Rome, Italy: A Photo Diary of 5 Summer Days in Rome

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Palatine Hill


A Rome-ing Eye: My Photo Diary from the Eternal City, Rome 

30 May - 4 June 2019 


There are some places that I would revisit time and again. One such destination is the appropriately-nicknamed ‘Eternal City’ - Rome. You’d only have to ask, and for this recent trip Luxy asked me to buddy up with her. Curiously enough, the last time we were both in Rome was 5 years ago at around the same time. Having already been there, seen it, and ran the appropriately well-informed commentary; we were unburdened by the savant’s guilt of having to experience all the city’s cultural and historical offerings. The nature of this trip would be less intellectual and more indulgent - purely devoted to enjoying the Eternal City at its best, soaked in sunshine and sorbet. Well, when in Rome...

Photos of me taken by LUXLIFEBLOGnaturally.




Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Pantheon

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Pantheon
LIGHT FROM ABOVE: THE OCULUS (EYE) OF THE PANTHEON


Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Pantheon



Rome is always rammed. People pushing at the Pantheon (above), crowds clamouring for the Colosseum, tourist traps by the Trevi Fountain. I suspect that the Eternal City is so named for its never-ending influx of visitors. Especially when the weather is warm, as it was during those scorching 28c days in June.



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Republic Day


Even so, the ‘people soup’ seemed unusually dense, with more than a few extra ingredients. Luxy and I soon realised that we had inadvertently arrived in the lead up to Festa della Repubblica - the Italian National Day and Republic Day. We had to content with not only tourists from abroad but also visitors from the rest of the country who had come for the Republic Day festivities. Throngs of people, barely held back by the police and the army, packed around the  The Vittoriano to watch the military parade (above) and of course,  the Frecce Tricolori (Tricolour Flyby). Having been spoilt by the incomparable pomp and ceremony of Britain, I personally found the Republic Day festivities to be just so-so. I was especially perplexed as to why the flyby passed over a rather unremarkable building rather than flying over the middle of The Vittoriano (below).


Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Republic Day
WHY THE LONG FACES? THE MILITARY MARCHES BY...

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Republic Day
...FOLLOWED BY THE TRICOLOUR FLYBY...

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Republic Day
...AND THEN THE CROWDS DISPERSED, LIKE WISPS OF SMOKE.



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Trevi Fountain

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Trevi Fountain



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Colosseum


Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Palatine Hill

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Palatine Hill

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Spanish Steps


A ROME WITH A VIEW
Our rendezvous point could not have been more perfectly placed. Luxy and I had full reign of a large apartment in the heart of the luxury shopping district (below). We were literally right above Cartier, who also owned an apartment in the building. The apartment had the gorgeous bones and generous proportions typical of traditional buildings that I love so much, but renovated to a modern standard. In fact, the place was originally 2 apartments combined to create one, which accounted for its unusually large size - it could’ve easily fit 3-4 bedrooms, but instead we got 2 bedrooms (one of them a master with en-suite), 3 bathrooms, a child’s room, a laundry room, a dining room, a kitchen, a living room, and corridors that led to Italian Narnia. The apartment was within walking distance to most of our destinations - in fact, it was right beside Piazza di Spagna with a view of the Spanish Steps (above, below) - and we made the most of its central location by returning for daily power naps (at least, I did - all the carbs I ate had a sedative effect on me) before heading out to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Trevi Fountain, and more. 



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Spanish Steps



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Navona



In Piazza Navona, the Bernini masterpiece Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers), with four allegorical human figures representing the Nile, Danube, the Ganges and Rio de la Plataan - with its towering obelisk pulls focus (above, below). But it’s the buskers in all their melliflous cacophony, the ivy creeping haphazardly up the buildings, the children chasing after pigeons; and other messy and joyous trappings of everyday living that make Piazza Navona one of Rome’s most beloved public sqaures.



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Navona
THE ALLEGORICAL FIGURE OF THE RIVER GANGES.



