HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROME
The first time I visited Rome in the 80’s I didn’t like it too much. In the 90’s it started to weave its magic around me and by 2005 I fell hopelessly in love with it. Now just the thought of it fills me with wonder and excitement. April saw Rome turn 2,766 years old!!
I realise that the reason I didn’t like
it too much the first time I went is that I didn’t know enough about it, where
to go, what to do and I just followed my tour guide book and ticked off the
This meant that I was also with every other tourist that was in the same places, ticking off the sights.
Now there are fantastic sights that one MUST see in Rome and it would be terrible if you didn’t take the time to do so. I see something different every time I visit the Colosseum or the Roman Forum, with all the layering of the centuries there is always something fascinating to see.
However, it is so important as a traveller, to take time out and just be, to
immerse yourself and to explore the cobblestoned streets and alleyways.
The richness of the colour of the buildings is a delight in itself, especially as the superb light that Rome is blessed with ,bounces off the buildings and monuments.
Traces of diminishing frescos on the buildings delight and the corner altars to Mary are just stunning.
There are many places to wander the cobblestoned streets, where you can find yourself without another tourist in sight.The wonderful streetscapes create a superb sight.
Washing hanging out the windows like in picture postcards, Nonnas sitting in a courtyard watching the world go by as they have for decades.
The never ending cafes and restaurants, a few tables on the footpath, topped with a jaded awning or umbrellas, which serve the thinnest melt in the mouth Pizza you will ever eat.
Even if churches are not your thing , one simply cannot miss going into these indescribable edifices ranging from Medieval, with giant pillars, floors and wall decorations pillaged from ancient Roman structures, to the heady Baroque churches with every square inch filled with some sort of over the top carving, paintings, tombs ,altars & chapels.
Some of the churches are so out of the way and tucked into many corners throughout the city. They are a source of adventure and delight.
Apparently couples prefer to use
Medieval churches for their weddings, in preference to the over the top Baroque
churches. In fact there is a two year wait to get married in some of the
medieval churches in the old suburb of Trastevere.
I have been fortunate to visit Rome once or twice a year since 2005 ( 3 times last year) and I am so happy that by next Sunday May 6th 2015, I will be there again, with a new group of women, that I look forward to taking on a journey to many different wonderful places, starting with magnificent Rome.
MARY HAMILTON-SMITH :AUSTRALIAN WOMENS TRAVEL