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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rome. Home?

Even though I was born in Florence, Rome is the place where I have spent most of my life. My house is still there, as my family. Now I'm based in Madrid, a city I like, and a country, Spain, that gave me a family, my adorable wife and daughter and a great job, which I love. Thus, Rome will always be Rome, home..I mean...you understand me.

Rome is a tough place to live. Traffic, pollution, very bad logistics, chaos, a lot of bureaucracy, you name it. Is supposed to be a big capital, probably some believe is THE capital and still has not a decent Subway service. Every time they start digging a hole there's a million ruins awaiting for them. For every short section of underground tunnel in Rome, they built a complete new line in Madrid. The pace is different, Rome seem to run fast in the streets, where everybody drives like Valentino Rossi (bikes are a big deal in Rome BTW) or Fernando Alonso, and yet, when it comes to build something, everything goes in slow motion. Is true, I now live in a city that moves fast, has an active and hard working major, and is able to complete very important works in a blink of an eye. I'm spoiled. But Rome is slow. Can't deny it. Is slow by all means, by any comparison.

Yet, I firmly believe that is THE most beautiful city in the world. Having had the chance to see a bit of this old planet, I cannot stop wondering at the Capital's beauties. The mix of very old, old and dramatic modern mess is stunning.

The narrow streets in Trastevere and the gigantic Coliseum, St Peter, and the Tevere river, a huge and unfortunately very polluted vein that flows through the city dressed in a green from another planet. It was called "Il Biondo Tevere" by the Romans. The blond river. I'm still wondering where that golden color has gone, but I know it has gone for good.

Being a Roman I rarely had the chance to properly visit the city. I've been here and there but there's always that sense of.. : "I'm here all the time, I can go and see it another day!" Wrong! Mistake! You end up seeing nothing, neither today nor tomorrow, and you miss some spectacular stuff.

Funny enough, it has been thanks to the assignment for a Spanish photo magazine that I HAD to go and see my city. Move my ass. Explore it, grab the light and the sight and put them together in form of digital files. This happened in different occasions. I had the winter and the rain and the summer and the sun. I wandered around the ruins and among the people, walked the high street and hid in the shade of the little "vicoli" near Piazza Navona. The main target was a decent shot but the truth is that I found myself mouth agape looking at what I have been missing for some good 40 years of my dumb life.

For several reasons I didn't go to Rome too often but chances are I will be there again soon. The grandmother wants to see her granddaughter and I need to get back to refresh my Italian, that is now melting in a dangerous mix with the Spanish and it scares the hell out of my progenitor

If I feel lazy and don't want to walk around for a sightseeing my camera drags me out. She is teaching me how to appreciate the details and the big scheme of things and she's giving me a reason to walk for miles, unaware of the complains of my aching feet.
She's turning what was a boring activity into a pleasure and an interesting and instructive thing to do. Can't wait to be back to walk trastevere in a wet afternoon, with the puddles reflecting the old buildings and the weird people you see around. No matter if my photos come out good or not, I have a good excuse to dive into such a beautiful city. I mean CITY!

1 comment:

Paulo Correia said...

Ciao Nicola!

Congratulations for both your birthday and your new blog!

All the best for you and your family.

Regards from Pico, Azores.

Paulo Correia