You know I live near Rome and that I love being a tourist from time to time in the city where I used to study at university. I love Rome also because I can meet very special friends there with whom I share several interests and little pleasures . They often help me to discover hidden treasures and interesting sites which make our capital surprisingly gem-set. My latest trips to Rome were to see The Hobbit with my son and , not long before, I had been there for the talk Juliet Gael gave at the Keats and Shelley Memorial House in Piazza di Spagna about her books on The Brontës and The Shelleys (see my post)
|Port Isaac - Cornwall|
This time the occasion for going at the weekend was meeting my friends for a "premiere". No red carpet for my friend Louise 's film project based on our adventures in South - West England last summer , but lots of laughs and final applause. I can't translate the funny title she gave her work, I really can't. I can only admit the project was definitely entertaining and crammed of good memories and unforgettable moments. We laughed a lot watching and commenting the images, after we had appreciated our host K/V 's delicious dinner and exchanged little post-Christmas gifts.
|Lyme Regis - Louise on her enterprise at The Cobb|
Among the funniest moments, our listening to Duran Duran's "Wild Boys" at maximum volume and singing, while stuck in a traffic jam in Cornwall; my reading Fifty Shades in the car while travelling from a place to another and giving voice to my ... ehm ... astonishment; Louise's "dramatic" fall from the Granny's Teeth in Lyme Regis - with an improbable Regency hat on - mimicking Miss Musgrove in Jane Austen's Persuasion. We had great fun in July and re-watching those moments gave us the chance to have a good time again. Well done, Louise! I want my copy of the masterpiece.
On Saturday morning, the incredibly sunny spring-like day, was an invitation to K/V and me to go for a walk. We pleasantly strolled along streets crowded of tourists with the unbelievable lack of the usual heavy traffic. We visited a few churches that were on the path to our goal, which was a book store: one Basilica I already knew, Santa Maria Maggiore and two little ancient gems unknown to me, which K/V wanted to show me, Santa Prassede and Santa Pudenziana.
|Santa Prassede - Façade|
Prassede and Pudenziana were the daughters of St Pudens, traditionally the first of St Peter's converts in Rome . The two girls were both murdered for providing Christian burial for martyrs against Roman law and became martyrs themselves.
The beautiful little Basilica dedicated to Saint Prassede was commissioned by Pope Hadrian around the year 780 to house the bones of both sisters.
The peculiarity of the little church is its containing stunningly beautiful mosaics and what is believed to be part of the pillar of Jesus's flogging.
Of less artistic interest, the third basilica we visited , has an incredible historical value. Dedicated to Saint Pudenziana, it is recognized as the oldest place of Christian worship in Rome. It was built over a 2nd century house and re-uses part of a bath facility still visible in the structure of the apse. This church was the residence of the pope until, in 313, emperor Constantine offered them the Lateran Palace.
After some sightseeing, we headed to the book store we meant as our first destination, and , of course , we came out with a few (quite heavy!) additions to our shelves. Here are my secon-hand half-price temptations, that is acquisitions:
- two classic novels
1. Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews and Shamela and 2. Thomas Hardy,
Far from the Madding Crowd
- a huge beautiful book, Shakespeare nell'arte, which was published in 2003 on occasion of the exhibition of the same name held in Ferrara and then in London in that year. It contains lots of information and images about the works of famous painters inspired to Shakespeare's characters and plays.
- an academic essay, I viaggi di Byron a translation of Byron's Travels by Allan Massie
- two YA fiction books for my dedicated reader nephew: Cassandra Clare's City of Ashes and City of Glass, instalments 2 and 3 in The Mortal Instruments Series , which he started reading since I gave him book 1, City of Bones, as a Christmas gift.
That's all for this episode of my Roman errands. It's been a pleasure to share about my latest trip to Rome. Till next time! And, by the way, best wishes for a very Happy New Year, everyone!