arthisto April 12th, 2012
They say all roads lead to Rome. In my case it is absolutely true.
No matter where I traveled or what caught my fascination, I always ended up back in Rome. The city does that to you, like it or not.
There are 10 ancient roads that go in every direction in and out of Rome. One of the most historically important roads is Via Flaminia, constructed around 220 BC. Technically, you could drive north about 5 hours, from the Piazza del Popolo, along the Via Flaminia, all the way to Rimini, arriving on the Adriatic coast of Italy, and the hometown of Federico Fellini. This is the street where I live. In 5 minutes, I can be at the Porta del Popolo standing in the piazza with thousands of other people marveling at the magic of the Egyptian Obelisk, or the beauty of the twin churches, Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto.
If I go in the other direction, in 10 minutes I will arrive at Ponte Milvio. This bridge, which was built in 206 BC, is pedestrian, and after an Italian film,
entitled “I Want You” (from 10 years ago), the lampposts are decorated with padlocks that young couples have left in honor of their love. But the tradition of “love” stretches much further back. It is said that Emperor Nero used to frequent the bridge with his lovers for certain debaucheries.
Being among these monuments and surrounded by a history that shapes us all, is an everyday occurrence for me, but now, being able to write about it, is giving me a chance to appreciate this gift, beyond just living it.