Visit to Rome (Italy), 1987


Photos © R.Leeuw

One Saturday morning in October we took advantage of a nearly empty flight, from Amsterdam to Rome. CP Air of Canada had passenger rights on its continued journey to Rome and we intended to escape the rainy conditions at home and enjoy a few relaxing, sunny days as well as explore some Roman culture.
Rome Colosseum
The Colosseum was built in A.D. 80 by 2000 slaves and the opening was celebrated with a party which lasted a 100 days!

Rome is of course a very romantic city and well suited to spend a leisurely long weekend.
One can see how the Colloseum floor has been opened up to show the facilities below the grounds, where many centuries ago gladiators fought for their lives in entertainment to the crowds.

The Forum Romanum: once an impressive complex of marble palaces and richly decorated government buildings; it takes an imaginative eye to read between the rubble here, impressive nevertheless.

Not only the buildings but also these trees add to the majestic nature of this city; maybe my subconciousness is playing tricks on me and these trees project images, smells, associations of many pleasant childhood holidays with my parents in Italy.

We walked a lot, which I find is always the best way to see a city. Steps like these at the Colosseum seem to echo the human masses of long ago. There is so much to miss if one gets on a bus or travel by subway.

I rather look and search for spots like these than go window shopping in some busy tourist street, looking at designer clothing. Though we did that too of course, one cannot deny the Italian talent for exquisite design!. In Italy one can also find the most beautiful women and in my opinion the Italian language is the most dramatic, captivating language spoken on Planet Earth!

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We went by bus to Via Appia, but it did not appeal to me much.
We walked other parts of Rome and I came across the remains of this market, people talking while cleaning up; I like photos like this, but it is easy to be blinded by the majestic buildings and the history they represent.
At some point I entertained the impression that the present Roman people seem to have moved into the Roman buildings almost as if on a temporary basis.

Vatican On the Sunday we went to the Vatican, in time to hear the ceremony by the Pope at the St.Peter's Basilica. But the huge amount of people did not appeal to us and we left without waiting for the Pope's blessings.

We also visited the Sistine Chapel but again the crowds spoiled things for us a bit; instead I found the surrounding park of inspirational beauty.

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A photo I have always treasured is this one of a woman reading a small bible; the photo was taken in one of the streets in the Vatican and represent to me what photography for me is all about, maybe even what travel for me is all about.

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In contrast to the elderly woman, this young woman represents an entirely different life.
While we cooled our heels on a bench, I noticed this woman waiting for someone; she had turned her back to the street because her good looks attracted many young Italian men on scooters, stopping for her.


We had a good time, however brief; but Rome held for us one more surprise: when we reported at Rome Airport in the afternoon there was absolute chaos and mayhem! A strike! We finally got home by taking the nighttrain to Milan and a flight back on Tuesday from Milan... The returntrip took us almost as long as our stay!

External links:
Rome on goeurope.about.com
Rome on www.travelplan.it
About... Roman Gladiators

 

 

 
Last updated 9.8.2005