Photos © Ruud Leeuw


We hadn't been to Rome in decades, and after Genoa and Venice in recent times it was high time we went. On this long overdue visit to The Eternal City ('La Città Eterna') I tried to steer away from the obvious buildings and architecture and maintain, as much as possible, my focus on my interests: streetphotography, urban art and anything to do with photography.
But the backdrop remain of course a city so rich in history (the Kings, Popes, sackings and rebuilts) and culinary delights!

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Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

The 'umbrella pines' I always associate with Rome..
The 'pinus pinea' were brought to Italy by Greek immigrants. According to Plutarch, the tree was sacred first to fertility goddess, Cybele, then to Neptune.
As Claude Lorraine and Impressionist paintings bear witness, the trees favour coastlines.
At Christmas 1937, Mussolini planted one in Piazza Venezia, the first in a row of 2.000 stretching from the Forum to what is now the the southern EUR suburb, centre of what should have been Italy’s showpiece 1942 Esposizione Universale di Roma. The trees would eventually line Via Imperiale (now Cristoforo Colombo) all the way to the sea at Ostia.
In an urban setting, pines’ natural 180-year lifespan is halved.]

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
The city of Rome contains numerous famous bridges which cross the Tiber.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
I liked the classical lines and how the arcades are repeated.



Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
The Italian tradition is to have breakfast outdoors; here we went twice: Calor Café (Viale Giulio Cesare 83). Very nice.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
Our 'homebase' while in Rome: Domus Linae, Via Germanico (booked through Airbnb). Superb!

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
The temperature during our stay kept in the high 20s Celsius, so it was nice to sit on the terrace with a book & drinks


Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
The evening of our arrival we went immediately out on the street. Since we stayed close to Vatican City we
automatically ended up with Castel Sant'Angelo. The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant'Angelo (EN: 'Castle of the Holy Angel'), is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The structure was once the tallest building in Rome.
Kings and popes sought shelter here in times of siege, untold numbers of prisoners were tortured
here and often died in the catacombs.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
Gate to Piazza del Popolo, which is a large urban square in Rome. The name in modern Italian literally means 'People's Square', but historically it derives from the poplars (populus in Latin, pioppo in Italian) after which the church of
Santa Maria del Popolo, in the northeast corner of the piazza, takes its name.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
Piazza del Popolo

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican (Italian: Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano), or simply
Saint Peter's Basilica, is a church built in the Renaissance style located in Vatican City, the papal enclave
within the city of Rome.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
On one of our nightly walks we were suprised by a display on Saint Peter's Basilica, ca. 21:15. It went on and on.
I don't know the persons displayed, but it was very impressive!

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
These photo were taken from the square leading up to Castel Sant'Angelo, looking down Via della Conciliazione.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
It was never crowded on Piazza Papa Pio XII; no doubt many people had a moment here of contemplation.


Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
There was one photography exhibition that we could find online, in Museo di Roma in Trastevere.
Our son Alexander guided us here in Rome, he had several lengthy stays in Rome and is well read on its history.
We went by his compass and were well pleased by his finds, walking trails and historic information.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
The photo exhibition (13May-16Oct) I found most interesting (there were 2 others) was INTERESTING TIMES, Moments of Italian Life 1960-1975. A selection of photos of the Instituto Luce, a nice revisit of the past.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
'Freedom is not granted, it is seized.' A very actual statement with Russia's invasion in the Ukraïne!

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
I am always interested in books and bookshops, though I have little use of books in Italian. This English Bookshop,
'Otherwise', is on the Via del GovernoVecchio 80, near Piazzo Navone. I bought here an excellent book on Rome,
by Christopher Hibbert. I can recommed a visit here!

Another bookstore which I can recommend is La Feltrinelli. There are several in Rome.
Bought an excellent photobook here, by Robert Doisneau. They had an interesting selection.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
I quickly tire of the 'pizza or pasta' and it was a relief to lunch here in Old Wild West, on the Via Tiburtina.


Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
No escaping the Foro Romano!

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
Kings (Ceasars) of Rome interested me more than the long line op popes.. Esppecially Augustus here, of course.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum, is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.
For centuries the Forum was the center of day-to-day life in Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. [¬Wikipedia]

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million or more sightseers yearly.
Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum.
The Roman Kingdom's earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia (8th century BC), and the Temple of Vesta (7th century BC), as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, all of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome. [¬Wikipedia]

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
Our first attempt to gain entry here failed because we ended up on the other side and the day was drawing to a close.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
Our 2nd attempt to enter the Forum Romanum found the tickets in short supply. We arrived there ca.11:00 and we
were to wait until 15:30 to gain entrance. No way! One get a good impression from outside the perimeter.
Best to order tickets online in advance!

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
No doubt there will be no end to the excavations in my lifte time!

