Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Roman holiday

So you know, what we saw:
  • Vatican City, including
    • the Sistine Chapel
    • the Post Office
    • St Peter's Square, Basilica and dome
  • the Colosseum
  • the Forum
  • the Spanish steps
  • the Keats-Shelley House, place of Keats's death (the outside)
  • Trevi Fountain
  • the Pantheon
  • the Galleria Borghese
  • Castel Sant'Angelo

What we didn't see:
  • Michelangelo's David
  • the Catacoombs
  • the Raphael Room in the Vatican Museums
  • the Mona Lisa (cos it's in France)

I was shocked when my sister recently told me that the Audrey Hepburn-Gregory Peck film Roman Holiday was my favourite, not her's. I really don't remember that and I didn't believe her. I wanted to tell her that she was crazy. That she was the one that really liked the film and dreamt of being Audrey Hepburn with her short little pixie crop, meeting her rugged own Gregory Peck and riding around on the back of his scooter. Well, maybe it was my fave.

I guess it's all the more poignant then that Roma was my first place of visit in continental Europe. Where do I begin? What is there to say? Well, to be boring and predictable, Rome is breathtaking. It makes Edinburgh look, frankly, like shite. And just so you know, Edinburgh is the most picturesque, most historical city in Scotland and probably the UK. The crap of Edinburgh stinks royally when smelling the roses of Rome.

I mean, the history. C'mon. People in the UK wet their pants when they find the foundations of ancient buildings. There in Rome, whole buildings are intact, often with very little maintenance, as there are so many old buildings in the city. I mean buildings 2000 years old! And beautiful -- statues and carved fountains left and right, in every piazza and square. Not just important places. In little crappy, rundown spots. Simply amazing.

Also, I've found a new obsession: Gianlorenzo Bernini. I will not be leaving the Boy for him as he is long dead. He's an amazing sculptor that could make marble figures look incredibly life-like. I've seen a few statues, many that were very good, but there was always one thing that didn't convince me of realness: the feet. All the feet were messed up. But not Bernini -- everything was masterful. Now the pictures do not do him justice, but they give you a taste of his genius. His David is left and Apollo and Daphne is on the right. (Pictures courtesy of Web Gallery of Art)

The Boy and I did, however, succumb to what travel writer Doug Lansky called "The Bubble." (The Guardian, 7/01/06; check it out at here) In his own words:
It starts back home with the media: books telling you what you're supposed to see before you die and magazines listing must-sees with the conviction of biblical commandments. If you're going to China, for example, you'll feel so compelled to see the Great Wall that missing it could send shock waves of guilt so deep they could carry over into the next generation. Imagine trying to justify this to friends when you return. What? You didn't bother to see the Great Wall? Was it closed?

On our last day, we raced to the Vatican, impatiently tapped our feet as we waited in line, raced through to see the Sistine Chapel ("What? More guilding and cherubs?") and ran over to St Peter's Basilica to climb the dome and take clumsy videos of the Roman horizon -- for what? For exactly the reason Lansky said: I don't think I could bear someone saying, "What? You didn't go to the Vatican?"

I mean, what's the bloody point of me and the Boy going to the blinking Vatican? I mean, I'm Protestant and we have no interest in the Pope (tho' he seems like an alright dude). And the Boy, he's an atheist. So the pair of us are zooming around, really hating being there. It would have just been a more productive day if we have ambled along some of Rome's cobbled streets, had a fantastic lunch at some cafe, and stopped for a delicious cioccolato, doing what we wanted to, as opposed to what we thought we wanted to. Well, I saw a lotta crap.

Don't get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. But I will make sure I don't get caught in the Bubble again. But I mean in Rome, it's hard not to. You can check out the pictures online. Remember this website, as I'll post pictures for you to see there. You'll need to register, but it ain't a big deal -- really. Sorry, there aren't more of us, but when you see the sites, you'll see why I didn't want our ugly mugs ruining all the shots.



Blogger anonymous chick said...

who is that gorgeous man in one of your photos? Did you pay a male model to pose for you?

Friday, 13 January 2006 at 09:04:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

I hope that my husband is not this anonymous chick trying to big up himself.

Friday, 13 January 2006 at 17:51:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

Yes, my sister is crazy!

Wednesday, 18 January 2006 at 19:18:00 GMT  

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