For the love of Rome and its subtle beauty

Ah, Roma second time around was just wonderful. A lot more rainy, but luckily less touristic than my first visit in June a couple of years ago. That time around I was dazzled by the grandeur of the Roman Empire although most of it lies in ruins. But the reminder of Rome as it was then, home to Caesars and gladiators, ignited the curiosity about life in an Empire nearly two thousand years old. I imagine the Colosseum when it was first built and like so many times I am baffled, mystified even, by man’s capability to construct such enormous creations. But humans have been creating since the beginning, our little bodies home to huge minds that were always resourceful and resilient, capable of greatness regardless of the technological and industrial progress.

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The Colosseum is also known as the Flavian Amphitheater named after the Flavian dynasty made up by the three emperors (Vespasian, Titus and Domitian)  who surveyed its construction.  It took eight years to complete and is the largest of its kind ever built.


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When the Pantheon was built during Roman times it was a temple for worshipping the Gods of Roman mythology. Over time however, and at the introduction of christianity, the Pantheon became a church dedicated to Saint Mary. Because of its continuous use throughout the ages, the Pantheon is one of the best preserved buildings of Ancient Rome.


When looking back across centuries and even millenniums, life in the 21st century seems so easy, paved by revolutions and advancements that, step by step, brought us to being as comfortable as we are today. History intrigues me, there’s so much I wish I could’ve witnessed. If only we could timetravel, now that would take my wanderlust to a whole other level.

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‘Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city’, said Anatole Broyard once and ain’t that just the truth. A lot of the time the beauty of Rome is hard to put into words.


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Rome is a place almost worn out by being looked at, a city collapsing under the weight of reference – Graham Joyce


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The view from St. Peter’s Basilica is always a must when in Rome.


This time around it was November in Rome and as we came close to Ciampino, we enjoyed the most wonderful view of the city from above. We spent our roman nights in an airbnb apartment just outside the city centre, close to the Vatican. Danilo, our host, was a lovely guy who kindly took care of our luggage before check in, as we arrived at 8 in the morning. Just after midday we met up with him outside the apartment and he had, as a true gentlemen and Italian, escorted our bags across town on a scooter, of course. Are you even roman without one?

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Vespa is indeed an Italian produced scooter and means ‘wasp’ in English.


I tried to deny it as long as I could, but already at our arrival into Termini it was no doubt that my second visit to Rome would be revolved around food. To hell with ‘a moment on the lips, forever on the hips’, Italy was made for eating and I had not a minute to waste for thinking otherwise! Moreover, I was gonna make sure that the three days I had would be so filled with gelato that it would last me till my next visit.

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Frigidarium on Via del Governo Vecchio had the best gelato this time around. I love cinnamon and anything related to it so I was bound to get a scoop accompanied with their own delicious flavour frigidarium. And for the love of the ice cream God, when the lady asks if you want your gelato dipped in chocolate (for free), say YES!!!


Throughout our visit, we were constantly contemplating whether or not we should buy an umbrella as the clouds were always threatening and a shower never far away. In the end we left it and instead embraced every opportunity to seek shelter in a nearby gelateria or coffee house that flood the streets of Rome.

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Don Nino close to the Pantheon, ‘gelateria & pasticceria artigianale’ sounds so much more lovely and intriguing than artisan ice cream and pastry am I right?


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A crowded restaurant is always a good sign and Cantina e Cucina is definitely not for those afraid of rubbing shoulders. However, the food was amazing and the atmosphere the same in an authentic Italian setting.


Unfortunately, the food frenzy will always be limited to some point, as humans have a silly mechanism that makes us full after eating. If we ever had a flaw, surly this must be it? Especially in Italy, where food is high on the list for visiting, the untreatable diagnosis ‘full stomach’ set limitations to a gluttony that could get seriously out of control. Maybe this mechanism is a blessing in disguise, but I refuse to admit it.

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Trattoria another word for ristorante.


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Altare della Patria or Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the most iconic structures in Rome, located on Piazza Venezia. It was raised in the memory of Vittorio Emanuel II, the first king of a united Italy in 1861.


The hunt for seeking out anything worthwhile to my palate was on and it took me across Rome on foot to discover new areas that made me love the city even more. Between my shameful eating escapades it was enough time to rediscover the beauty of Rome, a beauty that lies humbly between the iconic monuments of the capital and makes up the distinct character of the Italian charm of narrow cobbled streets set between walls of pastel colours so delicately decorated with natural details and culinary objects. Certainly, Rome wouldn’t be Rome without the Colosseum, the Pantheon or any of its most celebrated structures, but it is in its subtle beauty I find the reason it’s one of my favourite cities in Europe. Where iconic Rome is imposing and awe-inspiring, it’s the everydayness of the city and the less extravagant truth that truly fills me with heartfelt love for the capital and what makes me want to return again and again. That, and the food, of course.

If you didn’t already know, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few shots of Rome’s streets from three days in November 🙂

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I discovered the Trastevere district this time around. It lies west of the River Tiber and just south of The Vatican and has in abundance the Italian charm that warms my heart. Dar Poeta serves some really good pizza and OldBridge Gelateria was deliziosa!  For the beer lover Bir & Fud is a really great place for Italian micro-beers.


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Love for details – Carpe Diem and that letter slot.


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Osteria – Italian tavern.


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An old lady watching the world go by.


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L’Arcano – For eating and dreaming.


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The walls are alive!


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Love for details and chillies…


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Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and to me there’s definitely loads of it on the streets of Rome. I love the roman street signs, the vintage cars and rustic colours.


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Don’t worry, eat happy at Escosazio!


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Miniature trucks are essential on narrow roman streets.


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This street… So perfectly Italian.


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If not for the nostalgia, then for the streets that can’t handle anything bigger.


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I am truly grateful for the opportunity to visit Rome again, it is a magical place, just like the country itself.

Ciao Roma! Xx


 

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