Roman Walkabout

Elisabeth Hawthorne
February 17, 2015

Rome is a city well versed in love.  Though not THE “City of Love,” I still think RRRoma on Valentine’s Day could make anyone’s heart do a couple flips, if not pitter-patter in a tap dance.  There is something very intimate about the way in which the city connects to its people; it is responsive to them, though heaven knows exactly how it will respond.  After several millennia, several hundred popes, and several thousand monumental statements of art, architecture, and urban planning it is still the Roman people and their vitality, their larger than life passions and projects which preserve and reinvigorate this city.

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I went on a five-hour walkabout last Saturday, which took me through 6-7 distinct neighborhoods.  I took pleasure in existing as just a pair of eyes, the humble observer.  I saw teenagers at the Giardino degli Aranci, entwined like a pretzel and content to just sit (on each other) for time indefinite.  A middle-aged couple engaged in a desperate act of passion in a very small Fiat, parked in a very small alley by the rose garden on the Aventine hill.  Later, I looked on as a saucy bride bedecked in white fur and pearls chewed out the uniformed Carabinieri – Italian police – for blocking the street where she wanted to take wedding photographs.  I was glad to see that on a day so hyped Rome still gave as good as she got and was still the vibrant/loud/busy/breathtaking bombshell that I know her to be.  Overall, it was a pretty reflective day.  Walkabout will do that to you.  A few of my thoughts:

Things I love in general: standard poodles, coarse salt, Yeats, high ceilings, Fanfare for the Common Man, cinnamon gum, the Mediterranean Sea, Turner's brushstrokes, and tare functions.

Things I love about Rome: water spigots, beautiful light, umbrella pines, nuns on buses, seasonal gelato flavors, the Villa Doria Pamphili, cupola-counting, real espresso, cyprus trees, Tiber Island, the Pantheon (especially the coffered ceiling), and stores that seem really tiny on the outside but are actually deceptively large.


There’s a lot to love about this place.  Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day!  Now enjoy these pictures.

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Grazie, Roma! Bella cosa tosto è rapita.

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Elisabeth Hawthorne

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I&rsquo;m your standard artistic mutt, head on the ground, feet in the clouds, brought to you by a serious case of wanderlust. Small-town Minnesota girl, ex-expat of Singapore, international traveler, art history major, varsity fencer, opera singer, aesthetics junkie, curious soul, gelato votary, far from home at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, making distance and immersion my teachers during a year abroad in Rome, Italy. You can follow along as I happily consume art and carbs in la bella città, but be warned I might not stay in one place for long!</span></p>

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