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Piazza Navona



True to its origins as a stadium (up till the mid-19th century, the square would be flooded every summer to create an artificial lake), this baroque piazza is still very much a tableau of Roman life. I found my joy in L’Artigianato, perusing ceramics adorned in quintessentially Italian motifs of lemons, oranges, and sunflowers. Right next door was Enoteca, a Roman deli (below) where I stocked up on most of my €300 of food souvenirs from Rome - kilos of Parmigiano Reggiano, truffle pastes, dried porcini mushrooms, pistachio spreads, cured meats; and pastas in all shapes, sizes, and colours.


Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - L'Artigianato, Piazza Navona

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Enoteca, Piazza Navona
ENOTECA: SO NICE I SHOPPPED THERE, TWICE.

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Antica Trattoria della Pace
DAILY SPECIAL: CLAM PASTA AT ANTICA TRATTORIA DELLA PACE.



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - View from Pincian Hill
A VIEW FROM PINCIAN HILL.




ROMAN NUMERALS: OUR TRIP IN NUMBERS

15,000 STEPS WALKED DAILY 
Averaged from a low of 10,000 and a high of 20,000

4 SCOOPS OF GELATO A DAY 
My personal favourite gelataria were well-loved institution Giolitti and Gelataria della Palma of the famous 150 flavours.

2 PLATES OF PASTA PER DAY 
My favourites were the spaghetti tartufo nero (black truffle) at Armando Al Pantheon and clam pasta at Antica Trattoria della Pace.

INFINITE SINFULLY ATTRACTIVE PRIESTS 
Padre mia! It must be something in the (holy) water...



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Villa Medici

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Villa Medici



If I had any regrets about this trip, it’s only that I didn’t have time to visit Palazzo Colonna, which is open to visitors for only 2 hours a week, on Saturday morning. Although to be fair, if my family still lived in the largest private palace in Rome - as the Colonnas have for 20 generations - I wouldn’t even allow anyone a glimpse past the threshold, let alone gape at my (illustrious) art collection.

The Colonnas were otherwise indisposed, but the Medicis were more forthcoming. Just about, though. Luxy and I huffed and puffed our way up the Spanish Steps and made it to Villa Medici(above, left, below) only to be told we’d have to wait an hour for an English-language guided tour. Undeterred, we joined a French tour that had already begun. Naturally, we had no idea what the guide was talking about, but I’m sure he mentioned at some point that the Villa Medici now belongs to the French government and is home to the French academy. Ah. The French-speaking guide did however speak perfect English, which he used to admonish us for sneaking away from the group to chase peacocks in the gardens, look for Medici lions, and fawn over frescoes.



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Villa Medici

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Villa Medici


Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Villa Medici



Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - St Peter's Basilica

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - St Peter's Basilica


I once attended an audience with the Pope and climbed all 551 steps of St Peter's Basilica's dome - all in the same day. You'd think that any 'regular' church visit that follow would pale in comparison. Especially for a literal and figurative tourist like me - an agnostic (and occasional atheist). That said, I have been known to be moved by displays of faith. And besides, even a philistine would find it hard to remain unmoved by the beauty of Rome's many Catholic churches - each one more intricate than the last. The greatest of which is found in the smallest country in the word - Vatican City. Yet I found great comfort in this recent visit to St Peter's Basilica. Since last year I have been having personal crises (some of which are existential in nature - the likes of which you may have glimpsed hints of on my Instagram Stories) - which reached its zenith in February. In February I began my spiritual journey - in fact, tomorrow marks the 5 month anniversary of that catalyst.

  Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Catholic Church

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Catholic Church

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Catholic Church


Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - Swiss Guards at St Peter's Basilica

Rome, Italy by Posh, Broke, & Bored - St Peter's Basilica


I'm not sure if I'll share the full story of what has happened to me since that fateful day in February (although it does go some way to explaining why I haven't updated my site since April). I can say that despite remaining a religious fence-sitter, I have found great comfort in faith and the divine, while being more attuned to my spiritual abilities. And it was at St Peter's, my thoughts and prayers carried to the skies by the voices of the choir, where I found some balm for the soul. An evocative and transcendent experience that left me feeling as enduring as the Eternal City - Rome.

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