Rome and Florence

Rome

I never thought this city could be so beautiful. So impressive, so full of history everywhere you turn, so magnificent. I marveled at how you could see the Coliseum and the ruins right next to modern streets, how you could see part of an ancient pillar dating to centuries ago, lying on the grass in a park. The entire city is a museum.

The Coliseum seem from outside:

Seen from inside:

A video:

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

More ruins in the Forum:

Remus y Romulus, the founders of Rome:

It’s very interesting the energy that the city radiates. There are neighborhoods with buildings covered in graffiti, a 10 minute walk from the most ancient areas. It seems that there is a large community of immigrants that are integrated into Italian life, more so than the immigrants in Madrid.

The style and aesthetic of the Italians is also something that you can feel in all parts of any city in Italy. There isn’t any building that doesn’t match the style of the buildings that surround it. Each street seems like a work of art, the decoration of the inside of stores and restaurants is always eye-catching for passersby.

A fruit stand:

Even the trash cans are cute and decorated:

Piazza de la Republica:

There were giant photo posters attached to the ground:

Piazza d’Espagna:

We came by here at dusk, a plaza famous for the amount of people that are always here milling about. So many tourists, Italians, young people, couples, foreigners. While walking through the  city, I had the sensation that I could live here some day… I’d only have to learn to speak some Italian.

The second day was much calmer. We decided to take more cappuccino and cigarette breaks, but even then we had to walk a lot. We crossed the bridge towards the Castillo D’angelo and visited the Vatican, but I couldn’t go inside because I was wearing a shirt without sleeves…bummer. Everyone had to cover their shoulders, a pretty silly and antiquated rule for the 21st century, I thought.

The Vatican:

A view of the bridge:

Afterwards, we went on a walk through the neighborhood of Trastevere, which everyone says is similar to La Latina in Madrid. It’s true, but much prettier and with better restaurants. The colors in this neighborhood are awesome; the cafes and restaurants are so cute and artistically decorated. We had pasta for dinner and of course, gelato afterwards. Italy is food heaven.

Javi and moto:

Florence:

If I thought that the colors in Rome were beautiful, Florence has absolutely no comparison. The first thing we saw after coming out of the train station was this church, Maria Novella:

The style of the pastel-colored marble and the architecture are incredible. I’ve never seen a church so pretty, and the inside is equally amazing. Sucks we weren’t allowed to take photos.

Florence is the city of romantic cities. It has a beauty different from that of Venice, for example. When you’re in Venice, you don’t really see how the people live because of how much life there is based on tourism. But in Florence, it’s different. It’s much more manageable because of its size and feeling of intimacy; I wish we had another day to see it on bicycle.

We saw the Duomo, went up the bell tower, had some cappucinos, walked to the Ponte Vecchio, and tried to enter tha Palazzio Pitti to see the art collection there…but unfortunately, they close on Mondays.

El Duomo:

A view from the bell tower:

The Ponte Vecchio:

In sum, the trip was short but amazing. The next destination… Portugal?

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