Friday, March 25, 2022

Rome Journal: The Steps

di Garibaldi a Vicolo Del Cedro
The Scala Sancta are a sacred spot in Rome. They may be a stairway to heaven, but you’re not going to employ them nor the 124 steps leading up to Santa Maria in Aracoeli for a workout. Nor are you likely to weave your way through the crowds of tourists on the Spanish Steps. But let’s say you take Viale di Trastevere to Viale Glorioso which dead-ends into one of the more monumental staircases, six levels leading up to Via Dandolo. Take an espresso at the little bar down the street (apparently frequented by the short story writer Jhumpa Lahiri) then you're off with the only interruption being the occasional bottle of Peroni left by marauders the night before. Or let’s say you made it to the Porta San Pancrazio and the grand arch at the top of the Gianicolo (housing the Garibaldi Museum). Descend Via Angelo Masina past the Academia Americano to Via Garibaldi and the Fontanone (made famous by The Great Beauty), past Bramante’s Tempietto di San Pietro in Montorio, to a steep flight of steps leading directly into Vicolo Del Cedro and the warren of bustling street which lead to the Basilica of Santa Maria. Or perhaps you need a little lift up. Scala Giovanni Iacobucci (Architecto e Progettista 1895-1970) will get you there. What you may beginning to realize is that steps or Rome are a form of transportation in and of themselves. Wherever you turn there are another set providing a short cut. Rome has the A, B and C lines of the subway and a labyrinthine set of bus routes, but stairs, the way Romans navigated long before there were other means of public transportation, will keep you fit. Mens sano in corpore sana. Rome is the ground zero of Christianity and it's impossible to visit the Eternal City without working the steps.

read "The Findings" by Francis Levy, The Evergreen Review

and watch the animation of Erotomania

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