Monday, 10 October 2011
The Infernal City
Well, I've spent my first full day in Rome, and do you know what? I'm not sure if I like it or not.
For a start, there's traffic everywhere. Which means noise - and danger when you're still not used to which way to look when crossing the road. And for another thing, there are crowds - not your average busy city crowds, but tons and tons of tourists crowds. I'm not sure I've ever been anywhere (apart from Edinburgh at the height of the Festiva, and I hate that!) that has been filled with quite so many tourists. Which means more noise. And more danger - both the walking into the back of someone who stops suddenly to take a photograph kind of danger, and the fear of pickpockets kind of danger. No wonder Rome has such a reputation for them, to be honest, the pickings are very easy!
Having said all that, the city itself is amazing - a very strange mixture of ancient ruins that pop up all over the place alongside the ultra modern, and quaint side streets and the usual European medieval city scape. The buildings are often stunningly beautiful. They're often gaudy and ostentatious too, but that's Renaissance and Baroque style for you. There are little glimpses of half seen views all over the place if you look carefully (and take your eyes off your guidebook or out of your viewfinder long enough).
And there are fountains. Lots of fountains. Apparently Bernini or someone commented on them at one point - and then promptly went off and sculpted some more. There are men, fish, sea gods, turtles, women, nymphs - you name it, Rome's got it. There's even a soup tureen!!
But seriously, it is a fascinating city. Perhaps a little too busy for my tastes, but definitely worth a visit. I didn't, however, throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain - not that sure I want to come back.
Tomorrow is St Peter's and a chance to add a new country to my See the World list. But for now, it's time to finish uploading my day's photos, finish this blog post and head out for something to eat. I spotted what looks like a nice little trattoria just round the corner - think I'll check it out. At least it's not far to walk for my little, tired feet...
[Full set of photos uploaded now to my Flickr site]
[New restaurant recommended for tomorrow night. Thanks, Deborah]