As promised (or more like, a mission entrusted by April that I couldn’t say no to!), here’s my bit on Rome. Don’t you worry; I’m not going to go on and on forever about its architecture, simply because although I’m a training architect I hardly ever have a clue what I should say on the topic. Most of the times I offer my biased and/or bizarre opinions, which are received with a certain level of scepticism.
The highlight of the trip, and the sole purpose of us flying there from the UK, was to finally meet my very dear April and N. And what a pleasant time we had together! We shared an apartment at the central location of Via Cavour, a 5-minute stroll from Colosseum and the famous Palatine Hill area. We offered each other our sleepy smiles in the morning while the streets below got busy bathed in the golden sunlight of Rome. Kicked off our heels exhaustedly after a day of walking, we got to hug and kiss each other good night. Three nights and four days passed by like a wink!
We walked the magical Fontana di Trevi to work up our appetite for dinner of best pastas and lovely wines. We gasped at the stunning view of Colosseum and the Forums. We claimed Pantheon as our own building, Bernini’s sculptures and fountains on Piazza Navona as our own sculptures. We had granite di cafes and lovely zucchini pizzas for afternoon snacks. We watched sunset from the Spanish steps, had our most delicious vegetarian dining experience. We drooled at windows of designers’ clothes and shoes, and sighed lovingly as our girls did so, respectively! We laughed together, cried together and together, we left a piece of our heart in Rome – not so much because of its grand architecture and impressive art masterpieces, but because of the warmth when being surrounded by our most beloved people.
Rome’s buildings, you can’t NOT be impressed! No matter how much you’ve read about them, prepare yourselves for a pleasant surprise when you get to see them in real life. Pantheon – its diameter equivalent to its height – could hold a perfect sphere and was one of the first structures built in concrete. Its 43.2m dome had also once been the world’s most ambitious until Florence Cathedral was built in 15th century. St. Peter’s, designed by the one and only Michelangelo, took 120 years to build! Santa Maria della Pace never even got to the completion stage! St.Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane, its oval plan with pushed-out corners resemblances a Greek cross. The staircase between St.Peter’s and the papal apartments gets narrower as you go up, to change angles of light, creating an illusion of a longer staircase going on almost forever! The list of awesome Roman buildings is, indeed, endless!
And last but not least, Fontana di Trevi stands almost 26m high – the largest fountain in Rome and probably the most famous in the whole world. With its free-standing columns, the central niche has water spilled from an urn in beautifully maximal light and shade. The legend says if you throw a coin into the fountain, you are ensured a return to Eternal City. So we each threw one, hoping not only for another trip back to this enchanting country, but also for another endeavour, another crossing of our paths somewhere soon on planet Earth.
There they lie in the fountain
Somewhere in the heart of Rome.