When I first arrived to Rome, I had NO expectations… I knew I would eat well, but that’s a given in most European countries. Getting around with a jumble of broken English, French, Spanish and whatever little bit of Italian I can pick up has been an exciting breach of comfort for me… I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I want to give a big thanks to the hostel I stayed in upon arrival; the staff and everyone around has been super supportive and nothing but helpful… BIG SHOUT OUT TO HOSTEL LODI!
*My first night’s dinner at ‘La Villetta’ was amazing!… I thought I ordered just a glass of vino, and that’s what ended up on my table. Spaghetti de Frutte di Mare and an authentic atmosphere set the night off perfect. Sleeping like a baby would soon follow.*
Sight-seeing Rome is a life-long task that even Romans apparently have issues with. To compile all that I have seen in just one post would not bring the ancient city the justice it truly deserves. For that, you guys will have to bear with me as I will continue to blog my discoveries. A small taste is what I offer now in hopes of giving a glimpse into the time-less city.
I will start at the famous church San Giovanni as this monument was the closest and first on route from the hostel. While I am not a religious person at all, the architecture and vibe of the cathedral was really unique and for that I must share.*On the front of the building an inscription states that this is SACROSANCTA LATERANENSIS ECCLESIA OMNIUM URBIS ET ORBIS ECCLESIARUM MATER ET CAPUT, “The Most Holy Lateran Church, Mother and Mistress of all churches of the city and the World”. Great care in the up-keep of the church is taken with extensive cleaning and vacuuming done on a daily basis.*
While I have been trying to dive into the culture and daily lives of the common folk as much as possible on my travels, certain monuments can not be over-looked. How could I say I went to Rome and did NOT see the famous Colosseum?!*this area served as a training ground for the gladiators before they would follow a line of intricate tunnels to the Colosseum and greet their fate. Lives of training and fighting were spent here to be lost in an instant of crowd-pleasing violence. These types of ruins remain throughout the city, gated off from the pedestrians and traffic that pass by on a daily basis. ‘I FORI’ as they call them, serve as small glimpses to the skeletal remains of an ancient civilization.**A vast system of sophisticated tunnels can be now be seen underneath where the ground level of the arena once was. This area was where wild animals would be hoisted up to the surface using “pullies” and platforms.**A true splendor**Wild gatti can be found running the streets of Rome EVERYWHERE. While some still consider the cats to be household pets, these felines can definitely fend for themselves.*
Vatican City was a must for me; as an art junkie and advocate for culture, I devoted a whole day to the museum and sites. The “city” itself is technically not a part of Rome and has its own set of laws and regulations as I would come to find out about later on…
The Vatican Museum was insane! A lot of biblical art which is very interesting, but not my preference. Nestled within were a few gems that really caught my eye. When I reached the Sistine Chapel the air was still, lights dim and everyone speaking no louder than a murmur. It is here that Michelangelo and a few others completed their famous ceiling masterpiece; a feeling that you are in a truly “holy” place takes you over. *Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel took him four years and it is said that he began to go blind during the process. The hours of paint dripping in his eyes would eventually cripple him. Though resenting the commission, he would not seize his work and continued to create art through pure touch. It is forbidden to take photos in this room, so you can be assured that this came off the internet ;)*
While still not “legal”, urban art can be found all over the city and in the most public areas. The overall appreciation for these street artists is apparently much more widespread here and it’s really refreshing to see.
All the walking left me hungry enough to eat a horse. Being a bit more cost-conscious I decided to go to the market and make myself some food…*Prosciutto and provolone on fresh-baked pane. Heirloom tomatoes and arugula… actually found some ‘Kettle Chips’ too!*