Sabbatical Year-Part VIII

Simply Roma, of Love

I was there under a sun of 30 degrees and the adrenaline of the Italian bus system. At the same time a ressaquinha insisted on not letting me, caraminholavam doubts in my mind. If I had received the exact information “your bus will come out of that blue dot at 11:00”, but no, the only thing I knew was that it was “over there” that the bus would arrive and depart for Rome. In addition, two American told me: they were tense because they had lost a bus that decided to leave 10 minutes before the scheduled time … and they weren’t there 10 minutes before us.

I had resolved to go by bus to Rome for two reasons: first, because I just had to get off the elevator and walk across the street to catch the bus – I wouldn’t have to go to Florence and from there take the train – and travel time was the same; and secondly, buses travel stressful part of a trip then to me: the bloody bastard trunk of railroad!

Meanwhile, I set out a plan B in case I missed the bus … would be more a day in Tuscany? Why not? Or go by bus to Florence and from there take a train to Rome? When I was relaxing and turning myself to stay another day in Siena, the bus is for joy and comfort of the United States. More of Siena would be for next time.

It took me to write this post, more than usual because, I confess, when I arrived in Rome, at first sight, I like my city São Paulo. Only different, of course. A lot of people. A lot of noise. Many tourists. No charm. I thought, OK, breathe you just got here.

Followed by taxi to the hotel and went looking for signs. Affinities. Nothing. The hotel, a pleasant guest house, a few steps from Piazza Navona (with best signal I had internet access in Italy) belongs to a nice couple of Italians (Italians) nearing the 70 years, maybe more, that people kept telling me not to Elizabeth Savalla had already hosted there. “eri una ragazza”!

Soon I realized that was located in place quite touristy, but for anyone who wants and likes to explore the city on foot, it’s worth it to stay in a central area. I ran to the Piazza Navona … and then …?! It is very difficult when you are in a State of grace, as I was from Liguria, arrive in a place and think you have the wrong address. That’s pretty much how I felt when I looked at the Piazza Navona.

I didn’t won, I was a few minutes there and kept walking, without worrying about where I would get and I got to the Pantheon. That really is impressive. But is in “chaos” – between flashes and a tireless endless blah blah blah freaking out the sound system that does not forget to repeat in six languages, perhaps more, silence, per favore.

The Pantheon is a sacred place. And is even. Not only by force of their architectural columns and your dome, which for a long time was the largest in Western Europe, until Brunelleschi build the Duomo of Florence, but because it was built to be a temple dedicated to the Roman gods. Later, he became a Christian Temple, but soon after, in the hands of Adriano, a visionary, became an ecumenical Temple.

Besides my journal, cell phone and camera, I also had a companion book, the pagan Holiday of Tony Perrottet. The book, a lot of fun, this is a study on the route of vacation (Yes, tourism) of the Romans, which according to the author, were the first western tourists or more excited. Fascinated with your own research, the author leads us through your journey in the company of your girlfriend, pregnant, the preferred route of the Romans – from Rome to Alexandria (Egypt today). And at the same time, follows in reporting historical facts. In other words, it’s all true!

Feel for the narrative that he wasn’t like that. beloved Rome. In fact he was very critical. I remember until I got to have a thought, albeit humorous, there this guy is very cranky, and suddenly there I was identifying myself with him and his first impressions of the open city. I felt a bit sad, lost, mad for letting that Tuscan scenario. Until the good news arrived in whats app: some friends who were in Siena, would be a day in Rome and invited me to dinner. It was time to put the night of Rome.

After a delicious evening, between wines, folders and laughter (and a waiter that was funny saying that my Italian was perfect), the next day, we left on foot in losing in the alleys and vicolis until we reach Piazza di Spagna! Where I started to enter the climate of Rome and was presented with another marriage to joy of my travel records. The couple even posed for my photo.

Follow walking toward the ancient Rome and stopped for a drink in a place where we had a perfect view of the Colosseum. It took me a few seconds to absorb it. I’m in Rome, that is the Coliseum, and here you are sooo story. I’m facing an important icon of history! But unlike the Acropolis or the ágoras in Athens, to draw a comparison which I consider to be compatible, I could not impress or get emotional with the Coloseo. Maybe because it has been used for violent purposes. Maybe I’m too sentimental. Maybe I was on her period. Whatever it was, I wondered why I can’t seem to find that “grace”, that outburst of passion for Rome? My sister, one of my best friends, tourists, everyone here loves Rome! So many people love Rome. Woody Allen loves Rome!

I was wondering, where did it start? Will the aura of La Dolce Vita, Fellini, persists to this day. Or is it because of the whole history of conquest of the Roman Empire? Yes, because when walking through the city you practically stumbles in the history, read, in archaeological sites, and by the way, one in each corner. Then you understand … and probably your thought will be “Oh my God, it’s all true! It really happened “.

I needed more time. Was still in the mood of Tuscany, the bucolic landscapes. And it was very hot. The change in the weather was brutal, as was my own change of space.

Had made a prior recognition of Rome through the Piazza Navona, by Pantheon, the Piazza di Spagna, and had an overview of the complex of the Coloseo. I took the direction of the River Tiber. Stay near the water certainly would help. I walked through your margin until the hipsters neighborhoods of Trastevere and Campo de Fiori. Between shops, cafes, restaurants, churches, children celebrating the arrival of the holidays, people talking in the squares and one Italian and the other doing free, Rome began to see for me.

