We decided to explore some old European civilisation roads. We're keeping busy while we wait for the big travel for the pilot!
We put on the trekking shoes, we fill our backback and let's go for 3 days to the cradle of the art : Rome.
Only 3 days there, meaning a short travel so not much time for encounters and adventure. This trip will be more about History, Art and Culture to escape our everyday life in London and to take out our pencils from their case.
Architecture, culture, flavours and meeting. It is the feeling of "contrast" that best summarises the experience of this journey. The opposition of elements, that they are made of stones or flesh. Those modern conflicts known by numerous countries which are sharing time and space...
Everything has a price in Rome but what you will find there is invaluable. That's why 4 million people visited the Coliseum in 2013 and 4.2 million went through the Vatican's doors that same year. These omnipresent ruins reveal Rome as a place necessary to stop by once in your life. A quick stop for some people, a longer one for others, the length of your stay doesn't matter, you will be conquered at first sight. Every piece of rock, every path or road has it's very own story.
It's simply magic and we enjoy getting lost in this maze not counting the hours.
This old roman capital has nothing to prove on the cultural side, the historical side or its food. We can only recommend the travel and the experience. Rome has based its economy mainly on tourism. So your stay can quickly lose its taste. Indeed, millions of visitors every year can mean long hours waiting in lines and thousands of people around you, from people wanting to get a view of the Coliseum to those wanting a melon/ham for 20 euros.
Our advice to fully enjoy what Rome has to offer is to step out of the main road and to wake up early! Leave behind your travel book and lonely planet! Do not hesitate to put your map to the side and discover for yourself the fountain of Trevi or the Pantheon. In fact, the main district of Rome is easily doable by walk. For instance, there is only half an hour between the Coliseum and the Pantheon or just 20/25 minutes from the Trevi fountain to the Vatican. If you are a photographer, multiply this timing by 10, because at the sun rise, every meter has to be pictured!
You could then go a little further and experience Rome's culture nowadays, way less artificial than around tourists places. You will be able to enjoy a good " antipasti" for less than 10 euros on a calm shaded street.
What we liked the most and best illustrates our image of Rome is our first night. When after walking around the streets during the whole afternoon, we end up in the historic district. We fall face to face with the Pantheon, known for its glory about antic divinities and lit with a warm filtered light. It's a gigantic building standing in front of a sky full of stars, held by huge columns weathered and altered by time. In the middle of the porch, a musician is setting up. We keep on watching curious with a few people now. The cellist starts playing. The first notes resonate under the rocky structure, multiplying the instrument sound.
This enormous building serves to enhance the dynamic of the artist. This incredible meeting makes this moment memorable and striking.
It's impossible to know how long we stayed, maybe an hour maybe 2 minutes. Time was suspended.
Unfortunately, despite the artists talent and the care brought to his fabrication, he was stopped by the local police. From magic to economic reality. Despite our cheers of support, the artist put down his bow, accepting that the police didn't want him to play in front of the main porch (even though it was closed at the time).
Thus Rome is an unavoidable passage to all. Everyone will live his own trip and will have his own experience. 3 days is long enough but also way too short. One thing is for sure, we will come back to Rome. This open-air museum has much more to offer. And we still have room in our sketchbook !
If you haven't done the trip yet, don't wait any longer. Rare is there more than 2000 years of history that you can browse this way.