Jun 2, 2014

This is Rome

by Bronwyn Jameson

I am writing this blog on the morning we leave Rome, after four beautiful nights in the eternal city.  Trying to not be sad because, after all, we're heading next to Castellini in Chianti and Tuscany can not be sneezed at.  Also, I have tossed my coin into the Trevi Fountain. Therefore, I will return.

Over our morning espressos we've been talking about what we're taking away from Rome (apart from tightly packed suitcases and even more tightly packed memories.)  For me the best part of Rome cannot be answered in a few words or in a favourite experience.  It's not the Sistine Chapel or San Pietro or Capitoline Hill or the Colosseum.  It's not one trattoria or particular plate of pasta or sipping prosecco as the sun sets over a spectacular skyline.

Rome is the melding of ancient and modern, the bustle of traffic and the dawdling of tourists, the brusque waiters who can be charmed into a smile on the turn of gamely offered Italian phrase.  Beyond the sites and the monuments it's the stories of the people who lived here, ruled here, slaved here, painted here,  died here that I take away.  I also take away several pounds gained but we will not talk of this.

Rome is the ancient…

The modern…
The art…

The food…

I take away a thousand images but this one manages to embody many of my first-time-visitor's impressions of Rome.

Around every other corner there's a glimpse of the unexpected, such as an elephant obelisk -- every piazza can't have a fountain, right? -- or the curved dome of a basilica (this is the Pantheon from a different angle.)  Not unexpected are the tourists, some passing through the square on a mission, others stopping to appreciate the buskers on cello and guitar.  They're playing something rousing and romantic and very, very Roman.  And of course we have the motorbikes and scooters, all the better for navigating the narrow streets and parking on the even narrower verges.

 This is Rome through my eyes.  Whether you've visited or not, what does the mention of Rome conjure up for you?


  1. Love your pics, Bron! I bet you're having the most fabulous time. :-)

    I've never been to Rome, although I mean to some day. And it conjures up thoughts of some of my favourite things -- pizza, red wine, marvellous sights and romance. :-)

  2. Oh, and I forgot to add coffee and cake to that list. ;-)

  3. Hi Michelle

    I do hope you make it to Roma some day. There is son much to do/see in terms of the big attractions that it's a bit too easy to forego what I think are the greatest pleasures: just walking through the neighbourhoods, getting a little lost, wandering in and out of interesting shops, and long lunches or dinners in a trattoria with a view of a street or square for superb food and wine and a spot of people watching.

  4. Love your pics, Bron! Sounds like you're having a fabulous time! Italy is somewhere I'd love to visit one day so I'll be soaking up your adventures!

    So having never been to Rome, at this stage, I think of it with fabulous ornate fountains, amazing enormous ancient structures, piazzas and al fresco dining. Mmmm, and going with the al fresco dining I can imagine the smells of wonderful Italian cooking!

    1. Great choices, Sharon, and very true to the Rome we found in our few days. I'm a big fan of the al fresco dining. Oh, and day one I spent on a food crawl of the old city. Which was about as perfect as it sounds!

  5. You're making me very envious, Bron. I never visited Rome when I lived in Europe and could have done. Silly me. Ah, but I can enjoy it vicariously through your travelogues.

    The thought of Rome conjures up for me an image of the Colosseum. I know there's much more to the city, but that's what I see first when I think of Rome.

    1. You must check out my latest cover pic on Facebook, Claire, which is with Fiona McArthur at the Colosseum. We loved our tour of Ancient Rome, with only one other couple in our group (honeymooners from SoCal) it was almost like a private tour. A wonderful memory, even though some of the Colosseum stories were on the gorier side of my comfort level.

  6. Sounds like you are haveing a fantastic time Rome says to me food wine and coffee I wish I could visit some day :)

    Have Fun

  7. Helen, you MUST visit, I insist! :-) The Italian coffee, I admit, is pretty special. Strong, but with such a punch of flavour. And we have yet to meet a wine here that we do not love!

  8. I love that last picture Bron - I think you've captured Roma perfectly! And its such an easy city to get lost in with enticing little alley ways and side streets that pique your curiosity so that you cant help but explore them!
    Sigh....I really need to go back soon.

  9. Loved exploring the alleyways and getting lost…which happened rather frequently given my lack of directional knowhow. But some of our best finds were on those walks. I'm looking forward to getting lost in Venice next!

  10. I'm so, so jealous, Bron as I've never been to Rome! I just love all the images you've given us, especially the one of the elephant obelisk. Whenever I think of Rome I think of beauty and richness, a place where the best of humanity breathes :)