But as like (very) history, could not, in Rome, no longer know the main points of interest; Yes, but full of tourist knowledge about humanity. And the next day, I went. The visit to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum “was saved” by the Palatine Hill. It took a lot of courage to write this, but our passion for Rome, forgive me, I didn’t think it was funny at the Coliseum. Yeah it’s amazing how architecture, monument. But I haven’t been touched by your imperialist power. I made some pictures, I noticed people really impressed, probably trying to imagine the Lions and Gladiators, even envied a little. Quickly ran out.

I was well equipped to do my walk, a parasol (Roman/Chinese I bought from an Algerian), a bottle of water, I could supply the bicas the city (and trust me, the water is good), a packet of dried fruit and a bag of cherries. But the fact of having nothing, no support, such as a store, a cafe, and support tourism monitors annoyed me enough. I sat down under a tree (which is almost a rarity in the city) and I made my break before moving on that day hot to see that part of the Ancient Rome, the Palatino, which is beautiful, with gardens and trees. all very … romano!

Despite being just a few steps from the Colosseum, the Palatine looks, or looked, not part of the complex. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much. While people vied for a space at the Coliseum, he was there, tranquil, serene, with facilities of modern art that deserved to be considered in total silence, no rush. Nor the feeling of walking in the Roman Forum, so many stories and where Julio Cesar was murdered, overcame the feeling of my visit to the Palatine.

I didn’t won, I was a few minutes there and kept walking, without worrying about where I would get and I got to the Pantheon. That really is impressive. But is in “chaos” – between flashes and a tireless endless blah blah blah freaking out the sound system that does not forget to repeat in six languages, perhaps more, silence, per favore.

The Vatican Museum is a class of aesthetic beauty and organization. It’s all flawless. And Yes, the Sistine Chapel is impressive, exciting, and be there, where the silence is respected and photos prohibited, really is a transcendental experience. Or at least it was for me.

Remember I was resistant to spend a morning or an afternoon at the Vatican, but worth every euro, every step to get there. That’s why I won the laziness and tiredness after a gelato in the traditional and gelateria Old England, followed him to St. Peter’s Basilica, where, regardless of faith, you probably have that outburst of emotion; I had, and when I realized, I thrilled because I was finally excited.

Then enjoy the night in Trastevere or Campo de ‘Fiori.

One afternoon I decided to finally meet the Fontana di Trevi. Vineyard postponing my trip to her because I was afraid for my reaction. And the Trevi fountain for me, was the biggest icon of Rome. I could barely get close to play my spare change or do the classic PIC, “here I am, in the Trevi Fountain. The setting was nothing like the famous scene of Anita Ekberg in the source observed by Marcello Mastroianni. But I venture to say that scenario, in June this year, would make a good scene “Felliniana” when in the midst of the crowd a couple, who had just married, in search of a place in the Sun in the world’s most popular Fontana to seal.

I still felt confused and suffocated, sometimes indifferent, but I decided to give a chance (to me or to Rome?) and extended my stay at three more days. I came to suspect that he was suffering from such Stendhal Syndrome (which I did not know of the existence until it was mentioned in the book that I was reading). Also known as overdose syndrome, “is due to over-exposure of the individual works of art, especially the works of the Italian Renaissance (!!!), especially in enclosed spaces … may cause hallucinations, confusion, dizziness, tachycardia, among other symptoms” (!). I closed my Google forward and took my decision.

I changed my hotel, and I stopped going in various interesting places or points of interest to get lost among the narrow streets of Rome and spend a few more days without programming, without planning, without seeking knowledge, history, or anything else. I woke up and went out for a walk. I was in the laundry room, I went to the fair, ate pizza at lunch, I visited a beautiful Bookstore in a Museum of contemporary art (totally empty). And since I was in Italy, experienced: I had lunch at lunchtime and then I take my NAP. Is a delight. I stopped in the interesting shops, I went to see the sunset on the Piazza di Spagna, sat under the trees at the edge of the Tiber to write some pages from my diary. In the back of my wanderings, as a matter of practice, not to mess up the way, but deep down, more romantic that practice through the Fontana di Trevi. For three days I did it and it was like the Fontana, already a part of my life.

While rambled on with myself about Rome, remembered a dinner in Sao Paulo, with two friends, a few days before boarding. The reason was my trip and the new stage of my life. We talked about my plans. In fact they were talking about. My plan was to have fewer plans. The pré-viagens make me nervous. I’m afraid the expectations. I’d rather not have them. Listened to their ideas about what I should or could do, be or not be, have combined to when they would visit me in Rome. I’d hear, stirring my glass of Shiraz staring at nothing, until my friend, Chita, commented: “Rome is love right?! If you read backwards. Love Roma … Rome Love “.





I got out of that numbness and I started remembering my references to Rome, starting with the movies, my passion:the classic Princess and commoner, the sweetened eat pray love, the cult movies logbook and open city, the ridiculous To Rome with Love, and of course, La Dolce Vita (has more over at my Blog).

Was this. Rome is Rome. The history of the Roman Empire and conquests. Grandiosa. Confused. Agitated. Romantic. Fun. Rica. Powerful. Linda. Full. Of love. All it took was a reminder of my favourite films to understand Rome. She was there, the open city, in my eyes. Enough that I want to see it and live it as simply … Rome.

So when I left Rome for next trip to the Amalfi Coast quit excited: I understood that there was more in Rome that Rome could show me that beginning of the high season. And mainly, that I could see. Certainly, I’d go back. But not before say goodbye to Fontana, play my spare change and make my photo classic, I in Fontana di Trevi.

Leave a Reply