A Perfect Autumn Day in Rome

Yesterday I experienced my first earthquake. Two earthquakes, actually, about an hour apart. I was home alone sitting on my couch as I watched my entire studio apartment shake. I felt like my couch had become a swing, and I swear I could hear the walls moving. The night brought a long, loud thunderstorm that lasted until early morning hours. Needless to say I didn’t sleep very well. When I finally got out of bed I assumed that the day would be grey like most of the week had been. To my surprise the skies had cleared into a beautiful day with perfect temperatures, blue skies and not a cloud to be seen.

After class and work I hurried home to get my camera. I’ve been disappointed in the lack of on-site trips we’ve taken during my digital photography course this semester and have been craving to take photos for some time now. There had been no better day than today to go out and explore on my own. I left my apartment in Prati and walked past the castle and through the smaller streets across the river as I made my way across town, finally reaching Piazza Venezia. By then I was already losing steam because I find taking photos in the narrow alley-like streets to be quite difficult, especially on bright sunny days like today. As I approached Piazza Venezia, however, I realized that in all of my four years in Rome I had yet to actually enter the Vittorio Emanuele monument. I couldn’t turn back now.

I walked up the marble steps and was surprised by the perfect amount of people surrounding me. Usually, Rome is completely overcrowded and walking down the street is enough to give me an anxiety attack. Through the gates of the monument, though, the crowd turned into a trickle. As I walked up I would turn round and around, dividing my attention between the enormous monument looming over me and the view over the city that got better with every white marble step. I passed the eternal flame to Italy’s unknown soldiers and continued to make my way up, amazed that I had never ventured through the gates in all of my time in Rome. It was beautiful, and surprisingly peaceful.

Here are a couple of the photos I took as I climbed up and down Il Vittoriano. I recommend it to anyone who travels to Rome, especially on a perfect autumn day like today just as the sun has begun to set.

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