When I was planning this trip, I wasn’t sure about visiting Rome. It seemed like a busy, noisy, dirty city. It’s one of those places people either love or hate. But as I was going to be in the area, I decided to check it out and booked six nights.
As the time to visit approached, I started to regret this decision. I went to Pompeii first, and I wasn’t particularly taken with Campania (the area around Pompei & Naples). I loved the ruins. I might have cried a little when it came time to leave. But the cities? They were noisy and dirty and full of impatient people. I really didn’t care to stay in a bigger version.
Then I stepped out of Roma Termini (the railway station) after two long train trips and lugging a heavy suitcase and backpack, and it was “Oh, you beautiful city”.
And Rome is a beautiful city. Busy, noisy and dirty, of course. How could it not be?
But beautiful and interesting and endlessly fascinating.
And you keep turning corners and finding interesting things.
To turn from a narrow, dark street and see this is startling. It’s very big and bright and open.
It’s the Vittoriano (Monument to Victor Emmanuel II). From the website: “The complex, conceived in January 1878, after the death of the first king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II, was inaugurated in 1911. Later it welcomed other extremely important memories in the identity of the young nation, such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Vittoriano stands tall and majestic in the centre of Italy’s Capital. Climbing the large steps and using the panoramic lifts to reach the spectacular terrace at the top of the monument, walking through its monumental spaces, stopping and reflecting on the memories of the nation means entering the heart of Italy. The Italy of yesterday, the result of the long and troubled process of the Risorgimento, and the Italy of today, anti-fascist, democratic and European.”
It has good views.
There are lot of little souvenir/tourst shops. Like one or two every block, and then greater concentrations around any attraction. All mostly selling the same things.
This is the Trevi Fountain. It’s apparently one of the big attractions of the city. I don’t get it. I mean it’s interesting, as fountains go, but not that exciting.
This was first thing Sunday morning. I had to walk back through later and could barely get through. It’s not interesting.
Lemons are a thing too. If you buy a drink in a supermarket or shop, the choices are usually limone or pesca (peach).
My first morning, after escaping form the fountain, I went to one branch of the National Museum. This one had a lot of headless statues.
So many headless statues.
The museum is partly located within the Baths of Diocletian, the largest of the public bath houses.
That basilica is also located within the bath complex.
Lots of street hawkers too.
Temple of Hadrian. There was a guy out the front saying come in and have a look. Inside, was some sort of presentation playing on a screen. I think they were trying to sell or promote something, but as it was mostly in Italian, I have no idea what.
These little things looked absolutely lovely, but far too fragile.
The Pantheon, but that’s for tomorrow.
The urban decay is very bad in places.
(That last comment was a joke.)
Time for bed, and then another day exploring the streets tomorrow.