One of the cities that I will never forget was R O M E. We have already traveled a lot before Storm and I started this blog, but I think it is totally worth to reminicse about the places I already went to on the blog. Talking to a friend during my week of in-house classes I realized I have to catch up on writing about that. (Thank you Jason for the inspiration)
So what does Italy mean to me? As a European girl I would suggest that there is no single country I have been growing up in. There is no single culture I internalized. No single state I belong to or that I know best. With the Schengen Agreement Europe has become interconnected, making it easy to cross borders and feel part of a parent unit. Italy is one of these places that we have visited innumerable times, feeling home and rooted. Today I want to tell you a little bit more about it’s capital city – R O M E
Being surrounded by modern people, 21st century fashion and noises yet in such a calm and familiar environment you will ask yourself why Rome is being called the Eternal City. The constructions once so proudly and impressively massive are now only relics of an era that belongs to the past. Still, let me tell you: Rome is not about status symbols and buildings rather than a story, a tale that is deeply rooted within our history of being. If you are asking yourself where the expression comes from I will now tell you the reasons why:
When walking down the Via delle Muratte, coming from the direction of the Pantheon, just to find yourself at the Trevi Fountain, you will instinctively feel like a true Roman, on his/her way to drink from the Virgin Water’s (Aqua Vergine). Once you have tossed a coin over your left shoulder, it is said that the goddess after which the fountain was named and that once guided thirsty soldiers to the fountain, will guarantee you a safe return to Rome. – (Btw, don’t skip this ritual, rather do something for beneficence: Every coin will contribute towards donations for Caritas.
When walking up the Mausoleum of Hadrian, known as the Castle of the Holy Angel you will think of the legend and tales of how the Archangel Michael appeared atop the mausoleum, sheathing his sword as a sign that the plague had ended! Or how the Pope fled from there over the Passetto di Borgothe, the elevated passage that links the Vatican City with the Castle of the Holy Angel in order to escape his enemies. You will find yourself living through history, surrounded by walls that reveal themselves to be witnesses of bygone days.
You will indisputably feast on a true Pizza Margherita and think back of Queen Margherita of Savoy once designing this yummy piece of food.
You will find yourself on the rooftop of the St. Peter’s Basilica, enjoying the breathtaking view over Rome, getting to know one of the reasons why it is worth it to become Pope. You will write a postcard from Vatican City and reminisce about the schemes and the dramas that certainly have taken place within these walls.
Walking through the Colosseum and the Roman Imperial Forum you will think back of the sheer magnitude of the Roman Empire, being host to sometimes 80,000 spectators, that enjoyed the impressive performances of gladiators, mock sea battles, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas. If you listen carefully you can still hear the masses cheering.
When walking up the Spanish Steps at dusk some people say that while enjoying the last rays of sun you might be lucky and see the ocean on a cloudless day. And if you are keen for a drink take a left at the end of the steps – dare to make a jump over the bridge and indulge in beautiful cocktails with THE most amazing view over Rome at the Il Palazzetto.
When you stroll along the Tiber during the summer festival “Lungo il tevere”, picking up on the jazzy vibes surrounding you, enjoying an italian wine in a hammock whilst chatting to locals about the very secret and ease of living La Dolce Vita.
When taking a peek-a-boo view of St. Peter’s dome through a little keyhole to be found on the gate to the headquarters of the Knights of Malta you will feel enchanted and mightily impressed by the combination of a perfectly framed massive monument and a small keyhole, that can make the best stories about your vacation.
Eventually, when walking through Rome- you will realize – that you do not have to look for sights, for you are already part of one and reliving history! And that, my dear reader, makes you understand, why it is called the Eternal City 😉 xxx J