Caput mundi, the head of the world.
Rome. A city of domineering buildings, meandering streets leading you to small piazza‘s of fountains and steps, Christmas lights which light up an inviting city sparkling from its reflections in puddles after the rain.
As you wander through Rome, you see its many aspects:
Religious power – the Catholic church dominates the city as its dome towers over the west side of the Trastevere. As you enter the Vatican through the arched porticoes which frame the gifted Christmas tree, the elegance of St.Peter’s highlights the potere of the Pope. Our group entered the Vatican Museum at 7pm for a private tour of the Sistine Chapel. The Museum is full of treasures, and all’inizio the greed of such a large institution shocks you. However, when you enter the library painted with fresco‘s by Raphael, and the Sistine Chapel with the empowering wall by Michel Angelo, the detail and the history of the renaissance and Italian paintings come to life.
Trendy Italy – As you make your way through Trastevere, the young quarter of Rome, you feel as though you have finally integrated into the Roman life. Restaurants and bars are lively, people are chatting, having a great time together and enjoying each other’s company. A group of us went to a beautiful and inviting restaurant in Trastevere called Amore di Vino. The father and son serviced the tables while the mum cooked in the kitchen, and told us stories about their restaurant, their family, and their food. They pointed out very early in the night that their cellar was older than the Colosseum. We ended up making friends with the owners, and once they’d opened a bottle of red for a glass for other customers, they’d give us the bottle to finish. By the time we left the restaurant, it was already after midnight and all the buses had gone to bed, so the 7 of us walked the hour trip back to the hotel via the Coloseo, Circo Massimo and a winding street overlooking the Foro Romano.
Time for friends – the amazing people that I met on this trip, all 23 of them, took me to a restaurant for my birthday the night that we arrived in Rome. I was gifted from Keana and Lorenza a pair of pink glasses to sport on the evening, lovely. Before we all retired for the evening, we made our way down the the Trevi fountain. The structure is beautiful at night. The lights shine on the wall of horses, gods and highlight every cascade of water as it flows over the beautiful white rock. I threw in a coin, hoping (and knowing) that I will someday return.
The group tour finished on December 21st. I made some amazing friendships, sharing our interest of all things Italian. A memorable experience.