For today's Roman adventure, I decided to walk to the Villa Borghese... not too far from my b&b, but still a good distance. I've seen a lot of the popular monuments and historic sites on previous visits, but this one was new.
As I started out, I stumbled upon a street market - so many nice things, from Parma ham, to fresh buffalo mozzarella, super inexpensive (and NICE) clothes and oh yes, those beautiful Italian shoes. Yet somehow, I... resisted. I didn't take a picture of the market - I figured it not too wise for a small blonde woman to start 'playing tourist' in this congested area and perhaps, get corralled in and away from the crowd, taken somewhere only to disappear into nowhere. [how dramatic! lol, but you gotta think of these things!]
This blog, for the most part, is a story in pictures. Primarily because I couldn't decide which photos to choose, and also because I'm too tired to write a lot.
Thus begins my day at the Villa Borghese.
The first thing I saw was TREES!! One of my favourite subjects... these fascinating umbrella pines that saturate the city of Rome.
Just then I found out that I could rent a bike and see more trees, and more statues, and cover more ground, and more things, and have the wind in my face, and enjoy a sort of quietness! [Sometimes I think that the inside of my head is noisy enough]. This bike rental place looked pretty interesting, so that's what I did: rented a 'bici normale'.
Me with my bici normale ["beechee normalay"], basket and all - feeling like a real italiana!
got a map of the Villa grounds (like this sign)...
... needed to fill my water bottle before I started...
stopped to view the Piazza del Popolo from above....
scr-r-reached to a stop when I saw this sign - it's my favourite Italian actor - you know him from La Dolce Vita and other films...
then took some other pictures of things that I just liked:
Mmmmm... ok... how about a gelato now? As soon as I saw the sign for gelato, I stopped by 'bici' and my eyes wandered over to the cooler beside the ice cream. Oh... look at that... a Corona! So, I chose that instead. A gelato vendor here is kind of like the ice cream truck at home - quick fix, but not the best fix. So I'm waiting till I can have the real thing. At least a Corona is always a Corona!
... pedalled past the Zoo...
... looked up in awe at this napoleonic statue... (don't ask me who he is, sorry)
Then I saw Leopardi (don't know who HE is either). But he looked so disheartened. All of his friends, philosophers, poets and the like were all so solemn (AND separated).
I decided to imagine that after dark, they all come to life and shoot the breeze about the issues of the day. Maybe they even storm the gelato/Corona vendor!
I figured this pigeon had the right idea - so I also took a little stroll through the sprinklers to cool down. (NO, not in the dirty bird bath).
Saw the Galleria Borghese (as well as the other Museums and Galleries) and was really not in the mood to go in - maybe next time - it almost felt like I would be incarcerating myself to leave the beauty of the outside. It was just my bike and me today!
Now tired, I decide to take the Metro [subway] home. I thought this picture was quite a contrast of subjects... modernity against the backdrop of antiquity.
The first level of entry into the bowels of the city was through here - felt like I was on the set of Star Trek or something... in Rome... ???
So... before coming "home", I bought my train ticket for tomorrow to Salerno. [Next time, let me tell you how notorious the Italians can be for budging and slinking in line ahead of you...]. I'm off to Amalfi to stay with a family who has adopted me as their sister (close to Fiordo di Furore where I painted the mural in 2007). Can't wait! The food is going to be tasty, authentic with company and conversation to match.