Rome | The (other) Eternal City
Rome is a city of superlatives – no doubt about it! I was there already 35 years ago, and I remember that I was amazed even then. But I didn’t remember the details of this city and its incredible appearance.
The Monumental Rome
Of course, I know in general and from my last visit that Rome offers a veritable flood of so-called sights. There are probably not too many cities in the world that can boast such a density of monuments and buildings steeped in history. However, this unimaginable quantity was somehow no longer in my memory. In principle, this entire larger city centre appears to be a collection of such monuments. The number of chapels, churches and basilicas alone is incredible.
But it’s not just these special monuments and sights – the city alone is a beautiful sight in itself. Beauty everywhere you look – day and night. You always have to be careful when walking through the streets that you don’t get run over – because you are always looking up somewhere.
If you really wanted to see everything, and if possible, in detail and at your leisure, you would need many weeks. But even in “fast-forward mode” you need a few days. And even then, don’t forget to stop now and then and do what has also become very popular here. No matter whether in the alcoholic or the non-alcoholic variant. Even with a drink in your hand and above the rooftops of Rome, you can hardly get enough.
This brings me, of course, to a certain dark side, which does not only concern Rome. This city, of course, also has a few problems. One would certainly be the traffic and – unfortunately – the waste! This is already very omnipresent on the streets and also in the restaurants, if you look down. The people in charge also know this and I didn’t feel like documenting it photographically.
The other problem is simply me. So, of course, not (just) me personally, but what I also stand for as a visitor to this incredible city: tourism.
The thing about tourism
As I said, Rome is of course by no means alone in the world in this. I even wrote a post about it once on my larger trip through Europe. But at least in Europe, Rome might be one of the biggest and fiercest hotspots for the phenomenon of an ever-growing problem: There are more and more of us, and more and more of us can afford to travel. With the result that the so-called great sights of this world – and Rome is certainly one of them – are bursting at the seams.
I do not want to evaluate or discuss this in any depth here. That’s not what this blog is for. I just took a little bit of a photographic look at it. On the one hand, because I can’t change it and I’m part of it. On the other hand, to somehow make the best of it (for myself). Of course, I know that this is not a solution in the long run – especially for the places affected.
So, what does it look like these days, even outside of the holidays, to try to approach the hotspots of Rome? Mostly about like this 🙂
But remember: You are not in the queue or in the crowd, you are the queue and the crowd! So, in this case you have to live with it and somehow suck the funny and the human out of it. For example, that we all seem to want the same thing: to catch a glimpse of the object of desire and maybe take a quick photo.
For this, we sometimes gladly give up our beloved individualism and trot off with the herd. 🙂
And we probably all look equally good or equally stupid doing it… at least that’s what other inhabitants of this planet will probably think.
With all this madness, there’s probably only one thing that helps: superpowers and a healthy dose of humour!
What also helps, of course, are places of tranquillity and of other beauty, of which there are also very many in Rome. Rome is really amazingly green and has wonderful parks where, strangely enough, the crowds don’t turn up at all.
What I take away from it?
Should one avoid such places in the future? Or should we limit access, however that will work out? Isn’t tourism ecological madness anyway? Do we need all this?
To be honest, I don’t really know! And anyway, everyone has to decide for themselves – unless the people in charge in these places decide for us for once. Which is already happening here and there.
Personally, of course, I am still happy to have been there again after so many years and feel this as a privilege. Rome is and remains an amazing experience! And it really is beautiful too…
But above all, you should always keep one thing in mind there too – with all the incredible monuments, the great architecture and the other sights. And that is to look at the beautiful and the small, the unagitated aspects of everyday life, which you can always find in this Eternal City.
There is always light somewhere – go out and shoot!