Italia III - Roma

As the history nerd that I am, I could explore Rome and its historical sites for years, and not get enough of it.

We tried to squeeze as much as we could into our couple of days there, and realized that we were surrounded by tourists everywhere we went. Next time, I’ll make an effort to find at least a few places where the locals hang out, too.

This is the third in a series shared throughout Fall 2021. When you’re done here, make sure to also check out parts one, two and four.

We were staying in Trastevere, a young grungy neighborhood that at night filled with people. It took me a while to realize that its name literally translates to beyond the Tiber.

Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, the vibe and the architecture reminded me a lot of downtown Jerusalem.

The aforementioned Tiber.

The Vittoriano.

Our tour guide pointed out that empty niches on church façades are a sure sign that they’d run out of money during construction.

Pantheon.

We went on a walk to the Gianicolo, and saw many monuments to Garibaldi and his friends.

Hannah.

Rome also had some interesting street art, although it also leaned hard on bad graffiti.

Santa Maria in Ara Coeli.

And of course, we went to the Colosseum.

The craziest fact I learned is that the Romans used to flood the Colosseum to stage nautical battles 🤯.

Layers

I heard so much about and saw so many images of this one monument growing up that it felt very anticlimactic to actually see it in person.

Nothing’s more romantic than surviving.

Between San Pietro and the Suburra here the indolent command, Rome shake the chains of these enslaved citizens.

This guy.

He who fights poetry and closes his heart in a room, his enemy is life and ignorance his wife.

Absurd ruin in smiles. I want to know who’s 51.

Every street in Rome is a museum in its own way. I had just read about Trajan’s Column in Douglas Boin’s Alaric The Goth. Reading about the construction of ancient monuments and then seeing the same temples and memorials in person just days later was very special.

I kept seeing these birds, which seemed super out of place, so I had to look them up. Apparently, the birds “…escaped from aviaries and were released by private owners in the late 1970s and 1980s” and now they are all over the city. Seems like it’s not only a San Francisco thing.

Next up was the Vatican.

Even the Renaissance masters enjoyed putting googly eyes on random stuff.

Einat told us to go to the MAXXI, and it was great. Between the Aldo Rossi exhibit on urban design and Sebastião Salgado’s insane Amazônia, we had a great time. It was a great way to close out a trip that had mostly focused on the past, taking back to recent history and making us think of the future.

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