Unlike the later imperial fora in Rome—which were self-consciously modelled on the ancient Greek plateia public plaza or town square—the Roman Forum developed gradually, organically, and piecemeal over many centuries.
This is the case despite attempts, with some success, to impose some order there, by Sulla, Julius Caesar, Augustus and others. By the Imperial period, the large public buildings that crowded around the central square had reduced the open area to a rectangle of about 130 by 50 meters. [¬Wikipedia]


Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw


Castel Sant'Angelo
Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

The Column of Marcus Aurelius
Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

The Column of Marcus Aurelius is a Roman victory column in Piazza Colonna, Rome, Italy.
It is a Doric column featuring a spiral relief: it was built in honour of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and modeled on Trajan's Column.

The column's shaft is 29.6 metres high, on a 10.1 metres high base, which in turn originally stood on a 3 metres high platform – the column in total is 39.7 metres. About 3 metres of the base have been below ground level since the 1589 restoration.

The column consists of 27 or 28 blocks of Carrara marble, each of 3.7 metres diameter, hollowed out while still at the quarry for a stairway of 190–200 steps within the column up to a platform at the top. Just as with Trajan's Column, this stairway is illuminated through narrow slits into the relief. [¬Wikipedia]

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

The Spanish Steps (Italian: Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti) in Rome, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church, at the top.
The name is derived from the Spanish Embassy in the Palazzo Monaldeschi at the bottom of the steps.
The monumental stairway of 135 steps was built with French diplomat Étienne Gueffier's bequeathed funds of 20.000 scudi, in the early-18th century.
In the piazza, at the corner on the right as one begins to climb the steps, is the house where English poet John Keats lived and died in 1821.
At the top, the stairway ramp up the Pincio which is the Pincian Hill. The Villa Medici can be reached from the top of the steps. [¬Wikipedia]


Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
Close up of the Egyptian obelisk of Ramesses II from Heliopolis; it stands in the centre of the Piazza del Popolo


Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
Pantheon (from Greek Pantheion, "temple of all the gods") is a former Roman temple and, since 609 AD, a Catholic church (Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres or Basilica of St. Mary and the Martyrs) in Rome. It's on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD).
It was rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated c. 126 AD. Its date of construction is uncertain,
because Hadrian chose not to inscribe the new temple but rather to retain the inscription of Agrippa's older
temple, which had burned down. [¬Wikipedia]
The very long queue to gain entrance here discouraged us to do the same. The exterior is very stark and grim.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud LeeuwPiazza Navona and its fountains. Note the little dog seeking refreshment.

It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in the 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans went there to watch the agones ('games'),
and hence it was known as 'Circus Agonalis' ('competition arena').
The 3 fountains here are by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers, 1651), by Giacomo della Porta (Fontana del Moro, 1575; in 1673 Bernini added a statue of a Moor wrestling with a dolphin) and the Fountain of Neptune (1574), also created by Giacomo della Porta; the statue of Neptune, by Antonio Della Bitta, was added in 1878 to create a balance with La Fontana del Moro. [¬ Wikipedia]

Apparently there are excavations here, but we did a hasty retreat for the crowds here and heat. Also, I am not overwhelmed by this sort of art. That enterprising little dog made me take a picture.


Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
Tempio di Minerva Medica, on the Via Giovanni Giolitti along the railway tracks, near the Porta Maggiore which we
left for another visit. It dates from ca. 300AD and its use has not been determined with certainty.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
The Colosseum we left for another visit. As soon as we exited the subway here we were told tickets could only be obtained for guided tours and the ticket booths had been closed. Another venue one best book online in advance.
There was a lot of roadwork and dig sites for the 3rd metro line (see here on the left).

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
The Victor Emmanuel II National Monument (Italian: Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II), also known as Altare della Patria ('Altar of the Fatherland'). It is a mega (megalomaniac!) national monument built between 1885
and 1935 to honour Victor Emmanuel II, the 1st king of a unified Italy in Rome.
It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill.
A bit too grandioso for my taste.

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
A detail of the above monument

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

Passage from The Capitolium, or Capitoline Hill, to the viewpoint into the Forum Romanum. Capitoline Hill is between the Forum and the Campus Martius, and is one (the smallest) of the Seven Hills of Rome.
The hill was earlier known as Mons Saturnius, dedicated to the god Saturn.
The word 'Capitolium' first meant the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus later built here, and afterwards it was used for the whole hill.
By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, as well as Capitolium Campidoglio.
The word 'Capitolium' still lives in the English word 'capitol', and Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. is widely assumed to be named after the Capitoline Hill. [¬Wikipedia]


Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw
What 's more classic than a pizza!

Travelogue Rome 2022 - by Ruud Leeuw

'Largo di Torre Argentina' is a square not far from the Victor Emmanuel II National Monument; it has 4 Roman Republican temples and the remains of Pompey's Theatre. It is in the ancient Campus Martius.
Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Curia of Pompey, and the spot where he is believed to have been assassinated is in the square! [¬Wikipedia]
A considerable number of cats are living among the ruins here.
Here at the square we ate a pizza for lunch, with Pizza Florida, not very good.
I do recommend visiting the bookshop here, La Feltrinelli (Largo di Torre Argentina, 5/A).

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See also my early visits to Rome 1987 + 1991


Created 10-Nov-2022 | Updated 11-Nov-2022




Created: 20-May-2022 | 06-Jun-2022