Fasader och krumelurer – Looking at façades and ornaments in Rome

My fascination for Rome is also connected to its warm colours and its sculptures, ornaments and façades. Follow me through this collection captured during my walks!

Windows and lamp posts are also beautifully crafted. Even the bridges can boast statues and ornamented pillars.

And – as usual I’m obsessed with laundry hanging outside the windows or between the blocks of houses…

Some a bit gaudy, and some in perfect harmony with its surroundings…

Walking to the other side of the Tiber, for the Pyramide station, we passed this house – a bit scary coming home late at night here…

Close to this station is an old building, looking quite forlorn, but with beautiful staues left on its roof.

On opening the gates to the Botanical Garden, we understand that the gardens are not as well kept as they need to be. On the other hand there are some lovely old buildings and roofs.

Walking back late to our hotel – we are grateful for this lovely and interesting day. Good Night – Rome.

På torgen, vid fontäner i Rom – In the Squares, by the Fountains of Rome

I knew, before we went, that Rome’s great Fontana di Trevi would be under restoration. But there are many beautiful fountains in Rome (and many by Bernini)…even if  Fontana di Trevi is among the most famous fountains in the world. In Sweden we immediately connect it to Fellini and La Dolce Vita with our actress Anita Ekberg bathing in the fountain. Fortunately I have seen it before – in full splendour.

So, there’s something special with squares and fountains…they gather people. People who relax and enjoy the sound and the beauty of the water, their busy lives making a stop, eating ice cream, letting their children play.

Outside the Pantheon, people were listening to a fantastic singer – her voice crystal clear – making us all, and the ancient buildings, shiver with delight.

Augustus’ Peace Altar had many people eating, relaxing or why not healthily posing and photographing?

Piazza Navona hosts three beautiful fountains – resting places for many…Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651)is the most famous one. Fontana del Moro and at the northern end is the Fountain of Neptune. Bernini is of course one of the architects here too.

And – photographers of course…

The Romans were experts on water and aqueducts, so in Rome, you can drink water everywhere, clean and fresh. People fill their water bottles, and the dogs too love this opportunity.

 

There are several fountains in the shape of boats – or bathtubs? A definite boat at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, the Barcaccia fountain by Bernini.

Other strange fountains seemed to appear when the stomach reminded itself in the afternoon…

But, after being fed…other, more ordinary, fountains were found again.

The Bee fountain – a favourite. In fact Bernini is the master of another Bee fountain close to the Capuchin crypt.

The Botanical garden was a treat, and its fountains too. There’s another one in the header!

 

Trees and Ruins in Rome

Are there really any interesting trees in Rome? In this ancient world city where people have lived for centuries and centuries…and everything built by humans is of interest…Maybe a funny question – but as I’m a tree lover, the question is relevant to me!

Well, let’s start in Ostia Antica, the old port of Rome. The oldest archeological remains so far discovered date back to the 4th century BC. The most ancient buildings currently visible are from the 3rd century BC.

Where is the tree…and where are the bricks? Nature’s patterns have always been an inspiration used in the architecture of buildings and art of humans.

Pine trees are very monumental, and somehow they just…belong together with old ruins. Walking the cobbled stones and narrow paths this early morning here, birds singing and the stillness in the air…

The ruins are very well preserved throughout the whole area, clad with cement on top. The old Forum looking like a maze because of it.

The theatre is well preserved – click the link above to my post on Leya. But, I’m convinced nothing here would be as beautifully shown off without the pine trees.

Back in Rome City, the plane trees are a feast along the Tiber. Trying to reach the water…the sound of their leaves rustling and reaching out in the soft wind…

On our way to Circus Maximus there is heavy traffic, but we are greatly rewarded. The old arena is almost empty and not many  people around. A lonely tree stands in the middle of the remains of the old racing course. Imagine the old days, what buzzle and crowds of people and animals! A magnificent place.

The old city walls are still standing, clad in green. Surprisingly well kept.

I was lucky to hear and spot thousands of starlings on the Avantine. They all moved like One and the flocks were huge and amazingly loud. I sat watching them for at least 15 minutes. In Sweden the number of starlings have decreased terrifyingly fast, and we don’t know why. It’s been suggested they get shot and eaten on their way north – but I don’t know if there’s any sustainable truth in this.

In every city I visit I just have to go to the botanical gardens. I realized I hadn’t been to the one in Rome before, and I wonder how many people who really go there…We had great difficulty even to find the entrance. In the park itself, I think we met about three other persons besides the lonely, reading guy in the ticket ”box”. He was very sweet though and reminded us about their closing the gates within two hours. Two hours in a botanical garden is not enough for me – generally. But, when it’s not really season for plants and flowers that should be enough. Still, we had to hurry in the end. I’d love to go back another time of the year too!

Almost directly I came across an old friend – this strange plant. Flowers and the empty seed shells here below. I first saw this plant in New Zealand, near Auckland zoo . No one knew what it was – and I still don’t have a clue. The foliage reminds me of Nerium Oleander – but the flowers? No…I would be very grateful if someone could tell me what this is! A fascinating plant – small tree.

Ricin, the Castor oil plant, is beautiful but very poisonous. Grown in many gardens for its lush green and red colours.

Many old trees grow here, and the oldest ones are the oak trees. Some of them have fallen and lie on the ground. New to me was a method of heaping up a mound of earth at its roots , making it survive to give new life. Amazing.

Other old trees were fascinating too, and an enchanting ruin was hidden by old plane trees. Magical.

Maybe not a tree, but a bamboo forest is special.

Norfolk spruce hiding a dead palm tree.

Japanese maple.

And an old favourite from China – Gingko Biloba. I have walked a golden autumn alley of these  in Beijing – something I will never forget.

On leaving the grounds, we encountered this beauty, a Verbena,  raining down a stone wall.

Lastly, from Central Asia, ”Rosaceae”, Prunus. Standing dry and leafless against the patched wall of the house – I found it immensely enchanting…