My love affair for Rome started 4 years ago. I was on a European extravaganza with my mom and sister. Just three women, a rental car, and the trifecta of regions for red wine: Italy, Spain, and France. Rome was the first city on our month-long journey. It took less than 20 minutes off the plane before I was smacked upside the head in awesomeness. The taxi rounded a dark corner and the night sky lit up with one of the most imposing and spectacular structures I had ever seen: The Colosseum. So big, that even sticking my head out the window of the taxi did not give me a complete overview. To finally experience this ancient behemoth in the flesh was indescribable. It made my heart palpitate with excitement and anticipation for what this entire trip had in store.
Rome is called the Eternal City for good reason. The ancient Romans believed that no matter what happened to the world, Rome would go on forever. Imagine discovering 3 layers and 2000 years of history by walking into a 150-year Basilica, that you can descend to a Fourth-Century Basilica, that descends into a First-Century temple dedicated to pagan worship? Yup, you instantly understand what they were talking about. Rome is the accumulation of art, war, invention, architecture, knowledge, and persistence. I was hooked.
During my trip I made my way to the Trevi fountain, turned my back to Oceanus, and threw a coin over my shoulder in hopes of returning. Spending only four days in the city left me dizzy and difficult to remember all I had seen. I wanted to come back soooooo badly, that I ended up throwing 3 coins in the fountain that day.
And it worked! I am on my way back to the città that has held a piece of my heart since my first rendezvous…or, as they say in Italy, d’incontro. This time I will be better at documenting my experiences, and what better way than to do a few PJHM Goes Walking posts! So stay tuned for more art, more architecture…and undoubtedly more vino.
In the meantime, let’s spend today’s TED Talk taking an illustrated journey through Rome with David Macaulay. Here he relives the winding and sometimes surreal journey toward the completion of Rome Antics, his illustrated homage to the historic city.