Monday, January 20, 2020

Rome Journal: Bending Like the Palm

The palm trees which abound are a reminder that Rome is a tropical climate, but in early January soon after Epiphany, the Eternal City boasts a feeling that’s almost close to fall in New England minus the color. Tropical plants like palms are made of sterner stuff. Climbing up the ancient steps from Trastevere one arrives at the Gianicolo, the second highest hill in Rome. On the ascent you stop at the church of San Pietro in Montorio to admire the famed Tempietto, the commemorative tomb built by Donato Bramante before proceeding past the auspicious gated Renaissance style McKim, Mead and White structure which houses the American Academy and then on to Porta San Pancrazio, which marks the southern gate of the Aurelian walls—whose arched structure now houses the Garibaldi museum. Passing by the archway you’ll make your way to the Villa Doria Pamphili which abuts the biggest landscaped park in Rome. The absence of bare branches amidst the chill is the distinguishing feature of this oasis of urban greenery. The branches are never bare despite the chill in the air. In Rome, you get your cake and eat it too and down the road is Monteverde where Pasolini once lived. 

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