Rome: A Storm, the Hills and the Tiber at Night, a set on Flickr.
This is my second set of photos from my family holiday this year — in Italy, and, specifically, in Rome this week and, next week, a village in Abruzzo province. The eternal city (la città eterna) is one of the most extraordinary places I have ever visited — with its excellent cuisine, friendly locals and its unparalleled architectural wonders, the result, of course, of having been a major player on the world stage for nearly 3,000 years.
On our first evening, we were introduced to Rome’s super-sized architectural heritage via a visit to Piazza San Pietro, the colossal square in front of St. Peter’s Basilica (la Basilica di San Pietro) at the heart of the Vatican, and on Day 2, although we saw little of the city’s architectural splendours, we nevertheless had an inspiring day, despite being housebound for the whole afternoon as the entire city was drenched by a full-on tropical storm, which reduced the humidity sufficiently that we didn’t have to sleep outside, as we did on our first night.
After sitting out the storm, we walked up to the top of Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill), which separates the Vatican area from the popular neighbourhood of Trastevere (literally, “across the Tiber”) and offers stunning views over the whole of Rome. As night fell, we descended to find Trastevere buzzing, brightly lit and thronged with diners, and, after eating, we made our way back along the River Tiber, at first past the gaily lit riverbank crowded with bars and stalls, and then in darkness along the vast Lungotevere embankments, built beside the river in the late 19th century to prevent it from flooding Rome every winter, as it did previously.
On Day 3, we toured the Centro Storico, the historic old town, visiting the major sights — the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon — and on Days 4 and 5 we took in the sites at the heart of Ancient Rome — the Colosseum, the Roma Forum and the Palatine Hill. These photos will follow soon, but for now I hope you enjoy these glimpses of Rome and of our slightly elliptical itinerary.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
On Facebook, Heather Davidson wrote:
Trastevere is my favorite part of the city.
Zilma Nunes wrote:
Sue Glenton wrote:
Love the trees, why don’t my photos look like that?
Hi Heather, Zilma and Sue. Good to hear from you. So yes, Heather, thanks for alerting me to the existence of Trastevere. As usual I hadn’t done much prep before this holiday – I tend to work up until the moment I leave the house and then get into full-on relaxation mode almost as soon as the holiday begins, but it does mean that I don’t pore through the guide books, so I don’t start off very well informed, and then have to catch up. Hence the ignorance about Trastevere! We were there again last night, eating at a great seafood restaurant on the shore of the Tiber, opposite the island in the river, as part of the festivalisation of the riverbank between mid-July and the start of September, as can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyworthington/7801911864/in/set-72157631112574700/
And Sue, the secret may be the camera, which has a great wide angle function, and a brilliant ability to capture the available light. It’s a Canon Ixus. Do check out the Ixus range …
Glad you love Rome, lived there in a basement in Via Achille Grandi, no view of anything but a nice little rat as co-tenant, scared like hell of our puppy dog and kitten, and in Anzio … 40 years ago .
Don’t forget to put your hands in the Bocca della Verita and ask each other awkward questions: the ultimate test of the veracity of your answers, if you lie, the Bocca will devour your hand
Wonder if in Trastevere there still is the Trattoria which 40 years ago was reputedly the cheapest in town but also the only one which would not provide credit ; Da Mario’s, close to the Tiber. Via del Moro, if I remember correctly …
It still existed some 15 years ago, albeit much more touristy, with picture postcards plastering the walls of the two rooms.
If Mario’s still alive, he must be in his 70s at least, but maybe his son Massimo -who then was a toddler- will have taken over?
Have a great time all three of you, love, Anna
Thanks, Anna. How lovely to hear from you. I had no idea that you had lived in Rome 40 years ago. I worked out that I was in Italy in 1970, when I was seven, and we visited Pisa and Florence, parts of which I remember vividly, but we didn’t go as far south as Rome.
So the three of us are having a lovely time indeed, although the only version of the Bocca I have seen is a kind of fairground imitation. May be too late to find the real thing, as we leave for Abruzzo tomorrow, and today it’s so hot – 35 degrees – that we’re finding it difficult to even leave the apartment.
On Facebook I posted the photo of the Ponte Principe Amadeo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyworthington/7801955574/in/set-72157631112574700/
Pamela Lynne Kemp wrote:
That is gorgeous.
Zilma Nunes wrote:
beautiful pic but in “Fontana Paola” the only problem on this picture is because you cut the detail on the top of the monument…the monument is big but you could may cut a little down …
Thanks, Pamela. Glad you like it. And Zilma, yes, you’re right, but I couldn’t get any further back! Here’s a more complete version by an Italian photographer: http://www.fotocommunity.it/pc/pc/display/11188178
Zilma Nunes wrote:
Jennah Solace wrote:
Nice shots of the rain falling
Thanks, Jennah. The storm was quite something. Very tropical, like a monsoon. Of course there hasn’t been a drop of rain since …!
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