a week in italy: rome & assisi

After my Greek island vacation, I continued to Italy. While the whole reason for being in Italy was a conference in Assisi, I was able to squeeze two (very) full days in Rome in before the conference. My normal strategy when I have a short trip in a walkable location is to walk… and walk… and walk. I stop inside at a few places I either planned on or stumble upon, but mostly I walk. I find it is the perfect way to get to know a city and I normally leave content – feeling as if I have had a taste of the place and made the most of my time. This is a short photo journal.

I love the fountains of Rome. The combination of art and water is marvelous. The use of Egyptian hieroglyphs always seems oddly out of place to me. (Just as Roman roads and columns seem odd when next to the ancient ruins in the Middle East. History is beautiful and I love when places tell their stories of how interconnected the world really is.)

Another fountain. Because I love them.

This statue is from the Castel Sant’Angelo. This statue of Saint Michael was carved by Rafaello and was originally found on top of the castle. It now sits in a courtyard, but still has a majestic stance. I feel in love with the tarnished bronze wings which brought stunning texture to the statues as well as a sense of passing time.

One of the things I had intended to do was to be at the Colosseum for the “magic light” time of day just before sunset when the colors are rich and fully saturated, the sky its deepest blues. I toured the colosseum, then the Palatine Hill, and came back to wait. It was perfect and brought a magnificence that was absent during the bright daylight hours. While part of me wanted to stay as night fell, I decided it was time to continue on. I ended my evening with an hour of fantastic people watching at the Trevi Fountain while having beer and pizza.

Should you make a trip to Rome, I highly suggest you check out the Roma Pass which will give you free entrance to two sites, reduced entrance to others, fast-tracked lines at the Colosseum, and serves as a metro & bus pass. Just be sure to reserve it about a week before you travel.

Then I was off to Assisi for a conference on love and forgiveness with the Fetzer Institute.  Over the four days of the conference I was inspired and challenged, and I remain thankful for the people I met and the friendships developed. Above is the Basilica of St. Francis.

This was the view as I walked around Assisi for four days. Stunning images of the countryside. I hope to return in the future and explore more of this countryside as I am sure it would make for a marvelous and relaxing vacation. After this I left Europe and returned to Africa. Next up will be travels and life in Africa, which seems to be a worlds away from these images and memories.

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