"The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts..."
|(Romulus and Ramus)|
Situated on the River Tiber, between the Apennine Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea, the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome (Roma) was once the administrative centre of the mighty Roman Empire, governing a vast region that stretched from Britain to Mesopotamia. Today, it remains the seat of the Italian government and home to numerous ministerial offices but is superseded by Milan, in the industrial north, for business and finance.
|(One of the Ancient Wonders of the world)|
|(UNESCO World Heritage Sites)|
Ruins dating from Rome’s glory days lie within an area known as Roma Antica (Ancient Rome) and include the monumental Colosseum and the Foro Romano (Roman Forum) – a crumbling legacy of pagan temples, broken marble and triumphal arches. Buildings from the Renaissance period are concentrated within the centro storico (historic centre), situated between Via del Corso and the Tevere (River Tiber). Here, a labyrinth of narrow, winding, cobbled side streets opens out onto magnificent piazzas presided over by Baroque churches, regal palaces and exquisite fountains.
|(At the Colosseum)|
|(A street entertainer)|
The romantic Piazza Navona with Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers, Piazza di Spagna and the sweeping Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain immortalised by Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1959), all lie within walking distance of each other. Modern life continues amid this theatre of breathtaking monuments, as thousands of years of history are animated by more recent innovations – sophisticated boutiques, rowdy pizzerias and a merry-go-round of cars, buses and mopeds. Across the river, to the west, lies the Vatican State – home to the Pope and spiritual centre of the Roman Catholic Church. South of the Vatican, one finds the bohemian quarter of Trastevere, packed with trattorie and small wine bars. Further south still is the Testaccio district, renowned for nightclubs and live music.
|(A poster at the Museum)|
|(A painting at the Museum)|
I was in Rome in January 2003 and visited Venice, too...