Welcome to Tessa's blog

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Visit to Rome

I have spent a week in Rome. I decided to visit because my great grandfather Arndt expressed a great fascination for Italy, and especially Rome. So I travelled in his footsteps. There are photos in his album from 1929, when he visited, and I tried to take photos of the same things. He visited the famous sites, like the Palatine Hill, Forum Romanum and the Colosseum. I did the same.

Even though it's September there were lots of tourists and there were lines for everything. The line outside St Peter's Basilica was about 200 meters long and I decided it was not that important (Arndt didn't visit). I spent most of the days walking around (or taking the subway) to all the sites around the city. In addition to the sites Arndt mentioned, I also saw Pantheon, Circus Maximus, Spanish Steps, Capitoline Hill and several other places. But the most interesting ones were Forum Romanum and the Colosseum. I could trace Arndt's path and even figured out where he was sitting when he made a sketch of one of the arches (he made a painting of this later). There is an enormous amount of history to learn in Rome. Old buildings, statues, columns and archaeological sites everywhere.

During my visit I rented a small apartment owned by a Swedish family. It is in a building from the 17th century and situated in a tourist area called Trastevere, west of the river Tiber. Unfortunately, the windows facing the street were not insulated so the noise from the party people kept me awake until after midnight. Two hours later the surprisingly efficient Italian garbage collectors started working, with intervals of about two hours. I woke up every time they stopped to pick up the trash. It was also a strange feeling to have a nightclub on one side of the apartment wall and a church on the other. Especially on the Sunday evening, when both had activities (both included some kind of singing)...

Most things were pretty expensive in Rome and there were no clothes that would fit me, so the shopping only included some souvenirs and cheap bracelets at a flea market. The food was of varied quality and of course based on wheat, which is not so good for me. But I tried the lasagna, the pizza and the sandwiches, of which the first and last were best. Like I try to do on my visits abroad, I also had a meal at the Hard Rock Cafe. After a week in this hot (28-30 centigrades) and noisy city (unbelievable traffic) I was glad to get home again yesterday. My mission to travel in Arndt's footsteps was accomplished and it was definitely an interesting trip.

No comments: