Revisiting Roma

For my sister’s birthday, half of which we spent in London —we flew to Rome later in the day— we celebrated at a Lebanese restaurant, Yalla Yalla. (Thanks for the awesome rec, David!) They do amazing things with lamb, and all the desserts we ordered were pretty divine as well.

And then shortly after lunch it was a brisk trip to Heathrow and to..

ROMA

I think Italy may be the country with the highest number of men dressed in suits wearing sunglasses asking for cigarettes outside churches in the world…

This was so good! Spaghetti topped with shrimp and a lemony cream sauce:

The City of Rome police logo features the legend of Romulus and Remus:

^My sister being model-esque in a quiet, picturesque alley.

Intense sandwiches!

Floor of the Vatican museums

This was very beautiful to look at from the top, but also very difficult to walk down. Definitely aesthetics > ergonomics for the architect who oversaw this one…

This painting by Donato Creti really stood out from the rest for me (which were almost without exception religious in theme). It beautifully depicts a series of astronomical studies.

If you ever wanted to write a letter to the pope…:

I was completely awed by Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel just as I was the first time I saw it, but this time the experience was much less pleasant. The last time I visited (almost ten years ago), there weren’t any guards around. This time there were lots of them, and the whole atmosphere in the Sistine Chapel was very draconian, with the guards shouting all the time for everybody to be silent (ironic) and to not take pictures. : /

There’s the little sister being model-esque again, this time in the Borghese family estate.

We got to eat hot-dog-paninis, chocolate gelato and nearly crash into a fence in one of these go-karts… more than worth the euros. : )

The Bernini sculptures in the Borghese collection are gorgeous beyond belief. Especially the one of Apollo and Daphne.. it left me speechless. I didn’t want to leave its side. If you haven’t seen it yet really, really try to do so at some point during your life! That’s how breathtaking it is. No photograph does it justice.

Even dustman outfits have the glam factor in Italy. ; )

Mmmm…. la dolce vita indeed.

Do you see the eyes? O_o

I wouldn’t mind one of these right now. Not at all.

This shop in the Spanish Steps area had some of the most wonderful children’s shoes I’ve ever seen:

Nice typography!

The following photos were snapped at Franchi’s, this really neat neighbourhood foodstuffs shop, which sells fine cheeses, hams, etc. The people there were lovely and professional and the vibe was… well, very neighbourhoodly and nice. :o)

Hmm, definitely some types of pastas that I’d never come across before…

This man cheerfully sliced ham for us like he’d been doing it for decades… (which might well be the case actually!)

^This was I think the manager… he came towards me at one point and gestured to me and my camera, which I assumed straightaway meant ‘no photos’. As I started putting my gear away he shook his head, took the camera from my hands, and then snapped a photograph of me. How kind! Anyway, of course I reciprocated (after which he said “grazie” with a gracious nod of his head), and there he is.

Displaying things for sale in this manner, laid out in these window-case-setups, is the norm it seems. I was pretty tickled by this one:

This was my second visit to Rome, but I feel I’ve still only seen a fraction of it. The ‘eternal city’ has too many gems, both renowned and obscure… As someone who lives in Beijing, I’ve been amazed by and deeply envious each time of how Rome has managed to preserve so many of her treasures through the centuries.

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