Monday, September 8, 2008

Impressions of Rome (1)

The Pines of Rome

What I most love about the Eternal City are its elegant, slender "umbrella pines". For me the pines of Rome are its basic symbol. Whether in the Palatine hill, in the Villa Borghese, or the road to Ostia.

In their elegance they remind me of the women of Rome. In their power and durability, of its history.

Ottorino Respighi has written a symphonic poem about the Pines of Rome. For the time being, I can only produce one photo (the only one I was able to upload from my hotel connection). Now I added a second one.

The color of Rome

This is as close as I could get, photographically, to that strange tint of ochre, that most of the old Roman houses present on their facade. It descends all the way from the Ancient Romans - excavation vestiges have proved that it was their favorite color too.

And sometimes you see bushes and trees - olive trees! - adorning a Roman window.

More when I am back.


Kato Patissia said...


I agree that Bella Italia has a lot more than pasta, after all…!
Except from the Pines, the Roman color, etc, to me it has a VOICE, it has a FACE, and all that is here !

( Some will argue that this is the face of… England, indeed ! But to me, this is ITALIA ! NEW Italia, or OLD Italia, is something I can’t say… Perhaps my quality criterion is not so good and I see a blurred reality, or TIME can be reversed in some circumstances and music IS such a circumstance...)

Anyway, I wish you enjoy your new search!

Anonymous said...

Same taste in colour,different nations...

It seems that there r 2 schools of building coloring...

The unicolorists
the multicolorists...

I am a fanatical multicolorist...

Κωνσταντίνος Π said...

Glad to find you here once again
I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacations in Rome!
As I've never been to Rome -stupid me- you 'll allow me to offer one of my favourite poems :

Rome Unvisited - Oscar Wilde

The corn has turned from grey to red,
Since first my spirit wandered forth
From the drear cities of the north,
And to Italia's mountains fled.

And here I set my face towards home,
For all my pilgrimage is done,
Although, methinks, yon blood-red sun
Marshals the way to Holy Rome.

O Blessed Lady, who dost hold
Upon the seven hills thy reign!
O Mother without blot or stain,
Crowned with bright crowns of triple gold!

O Roma, Roma, at thy feet
I lay this barren gift of song!
For, ah! the way is steep and long
That leads unto thy sacred street.


And yet what joy it were for me
To turn my feet unto the south,
And journeying towards the Tiber mouth
To kneel again at Fiesole!

And wandering through the tangled pines
That break the gold of Arno's stream,
To see the purple mist and gleam
Of morning on the Apennines

By many a vineyard-hidden home,
Orchard and olive-garden grey,
Till from the drear Campagna's way
The seven hills bear up the dome!


A pilgrim from the northern seas--
What joy for me to seek alone
The wondrous temple and the throne
Of him who holds the awful keys!

When, bright with purple and with gold
Come priest and holy cardinal,
And borne above the heads of all
The gentle Shepherd of the Fold.

O joy to see before I die
The only God-anointed king,
And hear the silver trumpets ring
A triumph as he passes by!

Or at the brazen-pillared shrine
Holds high the mystic sacrifice,
And shows his God to human eyes
Beneath the veil of bread and wine.


For lo, what changes time can bring!
The cycles of revolving years
May free my heart from all its fears,
And teach my lips a song to sing.

Before yon field of trembling gold
Is garnered into dusty sheaves,
Or ere the autumn's scarlet leaves
Flutter as birds adown the wold,

I may have run the glorious race,
And caught the torch while yet aflame,
And called upon the holy name
Of Him who now doth hide His face.

nikiplos said...


Had we preserved a small amount only of this beauty, Athens would have flourished being a Mediterranean and European city… Now it is sinking in its mediocre ugly shape of bad taste… This always happens whenever I go in Italy… This staid terracotta like ochre reminds the aspect of old Hellenic urban neighborhoods, before get vanished by arrogant Greeks of pseudo-realistic policy. At least Italians do have taste…

alekos markellos said...

Rome : A gift to the eays, a rest for the visitor's soul. Back to Athens? Doesnt sound like a gift...
(Even when others need you there).
Enjoy the rest of the trip.