La città eterna

9:18 AM

Sitting here in my cool/air-conditioned room, looking at these pictures, and I almost managed to forget all the heat of that (and the next) day. And, of course, as time goes by, you only remember the good stuff (like for example: magnificent works of art, or phenomenal examples of antique architecture, or eating a huge portions of gelato at some of the piazzas of the wonderful city), but my memories are still quite fresh and I can still fell those 40 degrees of Celsius, that hot wind (or no wind at all, don't know which's worse!) and the unquenchable thirst. After that being said, why not begin the story about this trip with a practical advice.

If you're visiting a big city during summer, and you wanna plan tours by days, do this:

1. For each day make a realistic list of places you believe you will be able to visit that day (having in mind duration of a day, working hours of museums and monuments, traffic etc.);
2. Now simply scratch off half of the items on the list;
3. Done!

It's a true wisdom, and I had to figure it out the harder way! (San Paolo fuori le Mura, Bramante staircase, Ponte Rotto and Ara Pacis, I will return to Rome to admire your beauty, it's a promise!). 

Now back to the places I did manage to visit. Our tour begun at Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli where a remarkable statue of Moses by Michelangelo is located. Standing in front of this perfection in marble, I, once again, realized why is Michelangelo considered to be a genius, one of the greatest artists of his time, if not the greatest, the most committed and the most talented. There is an interesting story that  tells us that Michelangelo himself was so satisfied with how Moses turned out, how realistic, how perfect it was, that when he finished the sculpture he hit the knee of Moses with his hammer and shouted: "E ora, parla!" ("Now, talk to me!")

Our next stop was a walk through Fori Romani, at least the part that can be accessed and seen from the streets of Rome. What we really wanted to take a closer look at was Trajan's column overlooking Trajan's forum for around 2000 years. It's a triumphal column erected in the honor of Roman emperor Trajan and his victory over Dacians. It's recognizable for it's spiral frieze, wrapped around the column 23 times, which shows different scenes from Dacian wars among which are the scenes of battle, emperor's speeches, negotiating, building, historical events etc. Although today we can only see reliefs in marble, art historians assume that the scenes on the frieze were vividly colored at the time of the erection.

Despite the fact that the day practically just began, at this point we were already exhausted so we just passed by the huge Vittorio Emanuele II monument, and headed towards church Santa Maria in Cosmedin in order to find famous Bocca della Verità in it's porch. A lot of tourists visits this place on a daily basis, and we basically waited in a long line, at 40 degrees, just to see it and take a picture, but let's say that my motivation for this adventure could not be shaken. Wanna know why? Check out this picture > CLICK. Yes, I needed to have my Tomb Raider moment, I waited for it too long and when I finally got it I felt amazing! Anyone wondering why I opted for short shorts, sleeveless shirt, backpack and pony tail that day? Now you know.

Two very important temples from 2nd and 1st century BC are located in the same piazza as church Santa Maria in Cosmedin, so we had the chance to see them and admire them. Those are Temple of Hercules Victor and Temple of Portunus. The first one, Temple of Hercules Victor, has a circular shape and it's surrounded by columns of Corinthian order, which is a typical feature of Vestal virgins temples and the reason why people often confuse this temple with the Temple of Vesta. The second one, Temple of Portunus, is for some reason especially dear to me. It is very well preserved thanks to a Roman habit to incorporate old buildings into new structures, or reuse old temples as churches, as in this case. It is a perfect example of a typical Roman temple, a mix of Greek and Etruscan temple. You'll recognize it for its high podium, single staircase and facade orientation, a porch with freestanding columns and walls with engaged columns, all of Ionian order.

Last but not the least - Arch of Janus and the Pyramid of Cestius - both very characteristic, unusual, and often wrongfully skipped during sightseeing of Rome. Arch of Janus is a triumphal arch built in 4th century believed to be erected in the honor of Constantin the Great, but what makes it distinctive is the fact that it is the only preserved quadrifrons triumphal arch (with 4 arches and 4 faces). Although it wasn't built in the honor of god Janus, it got that name because of it's shape, having in mind that Janus is Roman god of beginnings, transitions and endings, and therefore god of gates and passages, often represented as a head with 2, or rarely 4 faces,  looking at opposite directions.

Pyramid of Cestius was a monument that marked the end of our tour for that day. It took us a lot of effort to find it, and while trying we got a little bit lost, but it was worth it. Not only because of the uniqueness of the monument itself, but also because it's quite pleasant to get lost in Rome (or any other significant Italian city for that matter). Because you know that there's always something interesting to see, an unexpected beauty to discover, some new vibes to feel. You just have to let the spirit of the Eternal City overwhelm you, and we did.

Until the next post! <3

(photos taken by: Aleksandar Begović, myself // equipment used: Canon EOS 600d, lens 50mm f/1.8)

shirt // Stradivarius
shorts // New Yorker
bag // Zara
sneakers // Converse

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  1. Jao predivno, fotke savrsene kao i uvijek! Bila sam u Rimu bas davno na eksurziji ali zelim ponovo da odem definitivno. Koristice mi ovaj tvoj putopis ;) :*