Roma. Four letters that convey so much history, culture, art, lifestyle. One doesn’t even know where to begin to explore it.
As we were only 120 km away from Rome, we couldn’t resist the Roman call. Moreover, that city has always been very dear to me: I completed my 5-month Erasmus exchange there, about 4 years ago (wow, time really does fly!). It was like living in a huge open-air museum, a tridimensional work of art. To be fair, although words can’t describe the magnificence of Rome, I’ve always felt like it was missing some youthful and trendy vibe.
In order to avoid the heat peak, we arrived around 5 pm and somehow engaged in a sightseeing marathon. My brother hadn’t been to Rome in years, so he was very keen on getting the fullest dose of it. Our starting point was the Palazzo del Quirinale, the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic.
Walking down from the hill, the streets bring you to Piazza Venezia, a major circus in Rome. Its imposing monument is a tribute to Vittorio Emmanuele II.
Following Via del Corso, my dad was leading us towards our next stop: the world famous Fontana di Trevi. Needless to say, we all obeyed to the Coin-throwing tradition. It is estimated that each day 3000€ are thrown in the fountain. Seriously?! That’s a lot of money!
Next in line (told ya it was a marathon) were Palazzo Montecitorio (the seat of the Chamber of Deputies) and the Pantheon.
The Pantheon (as the name itself says) is a temple to all the gods and was commissionned by Marcus Agrippa during Augustus’ reign. It is today known, although informally, as Santa Maria della Rotonda. Here below, a picture of the lovely houses around the Piazza and my Dad & bro’ in the middle of what looks like a serious conversation.
We were soon entering the magic hour, that moment when the sun is setting and releases a warm golden light … and Piazza Navona becomes an enchanted place.
Finally, we got to my personal Roman crush: Campo de’ Fiori. Literally, it means “field of flowers”, and apparently the name was given during the Middle Ages when the place was a meadow.
But don’t be fooled by the meaning, Campo de’ Fiori’s past is a lot less bucolic. In fact, public executions used to be held there. The statue of Giordano Bruno, who was burnt alive for heresy on the 17th of February 1600, stands in the middle of the square – which also happens to be the exact spot of his death. If you take a closer look at the statue, you will feel the gravity and darkness of it. Giordano Bruno defiantly faces the Vatican. A martyr to the freedom of thought.
We had dinner at one of the restaurants there, but it wasn’t the best idea in the world. Very touristic stuff. By the time we finished, it was night. On the way back to the car, we managed to see a few more beauties.