Tuesday 9 September 2014

Brit Decor: Travels/ Rome

All Images / Copyright Mike Ahern

After my my long-awaited maiden trip to Venice last August, I realised that Italy had ashamedly been overlooked during my travels and urgently needed to be explored. Fast forward twelve months and last week I found myself touching down in Rome with @simonwatsonpt, and we were ready to explore this vibrant capital city!

The history and culture of this place is epic as it continues to reverberate throughout the city even today. At times my emotions on seeing some of the ancient sites such as the Pantheon (re-built in 126 AD) and Michelangelo's frescos at the Sistine Chapel, were almost overwhelming, whilst St Peter's Basilica literally took my breath away with it's awesome scale and beauty - that's the true power of art and architecture.

Wherever possible I found myself scrambling to the top of various vantage points in the city in an attempt to soak it all up, put the various landmarks into context and listen to the cosmopolitan hum all around me. One of my favourite parts of the day in Rome had to be the evenings when the intense heat of the day gave way to a cooler air and the cafes and restaurants came alive with laughter and music and, of course, the smell of freshly cooked Italiano cuisine - oh and Prosecco is definitely my new 'tipple' of choice!

Our apartment was set just a stone's throw away from the charming and bustling Piazza Navona with it's sculpted fountains, restaurants and a museum, which meant that I was able to drift off to sleep every night to the sound of people having fun - tourists and locals alike. We both loved the romance of the frescoed ceilings in the apartment and the classic shuttered windows, which looked out onto the scorched roof tiles in a sea of terracotta and burnt umber. And the central location meant that we were situated in the heart of the city with many of the famous sites within walking distance.

I also have to mention the Torre Argentina cat sanctuary set in amongst the ancient ruins of a temple  (where else in Rome?). Missing our own two cats at home in the UK we would try and include this cat playground in our schedule as much as possible, just to play 'spot the cat' and to say hello. My heart was completely stolen by a particular little waif (above), which is so typical of me.

Would I visit Rome again? Absolutely, there is still so much more to see and after hearing a guide describe the rare sight of snowflakes falling through the open roof in the Pantheon during Winter, I am determined to try and see this for myself some day. I hope you've enjoyed this trip too!

Thank you to @simonwatsonpt for being my very own Paparazzo for the week and more importantly, for being there and here.

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