Ambling Around Rome

I have been neck deep in eating, hence the absence. Hedonism in the new year. Indo Chinese and biryanis and street food and what not. All of that would be fodder for another post. I am in Calcutta at my childhood home which means that I am persevering to achieve Zen. A tall order given the frequent squabbling with my mother who remains the most headstrong woman I have ever known. But because I am home alone — something I ached for as a child when my parents refused to leave me to my devices as it would involve my racking up the phone bill to palpitating figures — I thought about reconnecting with my beloved bloggers. After all, I have left my passion for waffling on the phone behind. The passage of time. If this were a 13-year-old me, I would have shrivelled a person who uttered such ludicrous thoughts with deep-dyed contempt and scowls.

Back to our rambles in Rome because I have a truckload of photos to unload upon hapless you, the day we drove into the city from the airport we met a cab driver who lives in a small village near Rome. This large and drawling Italian, born in Rome with an invigorating love for the city, rattled out figures. For example, the dimensions of the Circus Maximus, the former stadium of ancient Rome that now looks like a serene and long vat of green and which 2,700 years ago could hold a 40,000-strong crowd to gawp at chariot races. Our mobile cache of facts was amusing and charming. It was a long conversation about the state of the world, his teenage daughter who has grown out of clinging to her dad for everything, her quest for learning Arabic, his experiences in Afghanistan when he served in the army, their move to the suburbs of Rome, his nonna who makes the best bruschetta for early evening snacks,… but the tip that we picked up was — climb the Altare della Patria that stands at the cobbled crossroads of the Piazza Venezia.

For if you take the combination of stairs and elevator to the top of the boxy monument in white marble built for Victor Emmanuel II (the first king of a unified Italy), you get a breathtaking view of the city. We stood on top of the monument for a long time beneath stellar blue skies and a caressing winter sun, watching people photograph sizeable (could be the pizza and pasta diet) preening Italian gulls with the Colosseum as a dramatic backdrop, photographed them ourselves, and then later retraced our steps to the Roman Forum where I remember jostling with crowds in the summer of 2016.

The road to the largest amphitheatre ever built in this world of ours is in Rome, as you well know. Yes, the Colosseum, and that thoroughfare is flanked by historic columns and arches, basilicas and ruins of former government buildings that must have held sway over ancient Rome. We walked below the many stone pines with their umbrella tops, past tall poplars standing like spare soldiers, sauntered past temples to various goddesses, peered at worn doorways above which murals faded away as if they could not be bothered to defy the ravages of time.

Via del Teatro di Marcello
Via del Teatro di Marcello
Campidoglio
Cordonata, the flight of steps to Campidoglio, Capitoline Hill, one of the seven hills of ancient Rome. In the backdrop of the piazza designed by Michaelangelo is Palazzo Senatorio.
Statue of Castor at Cordonata
Stone pines on Via dei Fori Imperiali

Monument of Victor Emmanuel II
Elevator to Terrace of the Quadrighe, atop the Monument of Victor Emmanuel II.
Inside the Monument of Victor Emmanuel II

A survey of the Roman Fora and Colosseum
Quadriga (chariot) at Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II
Stone-pine hedged roads of Rome
Via del Teatro di Marcello
Rooftops of Rome

Teatro di Marcello. Theatre of Marcellus.
The oldest surviving theatre from the 11B.C. It is dedicated to Marcus Claudius Marcellus, a young lad, and most importantly, nephew of Emperor Augustus. The boy died five years before it was finished – at the age of 19.
The crowds have melted away from the Colosseum 

Roman Forum
Basilicas of Rome
Soap bubble magicians
Trevi Fountain

A vine-clad palazzo

Waiting for the owner to emerge from the coffeeshop on a frigid and dull day
Inside one of the many palazzi in Rome
The festive spirit of the city

68 thoughts on “Ambling Around Rome

  1. Che bellissimo. Heavy sigh. Thanks for transporting me back to my parents homeland with your beautiful pictures and words. I felt as though I was walking back there with you. Brava! ❤️

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  2. Oh I have missed your posts Arundhati, and you have returned with one of my favourites. I am actually in the midst of writing my latest post on Rome as well!!
    Love your pics, looks like you guys had a great time there. Hope you are enjoying your time with the fam in India too. Happy New Year lovely. Xx

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    1. Hey Lorelle, you are too sweet, my lovely. I will wait to read your post. I have been so tied up that I did not get to read my feed. I will get updated by and by. I am indeed enjoying myself.
      A wonderful, star-spangled year to you too! xx

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  3. You sure lucked out with that cabbie. It’s great when you can get additional details and interesting tidbits from the locals who admire their own city. I just love the idea of being able to touch something that Michelangelo touched or even stood next to. There seems to be history in every nook and cranny.

