April 22, 2013

To Rome With Love

Woody Allen's portrayal of a city is always mesmerizing and magical. Paris has never looked so dreamy and gorgeous like it did in Midnight in Paris. Every time I watch that movie (and I've seen it a few times because they keep showing it here on TV and because it's PARIS!), I feel like running back to Paris. Ever since I've watched Allen's Vicky Christina Barcelona, I've been wishing to take a stroll around the streets of Barcelona. 

So when I watched To Rome With Love, of course I had the biggest urge to just be in Rome. And I'm so glad to be able to do that. Rome is beautiful, charming, historic, gritty. A fountain here and a century old statue there. Vespas galore. Steps on narrow streets. Ancient ruins on the side of the roads. Pizzerias one after another. Gelato everywhere.

Rome is captivating. And every corner of Rome has something worth your time. Something about walking around a city that is some 2,000+ years old, and one of the oldest cities/civilizations in the world, can't quite describe it. 

So here are some of my favourite pictures that we took on our trip to Rome.

Piazzas (squares) are present in every corner of Rome. There are so many, I've lost count. Of course, some are more picturesque than others. The above pictures are of Piazza Navona. I personally love that there's so many piazzas because Rome is huge, and we walked around mostly on foot. But it never seemed like a long walk because every 10-15 minutes or so, we would find ourselves in a piazza. So you sit around, take a break, admire the atmosphere and walk on. 

Piazza Spagna with the famous Spanish Steps

I think my favourite area in Rome was Trastevere. It is a maze of narrow cobbled streets, all lined with coloured homes. So gritty yet charming! In the evening, this place is abuzz with natives and tourists chatting away at the many bars and restaurants. The pictures below are of streets in Trastevere.

Loved the door! In Trastevere.
I've always had a fascination for cute doors and windows. The fascination has increased ever since I moved to Europe because no one does doors and windows better than Europe! Nope! And speaking of windows...

Cute! This was on the street our hotel was on. And speaking of streets...

Random steps in random streets!

Of course when you're in Rome, you go see the Colosseum. This giant amphitheatre sits in the middle of the city with all its glory and grandeur telling the tale of Ancient Rome. 

It's such a marvelous tell-tale of the Roman architecture and engineering. It is partly damaged, but still is just so captivating. And once you're inside, to imagine 50,000 people cheering for gladiators, or watching animal hunt shows, bloodshed and death in the name of entertainment, it gives you somewhat of a  sense of the mindset of ancient people. As I was standing inside looking around the seated areas, I couldn't help but think what it was like back in the day...and couldn't help but feel a chill go down my spine thinking about the gladiator combats or the animal hunts. This was the place where thousands of years ago gladiators would prepare for their battle; nervous, fearful? Not knowing whether they would live or die? Have their fate be watched by 50,000 people. It was surreal because it was such an ancient place, and queasy because of its significance to many in the ancient times. But still so mesmerizing and captivating. 

Arch of Constantine, with Colosseum looking miniscule in the back!

Around the Roman Forum - the place that was once the center of the powerful empire.

Near the Colosseum is the Roman Forum where the earliest Roman city started. This dates back to something like 7th century BC!! It's crazy when you think about just how ancient the place really is. And more crazy when you start realizing that you are now walking the streets Julius Caesar once walked on! Okay, I'll admit, I don't care much for Julius or Brutus. In fact, I would be very bored during my grade 10 English class when we would read Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Come to think of it, I'm SO glad high school is done and over with - it was painful sitting through Shakespeare readings and not understanding a word! I did enjoy his Macbeth though. 

But back to Mr. Caesar. And his temple. And his apartments. Yes it is all in the Roman Forum! And my visit to Rome has made me realize that history isn't boring. You just need to travel to study it, not just read about it ;).  

Inside St. Peter's Basilica.

The Vatican is also a must stopover when you are in Rome. St. Peter's basilica is so rich and huge! But the highlight of the Vatican for me was the Sistine Chapel.

The Sistine Chapel is a masterpiece and I was so in awe of it. Michelangelo's neck must have hurt like crazy after being done with the ceiling! I can't even begin to imagine the kind of effort that must have gone into the Sistine Chapel - all I can do is admire it and marvel at the beauty of it. Pictures were not allowed so I got none but I'm sure tons of images will show up on google.

The famous Trevi Fountain!

This is the city that offers everything - beautiful sights, amazing food, brilliant architecture, rich in art and history; a city that is glamorous, chic and at the same time gritty. Rome, the Eternal City. 

1 comment:

  1. I feel like you're advertising Rome - and I'm sold! I'd love to spend a few days living in one of those small houses in narrow streets like Trastevere. On a side note, I like your outfits!