Just back from five days in Rome and still coping with time changes, makes one fuzzy, woozy and wishing to be back in the Roman time zone. All kidding aside, Rome certainly is the eternal city. Historically, we were in Rome at a time where Italy itself is at a crossroads. With the resignation of their Prime Minister, Silvio Burlesconi, and a new Prime Minister in, Italians are optimistic but cautious in moving forward. Inviting and warm, Rome and its citizens greeted tourists with open arms. After visiting the normal Roman sites like the Vatican, Coliseum and the ruins of Imperial Rome, here are some quiet little gems that are close to the well-trod tourist paths. On the Capitoline Hill, directly across from the Palatine Hill, sits the Capitoline Museum, the first public museum created by the papacy. It contains many treasures of statuary, sarcophogi, etc. including a wonderful exhibit of Leonardo and Michelangelo drawings of both artists time in Rome...surely a gem to be seen if in Rome between now and late January. Another delight was the National Etruscan Museum located near the Gallery of Modern Art in the Villa Borghese. Containing a life-size coffin of husband and wife from Etruscan times, there was a well-designed exhibit accompanying all artifacts. Certainly a delightful way to learn about Rome during its early history and Etruscan settlements. Outside of Rome lies a district called Flaminio where the newest contemporary museum of Rome has been created. Called the MAXXII, it highlights a collection of Italian architecture from WWII to modern times complete with drawings and architectural models as well as a wonderful exhibit called "Indian Highway" detailing contemporary Indian artists depicting the move of populace from country to city. Other smaller galleries hold smaller more intimate video exhibits. A delight to journey to, the MAXXI is surely to become a world-class institution. Other side trips included Tivoli with Hadrian's estate as well as Naples and Pompeii. Rome is a city where one trip is definitely not enough. The Vatican Museums could take a full day and St. Peter's deserves more than an hour of oohhinng and ahhhingg...so enjoy the coming week and have a wonderful, healthy, happy Thanksgiving as we wind down from our whirlwind trip to Rome...eternally yours, Rome...
Maryann J. Riker, owner of JUSTARIP Press is a mixed-media artist who delights in designing and creating artist's books and creating collaborative book art projects as well as viewing other book artists' work. She definitely enjoys the process!