Saturday, July 19, 2008
Quando di Roma....
I stared out the window and watched the Northern plains of Italy give way to its rolling green hills of Tuscany. My ears began feeling the pressure from the numerous tunnels the train passed through as we entered a mountainous region the closer to Rome we traveled. Old churches and houses filled the landscape and I couldn’t help but let my mind drift to remembering all the movies I’ve seen that were filmed in this area.
I’ve always thought of myself as a nature person. Not really belonging in cities or feeling the need to venture too far into massively urbanized areas. My recent travels to New York and Sydney have really begun to open my mind to how amazing cities can be. I wasn’t prepared for Rome. Almost in the same way Bali took me a week just to get over being awe-struck by how different it was, Rome took me an entire day to get over being amazed by how it was a city unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
We all know about Rome. A place home to an empire that controlled the world for over 1000 years. Modern day conveniences that we all still use were developed here. Famous artists, philosophers, scientists, Politician’s, Religious figures and military leaders called Rome home. Names like Michelangelo, Rafael, Cesar, Mussolini and the Pope have used their art and political power to influence the world from within the city’s walls.
Vatican City, technically the world’s smallest country, is located inside Rome. The Swiss guard who still wear the same uniform they wore almost 500 years ago have been charged with the duty of protecting a city within a city that holds some of the most valuable and precious architecture, art and history the world has ever seen. St. Peter himself, one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, was crucified and laid to rest here almost 2000 years ago. His tomb is one of the largest churches ever built in the world, located inside Vatican City and rightfully called St. Peter’s Church.
Places like The Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, The Coliseum, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican Museum and the Palatino are all found within walking distance of each other. If it’s history you came for, Rome has more than you will ever be able to handle. But if you don’t know history, you can still feel the energy radiating from the city. Old and new are constantly in your face. But here in Rome, when you say old, it’s about as old as old can get.
Even if you’ve flown from some other planet and have found yourself in a city you‘ve never heard of called Rome, you will still find it incredible. Just a walk though its brick streets and hidden ally ways, past fountains and little Italian restaurants, you will eventually succumb to the charm that this city is constantly pushing at you. Everywhere you look, people from all over the world are always surrounding you with the same look of awe in their faces as you have on your own.
Click here for Rome Picts