I always had a definite answer on the question where I would like to live, “Of course in Bruges!” But now I will add: “But, maybe, somewhere near Rome”. Rome – is a rare city; it’s hard to detach the centre as it is – more likely there are different spots of attraction, among which you will always be able to find the one keeping up the need of your soul.
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant’Angelo, and the nearby located Vatican, Pantheon, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Appian Way… It is difficult to count all churches, fountains, squares and palazzo.
My acquaintance with Rome is long-standing; it started with the movie «Roman Holiday» with Audrey Hepburn. Someone might have such an absent acquaintance started only with «Gladiator». It does not matter, each has his own Rome, the main thing is to turn this absent acquaintance into the real one. And believe me, you won’t regret!
Rome – is a singular kind of metropolis, making me want to return again and again, in spite of my affection to small medieval cities.
What is behind this unique attraction of the Italian capital? Yes, there is a nice climate here, and I guess, the sun is shining every single day. The fragrances of the Italian cuisine are like an amazing reflection of all those things, richly warmed with the sunlight. The people are smiley and hearty, although they keep the distance with foreigners. But it’s not hard to understand: they have their own caste – they are all the Italians by birth.
You can’t imagine the Italians and Rome without mobile phones! If an Italian does not have a company, he immediately snatches his phone. In Rome they are used to talk for a long time, using a very high speech. The same about the carabineers in a cordon around the parliament building – I saw it myself in April, when the Italians demanded to finally form the new government in the country.
Also Rome has a colossal number of bikes and mopeds. Businessmen use them to ride to their work, and the housewives – to the supermarkets, and even the apt to hurry somewhere nuns ride the quick Smart or Punta and always keep the mobile phones in hands as well.
This country is impossible to imagine without the cars, even rational Irina achieved a personal speed record here. But not only autos keep transporting their owners; sometimes it happens vice versa. Several times we watched a shiny and smiley tiny car being moved somewhere. I wonder where to?
But most of all I like this wheeled “auto-monster”. I would gladly take a ride on it!
Is it all about the spring or the special local air? So heady and exhilarating, but you totally forget about the age in Rome, besides, the city is so open-hearted and friendly that it makes you feel belonging to it. Moreover Rome is full of passion!
It is beyond my power to explain what the Eternal City means, as the Italian capital is often being called. But let it live forever, with all its tourist attractions, each of which should be described in particular.
For example, we were on our way from the St. Peter’s Basilica and intended to visit the Castel Sant’Angelo (this is the Mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian; I have written about him and Antinous recently). Yet there were ten minutes till the opening time, so we have fallen into the spirit of the rushing Italian lifestyle and decided not to lose the time in waiting. We reached The Capitoline Hill of Rome instead and visited Musei Capitolini out of the planned schedule. So, the best thing to do in Rome is walking.
Yes, until I visit Villa Borghese, my opinion cannot be completely objective, but the exposition of the sculpture in Musei Capitolini is magnificent beyond any words and is as good as the masterpieces, exposed in the Vatican. Capitoline Venus, The Dying Gaul, the inner garden is decorated with the large fountain of the River god Marforio.
What things to see in Rome? Looks like, there is nothing to feel sorry for in this city; whatever you see – everything is perfect! And if there is something left – well, you cannot embrace the boundless – leave it for the next time.
If I could have found myself in Rome for the one more first time, I would definitely make a start with a night walk along the city. Rome is even more fabulous in the nighttime. It is so talented highlighted – such things are really worth seeing.
St. Peter’s Basilica seems absolutely spanless in the night. Our windows in hotel Nazionale provided the view right upon the Vatican. Several windows in the upper floors always have light, the four rightmost are the windows of the Papal cabinet. I am unfamiliar with the sense of euphoria after the meeting with the Pope, but many people come to Rome only for this audience!
Confide in your destiny or help it yourself, by choosing a right day in a calendar, and then it’s easy: walk near the Saint Peter’s Square each Sunday, preferably on the eve of some religious holidays. Maybe a good fortune will befall namely you to stand mute with wonder seeing such a picture: the whole square full of Ferrari, red, yellow, white; plenty of presentably dressed people are screaming, greeting the Pope, who is saying something in return and waving his hand, bestowing a bless.
We have done differently: just when we saw the preparations for the event on the Vatican’s square, in a minute we left to enjoy and breath in the air of the another district of the Eternal City.
The Colosseum is one more famous sight of Rome, probably the most famous. At night it is being highlighted with the spotlights of different colours; one more attraction of the compulsory excursion program in Rome. After that they will bring you to the huge palace, reminding of a white mountain; this building could be seen from every part of Rome.
It is the Altar of the Fatherland – Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II – the consolidator of Italy. Once they had to remove the whole district of the city in order to build this monument. The Romans themselves have a mixed feeling about it and give different bynames to this leviathan: a “writing machine”, a “set of teeth” or an “ink-pot”. I don’t know how the removed district looked like, but as for me The Piazza Venezia is one of the purest stones, sparkling in the crown of Rome among the other jewels.
And then you will see probably the most magnificent symbol of the Rome: The Trevi Fountain. Pure white fountain begins as a wall of the house and then pours out and occupies almost 80 percent of the whole square. Many lovely figures surround the main one – Neptune, who enters the square in a shell, drawn by the hippocampus. In the light of the projectors it seems like the blue water shines either with gold or with emerald-green.
The energy of the places is colossal, you never want to leave. And there are several hundred of people along with you feel the same at this tiny square!
There is an old tradition – if you want to return to Rome, stand your back towards to the fountain and throw a coin over your left shoulder. The tourists are so generous for dropping the coins, hoping to come back, that you can barely see the fountain bottom. Do you know how much money is taken out of the Trevi Fountain every day? Up to 3000 euro.