Rome, the millennial city
After a 7-hour journey from Monaco, I
arrived at another great city: Rome. The city of the Great Roman Empire of
ancient times, where the Christian doctrine set out for the world; city of works
by Raphael Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, of great emperors such as Julius
Caesar and Maximilian. Travelling in Rome is like travelling in history.
The first attraction could not have been
other than the Colosseum, Roma's most famous place. This large arena was also
the stage for plays and fights that always ended up in casualties. Set of many
epoch movies - "Gladiator" is among the most recent ones - it was at
the Colosseum that the Roman population had their fun times. Nowadays, the ruins
of what used to be a great arena in the past are visited by many tourists and
make up the most famous monument in Rome. Its interior is always open to
visitation. A walk across the Colosseum is a good chance to go back in history
and wonder how popular the place was at the times of the Empire.
Continuing the "tour" across
Ancient Rome, I went walking along the ruins of the Roman Forum. The size of the
temples and the height of the still upright columns are impressive. The ruins
reveal how great the Roman Empire was. Walking along the ruins of the houses
where the people used to live makes us think over how their daily life was, how
they managed to survive, what they did, how their interpersonal relations were.
Unluckily, or luckily, it started to rain heavily while I was walking along the
ruins, thinking about all those things. The thunders gave it a different light,
as if the past still haunted the place.
After leaving the ruins – and managed to
run away from the rain – I went to the Victorian Museum, a beautiful
palace-shaped building, with collections of Italian history. The coolest part
was to see Garibaldi's tools, his sword, boots and uniform. Giuseppe
Garibaldi is regarded as a hero both by Gaúchos and Italians, for he played
an important role in the country's unification process.
At the end of the day, I stopped by Trevi
Fountain to ensure returning one day to Rome and, of course, make a wish. Legend
says that, to return one day to the eternal city, you have to toss a coin into
the fountain over your shoulder, and another coin should be tossed into before
you make a wish. Whether this is true or not, the fountain is worth a
visit, because it is beautiful. Made in Roman style, with many sculptures,
Neptune standing out. Close to the fountain, I could check out the famous
Italian pizza at a real "pizzeria". Hmmm… very thin dough, to eat
using the hands, and a delicious sauce.
In Italy, every sandwich stand sells the
"holy" pizza, some of them folded like calzones. In the restaurants,
the drink of choice is wine, accompanied by some water. Of course, pasta and
pizza rule in the typical Italian cuisine. For dessert, the gelatos, tasty
Italian ice creams.
After a good Italian pizza, it was time to rest in order to enjoy the following day, reserved to a very special place: the Vatican.
- External view of the Colosseum: 1
- Internal view of the Colosseum: 1
- The Constantino Arch and the Colosseum: 1
- Basilica of the old Roman Forum: 1
- Statue of Moses, by Michelangelo, in the Basílica of San Giovanni: 1
- Pantheon: 1
- Di Trevi Fountain: 1
- Boca della Veritá (Mouth of the Truth): 1
The smallest country in the world
You may not know, but the Vatican is a
country, the smallest one in the world. In fact, this small state is a square in
the middle of Rome, but it is a surprising treasure.
I became surprised at the beauty of the
Vatican. I had never imagined the Basilica of Saint Peter was so big and so
beautiful. On the outside, the Basilica makes up some beautiful scenery along
with Saint Peter Square and its columns. But the best of all is on the inside.
As soon as I entered the building, I become impressed at so big a church,
adorned in gold. The Pieta, by Michelangelo, was the first thing I saw. A very
beautiful sculpture, very expressive, that only a genius could have done. I
wanted to stay there just staring at the sculpture for a long time… It's not
difficult to find it. As soon as you get in, you'll see a lot of tourists
gathered on the right side. It's there.
As you walk across the Basilica, you can
enjoy a dozen giant sculptures and Renaissance paintings. The Baldachino, a 29-metre
bronze altar, sculpted by Nernini, is another of Vatican's relics. As you go
down the stairs, you can see the graves of the popes, with its adornments and
sculptures. At the same place, there is the tomb where the remains of Saint
Better than that, just attending a mass at
the Basilica of Saint Peter. I was very lucky to hear a mass conducted in
Italian, with some of their parts sung in Latin. Four singers did the chanting
along with the organist. Unforgettable. For me, it became clear how significant
and imposing the power of the Catholic Church is, and how beautiful the Vatican
is, with its rare treasures.
After three days, I left Rome and its
millennial history. Despite the short time, I managed to see its main
attractions and learn a little of this city's culture. The Rome of very
beautiful monuments, several ruins of the times of the Empire, inscriptions in
Latin all over the place, porticoes, churches and Renaissance sculptures. And,
regardless of some badly maintained buildings, some dirty streets and the crazy
traffic, Rome does not cease to be one of the great cities in the world, and a
reference concerning the origin of the western civilisation. Adored by tourists,
sought for by historians, Rome is a very ancient city, that "exhales"
much of its already long history.
- View of Basilica of São Pedro: 1
- Grave of Pope John XXIII: 1
- Blessed water: 1
Translated by Traduzca