10 Roman Moments

We understand Fellini very well. His words describing the eternal city (talking about his movie ‘Roma’) with the layers of decades, centuries both visible and hidden everywhere.

In ‘Roma,’ I wanted to get across the idea that underneath Rome today is ancient Rome. So close. I am always conscious of that, and it thrills me. Imagine being in a traffic jam at the Coliseum! Rome is the most wonderful movie set in the world… As was the case with many of my film ideas, it was inspired by a dream.

We enjoyed 5 dreamy, hot, romantic days in Rome. These are our 10 flasbacks.

1. Water is Life

One of the first things we start missing about home when abroad is fresh tap water. Rome is exeptional with providing drinkable water through fountains. In the summer heat it seems to be more than welcome for locals and tourists alike.

Carry your water bottle along in Rome and drink the water!
Campo Di Fiori provides fresh water
Hot Roman days make you thirsty, free water is welcome!
Drink it, my water is fresh and free

2. Cats and Caesar

Torre di Argentina is a weird square in the middle of the city buzz. You look at those ruins in the August heat, sweating and over heated, trying to imagine the sophisticated buildings that once stood here. And then you notice the smiling cats. The guys who are the kings & queens of the ruins now.

Hiding from the August sun
The felines of the Largo di Torre Argentina have many places to hide from the afternoon sun.
Largo Di Torre Argentina
The ancient temple ruins at Largo di Torre Argentina
Ancient temple ruins at Largo di Torre Argentina
Caesar faced his end at the temples that once stood at Largo di Torre Argentina

Largo di Torre Argentina is where Caesar was assassinated 44 B.C. Today, new rulers reign. They are the cats of Colonia Felina Torre Argentina, Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. In the corner of the Via Torre Argentina and Via Florida, take steps to the underground safe haven for abandoned felines.

In the cooler times of the day you can see more cats ruling their ancient temple ruins outside, too. All the hundreds of cats are spayed, neutered and vaccinated. The volunteers running the facility welcome visitors every day noon ’till 6 pm

Black cat at Largo di Torre Argentina
The cats at the Largo di Torre Argentina are taken care of by volunteers
August cat list
Stray cats are being spayed, neutered, vaccinated and given proper vet care
blind cat
Some cats of Largo di Torre Argentina have had rough lives, like this sweet thing that is totally blind.

We bought some toys and brought them to the cats. And gave them a lot of attention – they crave for some scratching and kindness having spent maybe years without any.

Largo di Torre Argentina ruins
The cat colony of Largo di Torre Argentina finds hiding places easily

3. Squares Bring People Together

Rome is filled with lovely squares. Squares that live from sunrise ’till the early morning hours. Make sure to wander around daytime and after the sun sets. Do explore around the squares, follow the narrow streets and get lost. So much fun!

Campo di Fiori
Campo di Fiori is a busy market daytime, evenings people gather to eat

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Piazza della Rotonda and Pantheon
Piazza della Rotonda is the home of Pantheon
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona and Baroque grace
Piazza di Spagna, Spanish Steps
Piazza di Spagna, Spanish Steps
Fontana Di Trevi
Fontana Di Trevi is best visited early in the morning

4. La Dolce Vita

Rome has inspired so many movies and made an impression to so many famous faces. We realized that in addition to other stars, once again – of all places-  we’ll meet Frank Sinatra again. The street that once lured the rich & the famous, Via Veneto, still has an air of glamour. We stayed at the historical Hotel Ambasciatori Palace. The legendary Harry’s Bar is near, this is where Sinatra entertained behind the piano.

Harry’s Bar, Rome memorabilia
Harry’s Bar in Rome is a popular culture classic

Hotel Ambasciatori, Palace Roma is still a gem
La Dolce Vita at Hotel Ambasciatori Palace Roma

 

5. Rome was not built in a day

Some call them piles of stones, some live to them. This city is filled with ancient ruins, monuments, pillars, roads, sights. And the digging is never ending – this is the wet dream of archeologists who are into Roman history. Mesmerizing it is, mesmerizing.

In a hot day, the hallways provide cooling shelter

Colosseum takes your breath away

6. Holy Smoke

The Vatican. It was a super hot day. We arrived by Metro and walked to the St. Peter’s Square to join our 13:00 group of the “pass the line to Vatican Museum & The Sistine Chapel”. We showed our tickets and got stickers to join the 13:00 group. We all were happily thinking we were looking at the lines we’d pass. The Vatican Museum is next to the St Peter’s.

Little did we know. WTF? We walked more than 20 minutes in the boiling heat to the other side of the square’s outer walls to enter the museum. Our sincere question is: why can’t you meet the groups here? This is insane!

Holy Smoke that was an unpleasant welcome to the Vatican.

We chose to visit the museums and Sistine Chapel this time and thousands of others had the same plans. Entrance was not the issue this time of the day, the crowds inside the about 7 km of galleries was. At times you’ll just flow onwards as you’ll have crowds in front and behind.

At some areas you could actually look at some pieces. Unbelievable beauty in the form of paintings, drawings, sculptures, woodwork, stonework, textiles. Endless hallways filled with art and curiosities. Popes have sure been busy collecting stuff.

Sistine Chapel, that we were exited to see, was a scary surprise. Guards shouting the crowds to shut up in Italian and in English. Pushing crowds in a pretty rude manner to the center of the chapel. As you can’t take photos here, the guards get somewhat physical also. We saw the famous frescos and left uninspired and sad.

Vatican Museum Entrance is 20 minutes from St. Peter’s Square

Someone was told to do some ceiling frescos..
Scary bible stories illustrated
The only Vatican Museum place without hundreads of other visitors.

7. Did someone say pasta?

Aah! Let the photos speak!Pasta with mushrooms

8. Meet me at the church?

One of the best ways to beat the heat and to see art in Rome for free is heading to the endless churches.

Sant'ignazio Di Loyola
Adrea Pozzo frescoes at the Sant’Ignazio di Loyola

9. Sightseeing bus is not unfashionable

It’s a fantastic way to get the overall picture of your destination, the sightseeing bus. We opted for a hop on/hop off one, but actually we rose the whole ride to choose where to head for our days in Rome.

We got our tickets at a magazine kiosk for the same price they have in the buses.
Circus Maximus hosted huge events before the Colosseum was built
Archeologists work in Rome every day

Piazza Venezia
Piazza Venezia is home to great art history

Villa Borghese
Driving by the Villa Borghese
Hop On Hop Off is an easy way to see Rome

10. Just exist. Look around. Feel the air. Breathe.

Panthéon
Panthéon lets in sun and rain.

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