Monday, November 16, 2015

No Roman Holiday

View of the Tiber River, a bit muddy following the rain.

We bid Shirley goodbye when we returned to Rome.  We said goodbye at Termini Station, where a taxi was waiting to speed her to the airport.  

The title of this post makes our stay sound a little bleak. It wasn't all that bad, it's just that when we arrived in the afternoon, still suffering from colds, it began to rain, and our taxi dropped us far from our studio rental in Trastevere. By the time we made our way to the place, we were soaking wet--in spite of our umbrellas.  We were cold, tired, and a bit miserable, so we took hot showers, spread out our things to dry, and went to bed for a long nap.

The street in front of the hotel in the rain.

Fortunately, there was a good pizzeria right across the street, so we had dinner there, but the first day in Rome was mostly spent sleeping.  By the next day, we were feeling better.

Kevin was pleased to discover a Henry Moore exhibit at the Baths of Diocletian, since Henry Moore is one of his favorite artists. (The Henry Moore print he bought in England in 1989 is a prized possession.) So the Moore exhibit was a must-see, which featured both sculpture and prints.  I was surprised at how well Moore's work fit within that ancient structure, built from 298 to 306 A.D. They were the most elegant of all the imperial baths in Rome.

We had seen the first statue below, "The Wounded Warrior" at Santa Croce in Florence, as it was being prepared for shipment to Rome. Kevin talked to the woman who was cleaning it. At the time, he didn't think to ask where it was going to be shown, so it was a surprise when we saw the signs promoting the exhibition.

Moore's sculpture fit dramatically into the ancient space.
Though our time on our return to Rome was limited, we did revisit some favorite sites, like the Colosseum and the Forum.

When we first came to Rome, years ago, I was thrilled to walk in the Forum, knowing I could be trodding in the same place as Julius Casear and the other famous Romans of history. I still feel a bit thrilled at that!

Caesar was deified after his death and, befitting a god,  his temple and tomb is still there in the Forum, though not much is left.

The tomb of Julius Caesar.
However, there are vestiges of the time of the caesars that show up in strange places.  The Roman legions marched under banners with the initials S.P.Q.R. (Senatus Populusque Romanus or the Senate and People of Rome). Today, SPQR adorns lamp-posts and other less elevated monuments, like this manhole cover:

When you revisit a city, you feel comfortable much more quickly, and you don't feel compelled to return to every place you experienced before. Still, I regretted not having allotted more time to both Rome and Venice on this trip, because we didn't accomplish as much as we had planned. I had not counted on poor weather and being hindered by colds.  Mostly, we simply walked around, which offered its own pleasures. A return to St.Peter's Basilica, the Vatican museums, and the Capitoline Museum will have to wait for another time.

No comments:

Post a Comment