of interest again, so can't really pronounce on the grub yet.
I'm now stockpiling tons and tons of pictures of Florence. Florence is mind-boggling. I know "everyone says", but damn! If ever a place pulled out all the stops of drop-dead, it-can't-really-be-this-gorgeous-can-it?, it is Florence. The symbol of Florence is the iris -- il giglio di Firenze. Today I visited Florence's iris garden. It's in Oltrarno, perched above the river with views to the other side. Can you even imagine my happiness?
Hello again from Rome. I have returned to this report so I can include the time I spent in Rome from June 5 through June 10. Here I will put the pictures from some of those days and links to reports on other of those days.
I arrived in Rome on the afternoon of the 5th and settled into my apartment in the very shadow of St. Peter's. Here is an unzoomed picture taken from less than a half block from the apartment ~
The logical thing was to wander over there to see what I could see. That afternoon is covered in this report.
The following morning Kerouac arrived. Of course we set out to see all we could. Kerouac has covered some of his days in Rome here. Let's see how good a job I can do.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Jul 1, 2019 17:28:28 GMT
ooooh.... #8 pic (post #15) is stunningly composed! so much depth...love it (wouldn't try to draw it tho...very difficult perspective). I like the way that all the statues seem to be having an Angelina moment (showing their legs)...or maybe that's where she got the idea....
I would like to say that as serious tourists, we made a point of taking in the church of Sant'Ignazio, but the truth is that we entered looking for a respite from the heat. In a way, that made it better, adding to the awe and delight of seeing the amazing trompe l'oeil feats romping across the ceilings and walls.
Viewing this in person, you move your head and body back and forth to convince yourself that the figures are not in fact three dimensional ~
The most convincing bit of painterly sleight of hand is this "dome", which is in fact a completely flat ceiling ~
Many churches would consider one altar such as this as much soaring Baroque grandeur as one church needs ~
Sant'Ignazio church thought that two would be even better ~
Funerary monument of Pope Gregory XV and his nephew, Cardinal Ludovisi, the church's founder ~
The next day we went on an exceedingly fun excursion to a 20th century site that seems to be off many people's radar. Kerouac will be making a presentation on that trip after I finish this Rome report. At that time, I'll come back and add a link to it here.
Kerouac, I just went and looked at your wonderful Expert in Paris/Tourist in Rome thread again. I was worried my thread would be more-of-same, but I think the two presentations, similar but different as they are, help give an idea of just how fascinating it is to explore Rome.
Philistine that I am, I have to admit that I expected something more from the Circus Maximus, probably a side effect of seeing too many '50s movie epics ~
Across the road from the Circus Maximus is the Palatine Hill, dominated by the Palace of Domitian and the Temple of Apollo Palatinus ~
We watched the activity of what seemed to be caterers going in and out the door of this singular wall. I cannot find any information on it, although it might be the back part of the St. Anastasia Basilica property ~
Again, time for a cooling break in a church, St. Anastasia's, where I was fascinated by this statue. To me it's not all that lovely but amazingly, it is porcelain and bigger than life-size ~
The Stations of the Cross in the church are also of porcelain ~
Let's be honest. This picture got taken because we were gazing down at the space and envisioning cold beers. A bonus was admiring the Arch of Janus just beyond. We decided to press onward for more ancient Rome rewards, a decision that bore fruit, as you will see ~
Since I was with Bixa when a lot of these photos were taken, we already had our own conversation about a lot of these sites. I marvel at these pictures anyway even though there is one detail that they fail to convey -- the intense heat. Neither one of us is the sort to carry around a little bottle of water, but we certainly caught up at a few establishments that served refreshments, not to mention at the apartment in the evening, where I proved that I was capable of downing a 1.5L bottle of fizzy water while still drinking beer (I sweat massively whereas Bixa seems to lack pores.).
As for the Roman Forum, I had mentioned to her that it was the thing that had most impressed me on my first trip to Rome in 1971, along with, yes obviously the Colosseum, but it did not seem to ignite much interest in her. I am quite happy that we finally saw it from the hill above because the panorama was fantastic and the crowds that we saw below were not at all appealing. When I had gone there in 1971, even though it was at the same time of year, I had the place completely to myself. That made it much easier to imagine "Maybe I'm walking down the same street that Julius Caesar used" instead of listening to tourist hordes talking about those cute shoes they should have bought in that shop.
I was looking at that porcelain Madonna again but my eyes honed in on the loudspeaker affixed on the wall. Excellent representation of "old vs. new."
I too think that you did well to see the forum from above. It gives a better idea of the scale and layout of the place.
I must have gone there too on my first trip to Rome but have retained no memories of the place. I do remember visiting the Colosseum, which was also rather empty and you probably didn't have to pay to get in. I think what impresses me most about Rome is the utter jumble of centuries, as in any of those pictures which mix Roman-era columns with church domes built centuries later and the occasional glimpse of more modern buildings. All mixed with those umbrella pines.