sabato 9 aprile 2011

A last item

As a farewell to Rome, here is a little movie shot from behind the head of the driver of the 116 bus, a small electric bus that finds its way through the centre of Rome. The buildings between which the bus drives are built mainly from the 1400s to the 1800s. Writing this now in Seattle, on the way home, I am somehow lost for words to describe what seems from here another world, scarcely perceptible through the film, though for us it carries great memories.... my writing here is dull, we are in mourning...

That's a photo of these buses.

Short, square, with wheels on the corner, quick acceleration and low speed, you will see its qualities shine in the movie.

Note added 2016

Alas that bus route has been suspended. But here's what you can do on foot!

I had enormous difficulty back then, trying on foot to work out the route, but more recently with the google map and street view, I have worked out that that movie runs (I think) from St Eustachio (where Michelle Obama was taken for gelato) down to S.M. sopra Minerva with the wonderful elephant obelisk, then Via del Pie di Marmo, Via del Collegio Romano (also see this) round through the wonderful Piazza Sant'Ignazio, hastening through the Piazza di Pietra without any courteous nod towards Hadrian's Temple then coming to a halt in via dei Bergamaschi at an entrance to Piazza Colonna (also see this). Though this bus route no longer runs, this remains a wonderful walk.... or rather, is indicative of the quality of walks through any number of streets in the centre of Rome.

Some photos from pages linked above

Bernini's Elephant and Obelisk in front of the Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva
The Piazza di Sant'Ignazio, from the steps of the church of St Ignatius
"The buildings at the time of [the designer of the piazza] Raguzzini
were working class and craft-makers' apartments
and not the usual aristocratic town palaces that one finds on such piazzas"
Piazza Colonna, seat of the Italian Government.
"The column [colonna] was built and dedicated to Marcus Aurelius after the emperor's death in 180 AD.
In 1589 Pope Sixtus V restored the column and freed it from any pagan significance
 ("ab omnia impietatem expurgatam") by placing a statue of St. Paul on its top."

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