Rome – La città eterna

The ACCENT San Francisco team shares their thoughts and memories of the ever-captivating eternal city, Roma!

Megan Neureuter likes to get up close and personal with Rome, taking these photos of the Vatican and St. Peter’s:

Sara Assadi-Nik’s love of Rome is tied to her love of film: My favorite memories of Rome are of visiting the streets and landmarks that acted as the backgrounds of some of my favorite Italian films. In particular, visiting the Trevi Fountain, which brought to life one of my favorite scenes in film history. Wandering the piazzas, churches, and streets of Rome, one can almost still hear the faint sound of Fellini shouting  “Azione!”

A walk away from the iconic fountain Sara adores, Jocelyn Ditzel Fraser’s sweet tooth is enticed by Rome’s frozen delights: One of my first memories of Rome was of a gelato tasting experience just steps from the Trevi fountain. After reading a blurb about the Gelateria San Crispino, I knew I had to try what was dubbed as some of the best gelato in Rome. The tiny gelateria was hidden down a quiet alley, world’s away from the bustle and crowds at the Trevi Fountain. The interior was quiet and serious, not like the colorful and cheerful gelato shops dotting the streets of the surrounding neighborhood. There were no other customers in the shop and the stillness and simplicity of the room were a welcome respite. The gelato was tucked away in canisters of stainless steel behind a sterile looking counter. I placed my order for a scoop of the zabaione gelato and was told that it was flavored with a 30-year-old Marsala wine. With the first bite, the warmth and sweetness and sunshine of Sicily came flooding to my senses and I was transported once more to another magical corner of Italy.

Federico Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ 1960

 

For Erin Lucey, it’s the history embedded in the body of the city that enchants her: Though there are many iconic Romans ruins that first come to mind when we think of the ancient city, these were not what left me with the most lasting impressions after my visit. For me, rather, it was the bit of history that I encountered around every corner, the stories hidden in the remains of every old building, the history of a great civilization laid out in the pathways under my feet.

Photo taken by Celeste Noche

Chelsey Little likewise mulls over the power of times past that struck her during her visit to the Vatican: I’ll never forget what it felt like to lie down on the floor of the Sistine Chapel and look up at the ceiling, taking in Michelangelo’s intense renditions of biblical moments. Artwork I’d seen only in textbooks surrounded me; I was carried back to the Art History class I’d taken in high school several years prior and was inspired again by the teachings of my instructor then. The connection of this physical place to a time and a teacher I had years before struck me profoundly. I realized then that a person can occupy a space they’ve never even been to, or haven’t been to in years, if they stay with you in your heart and your mind. Rome is a great example of how the past occupies the present and you can feel this synchronicity embedded in its foundations wherever you tread.

Emerson Boyle’s visit to Rome reminded him of his passion for history: Caesars. Papacies. Roads. Armies. Religions. Columns. Gladiators. My history classes were consistently entwined with mentions of Old World Rome, so my visit to Rome was like an animated history lesson coming to life.

Photo taken by Emerson Boyle

With maps in hand, my classmates and I walked every direction we desired, stumbling upon relics and ruins every which way. As a native Californian, history for me is nearly always exclusively encased behind museum glass. Romans, however, are lucky enough to have history built into the infrastructure of modernity; antiquity helps to define Rome and demands attention.

During my stay in Rome, I realized how young I was and how young America is in comparison to the cities of old—a valuable, humble lesson to learn! Rome reminded me to continue to love history outside of my education, if for no other reason than to gawk at the beauty of our antiquated world.

Allison Keith reflects on the things that can surprise you when walking through Rome as an aimless wanderer: Rome is a wonderful walking city. I can get lost in the sight and sounds of Rome and find that I have walked all day. I love making my way without a map and seeing what I happen upon. Rome captivates me, and every time I leave, I cannot wait to return!

And Jade Stone gives her take on the magical moments one can happen upon in Rome when they open their eyes and follow their ears: Without agenda, one magical summer night in 2003 my friend and I had the fortune to chance upon a festival under way at the Castello Sant’Angelo. That night, the castle was hosting various musicians, soloists, and small duos and trios and for only €10, we could enter and hear live performances. Wandering the rooms and terraces, we let our ears be our guides as we followed the echoing music through the stone and marble hallways and onto al fresco platforms. It was intimate and slightly eerie. I was surprised how sparsely attended the event was, considering the affordable entry price and unique way to experience the castle!

What are your favorite memories of Rome?