The sun was up, but it was still early. Most of the shops were not yet open. Sleepy shopkeepers were drinking coffee in the morning light–steam rising from their mugs. Tourists were beginning to mill about, anxious to find bargains.
I had to catch a plane in two hours.
I often regret not having enough time to spend in beautiful places. Sometimes that regret prevents me from enjoying what I can see. If you only had an hour to spend in one of the world’s most visited and storied cities, what would you do?
Antonio Vivaldi, recognized as one of the greatest baroque composers, was born in Venice in 1678. He attempted, quite successfully, to capture the Four Seasons in four violin concertos. I didn’t have enough time to listen to them.
So, I took my camera and tried to capture the moment.
Light, shadow, shape and texture, overwhelmingly surrounded by the sights of Rome. Architecture, people, ruins and religion. I am not so naive as to think that I could see it all in one day. Having spent one day in Rome, I am not so naive as to think that I could see it all in a week, or a month, or even a year. Rome has been around for a very long time. It would take a long time to see it, really see it. It would take longer to photograph it, really capture the essence of it. Yet, while I was there, with my camera, I stopped time. I saw things others have photographed with much more skill than I possess. Yet, I saw things others may have missed. This series is the first of four galleries of stuff–cool stuff–you may see in rome, if you are looking.
The sun was getting low, the shadows long. My own shadow was unrecognizable; however, this shadow reminded me of me, when my head gets too big.
I may have an obsession with cobblestones, their shape, their patterns and the stories they could tell of who passed their way.
Perhaps the same stones, yet viewed a different way–even the streets in Rome resonate with antiquity.
Unveiled in 1667 in the Piazza della Minerva, the Elephant and Obelisk was a commissioned work designed by Bernini outside the Santa Marie Sopra Minerva church and is the shortest of eleven Egyptian Obelisks in Rome.
In the Piazza della Minerva in Rome, round steel balls and barriers with chains protect the Elephant and Obelisk by Bernini.
Barriers, shadows and chains bar entry to the piazza.
Even with 2000 years of decay, Roman architecture still makes a bold statement, influencing much of the world.
Whether you are looking in or looking out, the setting sun emphasizes the color, contrast and climb to the sacred heights of the Eternal City.
Throughout Rome on many buildings and walls, if you look up, you can see detailed artwork of the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus, usually illuminated by a lamp or lantern.
Another example of framed wall art in the style of the Masters. This portrait of Mary is about 15 feet off the ground. Someone has to maintain the flower box.
The stone shelf was empty, except for the bottle which was also empty.
Not sure which language or which beverage, but the empty bottle could be a metaphor for the effects of alcohol.
On a narrow Roman side street, this drinking fountain or water spout had so much character I couldn’t resist the photo. What I couldn’t figure out was if the water was safe for drinking.
From this angle, the water looks pretty good. Throughout Rome, there are water fountains readily available so the weary wanderer should never get dehydrated.
From this angle I’m not sure I would drink the water. However, the fountain is still pretty interesting.
At one point in the distant past it may have been a carriage outside the door, and, the barber may have offered blood letting. Somehow I found my way into the shot.
Brass doorknockers may aid admission through these old oak doors.
This stone lion stands guard on a bridge cross the Tiber River near the Castel Saint’Angelo.
We wandered down a narrow alley in the bleached out color of night, looking for the Spanish Steps. The Graphiti said we were lost.
In one man’s Roman trash, you might find a designer zebra stripped suitcase for a reasonable price.
Cell phone service in Rome was frustratingly inconsistent. When we saw this icon for the local provider, I realized why. Their phones are rotary.
We had just come out of the Pantheon. People were everywhere. As we rounded a corner, the music that was blending with the noisy ambiance suddenly became clear. Two guys, street performers, had set up their gear and drawn a crowd. We had places to go, so much to see. No time to stop. But the music. It was Incredible. We could see it in their faces, the guitarist and the cellist. We could see it in the faces of the crowd, trance-like. Time stopped with us. We listened, a blend of new-age classical with a hint of Italian oregano. The spell broke when the music stopped. A breeze rustled our clothes. Time to go. More to see. As we wandered away, the music resumed. Even now, the siren’s song remains in our ears, calling us back to Rome.
It has been a few months now since I was in Rome. Yet, the feeling of Rome has stayed with me. It’s hard to describe. Every city has a personality. There are some cities that are welcoming and inviting. Other cities are dirty, and scary. Still others have an energy that is exciting and invigorating.
For me, Rome was all of these and more. On one hand, it was steeped in ancient tradition. The Ghosts of ancient Rome were still present. The evolution of the ancient was overlaid with an oppressive Catholic air. Yet, on the other hand, that very air was vibrating with life. I could see it in the faces of people–some locals–most tourists, I presume. I would have liked to explore and research the Eternal City through the lens of my camera in greater detail, but alas, I had but one day.
This gallery is the first part of a two part essay on the people of Rome from last September, when the sun was warm, the leaves were turning and the city was very much alive. I’ll post the second part in a day or so. Your questions, comments and/or profound thoughts on the purpose of life through the lens are most welcome.
Lido di Ostia, or Lido di Roma is a beautiful resort destination on the Tyrrhenian Sea and the mouth of the Tiber River. Ostia was the ancient seaport of Rome. Due to the buildup of silt and the passing of time, the actual Roman seaport is now several kilometers from the sea. But, the warm Mediterranean breezes still blow across a resort village community not far from the heart of both ancient and modern Italy. When I go back to Rome, and I will, I hope to spend more than an afternoon soaking up the sun, sand and warmth of this beautiful Italian community.
It’s January, 2014. The high temperatures in Utah average in the high 20s to low 30s. It’s cold. There’s snow on the ground. The warm glow of Christmas faded as my son took our Christmas lights down. I’m grateful he was home from school to do it, because it was too cold outside for me. In trying to warm up, I wanted to revisit Rome, at least with pictures.
Anne flew to Rome to meet me on my birthday. We stopped at Ostia Beach after shooting an interview nearby. Ostia is the closest beach to Rome and is located on the Tyrrhenian Sea of the Mediterranean, not far from the city. The water was warm. The breezes were gentle. The sunset was magical. Anne was with me, and, it was Rome.
I hope, if it is cold where you live, you can feel the warmth of the setting Italian sun and endure the cold, for a few more months.
I thought, since it is New Years Eve, I would post a photo gallery of shots from some of the places I’ve been around the world. Sort of a “Best of” gallery from previous posts. I’ve been only blogging since August, so I have yet to post shots from everywhere I’ve been. And, I have yet to even start posting video from all of these places. That is what 2014 is for. Resolution 🙂
The world is a big, beautiful place, filled with interesting people, amazing sights, random coincidences and occasional tender mercies. I have been blessed to travel. I have been blessed to make friends on every continent. I hope to keep the friends I have made and make more as time goes by. However, my greatest blessings are found at home, with a warm fire, a good meal and my family, who love me.
I had one day to shoot B-Roll in Rome. And, it was my birthday. My wife surprised me by flying to Rome and meeting me at my hotel. It was a great birthday present. I still had to film but we saw the sights of Rome together.
Rome has this interesting vibe of Ancient Rome overlaid with Catholic Religiosity. The people are friendly. The city is dirty. The food is good. And the places–unbelievable–almost as unbelievable as the legend of Romulus and Remus being raised by a She-wolf. Still, it is a good story–and, a great city.