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    1. It is enough to make the mind go into a tizzy. All that history and beauty cobbled together in times gone by but preserved so beautifully. Thank you Lyz, these are the conversations that add colour to our travels. xx

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      1. Oh, you’re so right. The discussion is a highlight for sure. I had just been reading some interesting historical information about Michelangelo, so when you said his name, I perked up. 😊

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  4. Reading your blogposts and seeing your lovely photos gives me a respite from a bit of hectic year end information overload from family and friends. It’s wonderful to seeing you and Adi enjoying your time in Rome. Lex has often told me how amazing his visit was with his father years ago. Thanks for sharing your keen observations and insights to this beautiful city! – Neek

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    1. Hmm I know what you mean by information overload when it comes to family and friends. It is overwhelming to be plonked in the middle of it when you are used to the carefree life of being on the road. And thank you, I am pleased it took your mind off it a bit. I remember Lex commenting about the time he spent in Rome with his father. Such memories are so special. I always wish, as does everybody I am sure, that one could scoot back in time for even a few minutes to relive those moments in reality, not just through the grey cells. xx

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  5. All of these pictures are so beautiful!! I feel like if I ever visited, i wouldn’t stop taking pictures. So much beauty everywhere 🙂 Hang in there with your folks, soon enough you guys will be back home in the US 😀

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    1. Ahaha thanks my sweet. You have my number. It is a strange dilemma. When I get back, I know I will have this odd sadness. But that is the strange contrariness of it all, I do not know how to reconcile myself to it.
      I might bombard you all with more of Rome yet! 😛 xx

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  6. wonderful historical city to visit , loved the pictures ! Amazed by the architecture of those days, I remember helping my kids with their project constructing a Roman aqueduct and hope to visit there some time:)

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  7. Wow those are gorgeous photos! Enjoy your few moments of alone time. I’m visiting my parents and get about 45 minutes alone a day while they go to Happy hour🤣

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    1. Aww yeah Rome was a pleasure this winter, Tracey. We had been apprehensive about grey rainy days but we struck gold with that dome of blue above our heads. I am sending you warm vibes from Calcutta where I have a surfeit of pleasantly chilly days. xx

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      1. I have heard of Parma mostly because we devour documentaries and travel shows. So I shall look it up in detail if you recommend it as a food paradise. Oh why is the world so vast and beautiful? It makes you never want to grow old or leave it forever.

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      2. Indeed, that is my association with its name. Maybe I should tread there with caution because I can nibble on parmesan like a mouse with zilch self-control. If a mouse cares about control at all. xx

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    1. Hey Jen, I have been carrying on a fair about Rome and there might be a couple of more! 😛 But yes, I have a post in mind about the food in Calcutta which is just too delicious. Here you need to double my customary wish for four stomachs and make it eight. xx

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  8. Rome is truly beautiful place. I look forward to visiting one day soon until then I’ll enjoy it through your eyes.😊 Thank you for sharing. May 2018 bring you even more memories, laughter and fulfillment.

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  9. Happy New Year, Dippy! Great post. Brings back fond memories of our trip long, long ago. I keep thinking we need to visit again, but each time we make plans for the year, we inevitably end up picking someplace we’ve never gone before. Still, this post brings on a strong ache to revisit.

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    1. Hey Lynn, a vibrant new year to you and yes posts on Rome must make you feel so nostalgic. I might harp on it a bit more 😉 It is a good plan to see new places. A friend of mine always asks me why we keep revisiting places and I have no answer for her except that it feeds our wistful souls. xx

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  10. Rome looks absolutely beautiful! I have to admit, my one experience with Italy was Milan and I was not too much of a fan…but I have been planning to try again this year! Rome seems a great place to start 😉 Also, aren’t cabbies usually just the most useful source of local information? I hope you enjoyed all that eating – it’s easily one of the best parts of the festive season 😀 xxx

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    1. Oh we ate and ate, Mia. It has not stopped yet though I have my mother’s healthy cooking right now to balance out all the street food chomping.
      Cabbies are indeed the best source of information if they are not grumpy 🙂
      And I agree with you, Milan has very little to keep you engaged. I was apprehensive when I was in Rome for the first time because I thought it might be a tourist trap. But hey she is a beauty out and out. xx

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