Linda Diane Feldt
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In November of 2005 I traveled to Rome, Italy. Here are the photos and the record of my trip.
I checked into The Daphne Inn a bed and breakfast near Piazza Barbarini on via San Basilio.
The view from my room:
They sent me off on a walking tour and I was above the city as the sun set
first view of Rome about 4:30 PM looking down Via Corsa from above Piazza Del Popolo
the view from the north side of central Rome
looking down Via Rippeta
piazza del Popolo from above
piazza del Popolo from above slightly different angle
Even as darkness fell, I felt safe and comfortable prowling dark narrow cobblestone alleys, stopping for a pizza, and enjoying the many fountains. I paid my first visit to the Parthenon, I would return every day.
From my journal: Walking in Rome! I met Palio, an Italian opera singer returning to Florence after singing the part of The Wizard in Rossini's Cinderella. He was my seat mate on the small commuter plane fro Munich to Rome. When I took out my Rome guide book he looked at it and laughed. And started talking.
He told me about the origin of the opera, in Florence 1500 or so based on the comedies. Between the performances the music would play and the performers began to sing and act. He told me about growing up in Florence, and when they served us an artichoke sandwich he talked about how his mother fed him artichokes and how common they are in Italy. He would even eat them raw.
I got to Rome mid afternoon. After checking in I walked up to the top of the Spanish steps to begin... as the sun was setting looking down on Rome. Then along the top to the Piazza Popolo - under construction but totally awesome. There are crowds of people everywhere! [but apparently the crowds are actually very thin this time of year...]
I wrote the above from a bar - I had the most wonderful pizza - thin crust very crispy, with loads of spinach and zucchini, on it Mozzarella and tomato sauce but very light. The owner of the bar spoke no English - but it worked.
What else did I see? The bottom of the Spanish steps - and once again - someone running up to me and giving me their expensive digital camera to take their photo -- The fountain at the bottom was lovely and crowded.
I made my way to the Pantheon. I came to it with a turn of the street corner - it gives the term breathtaking true meaning. I had to stop in awe and frankly disbelief. And that was the outside. I asked myself "what is this thing???" It is so monumental - again giving new vision and meaning to that word. The paintings and Christian-ness of it feel very wrong. The tourists feel wrong. the Swiss Guard is just weird.
The heart of the place - literally - is the drain. I truly felt a heartbeat there. It is dark marble - brown - with what looks like a worn hole in the center where 4 slabs of marble come together. It was roped off. But from that point there is a focus of the energy of the earth and the sky meeting and creating a living heart.
I'll go back again - in the daytime.
Returning from there I happened upon the 11 columns that are part of the Piazza de Pietro. That felt important - a vibe from my past? This guy Hadrian is also more resonant than anyone else.
The Daphne Inn is lovely - the floors, the bed has no headboard but lovely pillows and woven spread. The building is about 100 years old - next to a monastery
The view from my window is lovely yellow terraces and gardens. The bath is in the hall, tile and a deep narrow tub. Towel warmers and nice tile shelves that come out from the tiled walls.
I'm spending a small fortune on a tour of old Rome - but it seems important. The Daphne staff talked me into an art museum as well, it has sculptures.
the temperature was 15 C, as I walked around I felt even more odd than usual. I wore long pants and an elbow length shirt - no coat. All around me people were dressed in heavy coats, gloves, hats and scarves. I was totally comfortable except I stood out.
Too much to take in. Tomorrow - a crypt museum and old Rome.
Rome day 2