Archive for April, 2009
That’s right, I’m in Greece!
I visited the Acropolis, including the Parthenon. It was most tranquil. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go inside – not sure if you’re ever able to, or if it’s due to the construction. Still very cool to see.
I was especially amazed at the Temple of Athena Nike. I had no idea corporate sponsorship was going on over 2000 years ago.
I have lots more pictures, including a whole bunch of Naples (where I was between Rome and Greece, but didn’t have a good internet connection) and Pompeii (which was amazing), but not a lot of time to post them. I’ll see what I can get up in the future. I’ll probably add a lot of pics and videos to my blog when I get done with the trip, too.
One thing that’s been great about visiting Italy has been following in the footsteps of my Dad, who came here as a teenager. It’s been fun seeing things I recognize from his stories, and how things have changed since then. One of my favorite stories he tells me from his trip was visiting the Appian Way, probably the most famous of the ancient roads the Romans built. The Romans built their roads to last, and they built them in straight lines. There’s a joke in England for example, that if a road runs straight for more than 100 yards, it was built by the Romans. The Appian Way (or Appia Antica as it’s called in Italian) was the main thoroughfare north and south in Italy at the time, and its stones still remain, cutting a straight path through the Italian woodland to this day.
It’s also included in a piece of music, the Pines and Fountains of Rome by Respighi. Respighi, a native of Rome, wrote eight short pieces each inspired by a location in Rome. Four fountains, and four stands of pine trees. (There’s a third section, Festivals of Rome, which Respighi included, but which isn’t as good or as evocative imho) One of the locations for Pines of Rome is the Appian Way. The music evokes the sound of the ghosts of Roman soldiers as they marched north to Gaul or other parts of the empire.
So during my two weeks in Rome, I set out to visit and photograph each location described in Respighi’s work.
Back in Rome this past week. Didn’t see quite as much as I was hoping to but still saw many great things. Such as the statues in this plaza.
More posts soon. Tomorrow I visit the catacombs, and travel further down the Appian Way. Also hopefully I’ll finish my Respighian tour of Rome by visiting the rest of the pines and fountains.
I spent the weekend in Assisi, the city of St. Francis (well, the other city of St. Francis – San Francisco, which is almost as hilly and has a similar vibe, is named after him.) Francis seems like he was a pretty enlightened dude. He loved nature, and he started the Franciscan monastic order who are all about simplicity and meditation. They say he put a blessing on the walls inside the city – so that everyone who visited or lived there would know peace. Could be – it’s certainly one of the very most peaceful places I’ve ever been. Also very beautiful.
I’ve seen and photographed many many beautiful things already in Rome, and I’m staying another week ’cause there’s so much I have yet to see. Below is a panorama from my walk along the banks of the Tiber.
Forgive my feeble attempts at humor. I got up at 6 AM and I guess I was still pretty loopy.
And from a slightly different angle: