An ordinary person's thoughts on the complexities of art & life ...

An ordinary person's thoughts on the complexities of life ... or just ramblings from the mind of a working Mum with far too little time to think!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

When in Rome ....

"A man who has not been to Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see." ~ Samuel Johnson.
Visiting Rome was one of the most memorable experiences of my life with my camera! Having just had 7 magical days in Venice, I thought I had experienced the best of Italy. How wrong I was! Rome was mind-blowing. From just stepping out of my taxi the evening I arrived onto the ancient cobblestone streets and heading off for a walk around the vicinity of my apartment, I was hooked. Two blocks and around a corner ... and suddenly out of the light evening drizzle materialised the Pantheon, its ancient marble columns framing the welcoming light inside, the coloured umbrellas of milling tourists bringing a whimsical look to this ancient architectural wonder.

The next morning, after a leisurely expresso in an unassuming sidewalk cafe, possibly one of the best I have ever had, we decided to walk from our apartment in Piazza Navona to the Colosseum, taking in the sights of Rome from the top of the Vittorio Emanuele 11 Monument on the way. It was a glorious day for taking photographs and I must have taken hundreds that day. Everywhere I turned was another intricate stone column, breathtaking cathedral or historically significant fountain or statue.

And that is how it continued for the next few days. I was overawed at my first sighting of the Colosseum, possibly the most impressive building, and definitely the most identifiable landmark of the Roman Empire.  Standing inside this imposing structure, it was hard to believe that it is just the skeleton of what was once the greatest arena in the ancient world.  

Vatican City was equally impressive. From the baroque Saint Peter's Basilica with its precious sites containing some of the world's most famous artworks to the Vatican Palaces and Museums housing collections of art unsurpassed anywhere in the world, I was totally overwhelmed. Reviewing my many photographs after my return, I could still smell and feel those old cobblestone streets and see the light illuminating the intricate colours and patterns of the stained glass prevalent in all the magnificent cathedrals. I wanted to keep the experience alive, at least until I could get back again, and I wanted to share the splendour of Rome through my eyes with my children, so I put together "Eight Days in Italy - A photographic journey through Venice, Milan and Rome".

So much beauty, so much history, so much wisdom, so much soul! As Fanny Burney so eloquently puts it, "Travelling is the ruin of all happiness! There is no looking at a building after seeing Italy!"

1 comment:

  1. ah, it makes me want to travel again - SOON!