Rome Travel Guide

Rome Architecture, History, Art, Museums, Galleries, Fashion, Music, Photos, Walking and Hiking Itineraries, Neighborhoods, News and Social Commentary, Politics, Things to Do in Rome and Environs. Over 900 posts

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Milestone: RST Celebrates its 500th Post

The photo is, by chance, ironic.  As most of our readers know, RST may go to the Coliseum (scootering by is delightful), but we don't take our readers there (hence the subtitle 15 Itineraries that Don't Go to the Coliseum) because it's too Rome-the-first-time.

But we were looking for an image with a celebratory feel, and that's what we found.  The occasion is this, our 500th post.   The first appeared in March, 2009, and since then we've put up something, whether profound, informative, petty, or deranged, every 3, 4, or 5 days.  They add up.  It is, we sometimes tell ourselves, our "work" in Rome, but also, of course, a source of great pleasure.  For some of the moments and places we've found most pleasurable, see our Rome the Second Time "Top 40," at right. [Update - RST is now at 600 posts. See our reflections on that milestone here.]

We suspect that even our most zealous readers have not read every post.  Perhaps they've been lazy, or they're not as committed as we thought, or they don't know about the "search" function on the blog, or (most likely), they've got better things to do--or they're not aware of the extent of our coverage.  And what an "extent" it is.  RST's staff (that is, Bill and Dianne) is tireless, aggressive and, on our Malaguti Madison 250, mobile.

Sidewalk watermelon, Trionfale
We have taken our readers to places that most tourists (and most Romans) never get to: Centocelle (a favorite post of our readers), Boccea, Trionfale (we love 1930s housing projects), the new university at Tor Vergata, with Calatrava's unfinished pool standing in the weeds and, one of our surreal favorites, Parco Leonardo.  We have covered wars of all kinds: real wars (Libya, the Italian colonial wars, the Great War), truffle wars, poster wars, museum building wars.  We are soldiers.

Classic older male walking pose, hands behind,
Piazza San Giovanni di Dio
We have written about the ways Romans do things: how they trim trees (it's a wonder they
survive), how women carry groceries home from the market, the way older men walk, all that died red hair.  We are at best acute observers, at worst spies.

Wine and snacks just around the corner

Over the years, we have offered tips and advice.  Useful things, like how to find a watchband, how to junk a broken-down scooter, how to get free food and drink at Rome's art openings, and--this one really is useful--how to avoid getting killed if you've rented a scooter in Rome. We have presented our favorite restaurant in Rome, offered our guess on the cheapest restaurant in Rome and, in one of our most popular posts, mentioned a couple of places to find a good Kebab.  But we're not foodies.

Space-age balconies, Monteverde Vecchio
In our effort to bring our readers a rich, authentic, "real" experience, we have taken on some topics that, perhaps for good reason, are not covered in Rick Steves' Rome: manhole covers (fascinating, really), white vans (mysterious, troubling), painted refuse trucks (traveling art works), curbs (it was
a brief post), balconies (gravity-defying, gorgeous, funky), T-shirts with crazy writing on them, the city's lousy asphalt sidewalks, cool toilets anywhere, a city project to paint grass green, love poems chalked on the streets, and the art of frying dough, in Genazzano.  We are thorough, to a fault.  Dianne would like to see more churches, and we're working on making her happy.

Pasolini, thinking

We've written about dozens of people.  People you know (Audrey Hepburn, Ralph Ellison, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Amanda Knox), people you think you know (Alberto Sordi--actually, the Italians will know him), people you probably don't know (Gabbo, whose name appears with regularity on Rome's walls, Olympic star Abebe Bikila, Galeazzo Ciano).  We cover movie stars and movie locations, and we visit the homes of writers and artists, including De Chirico, Moravia, Goethe, and Pirandello.

Artists' group Piano Creativo, 

We find art in museums, on city walls, in a hundred piazzas on Rome's periphery (a 1990s municipal program), on train underpasses, in avant-garde artist colonies on the fringe of the city, on electrical boxes and on street signs (in London, but not yet in Rome, they paint the gum spots on the sidewalks).  Some of what we (mostly Bill) call art is accidental--"found" art.  As a dear traveling companion once complained, "too much art."

Magliana church, by Piero Sartogo and Nathalie Grenon
Perhaps too much architecture, too. We're not shy about praising our favorite buildings (Nervi's Palazetto dello Sport, Sartogo's new Magliana church, La Fuentes's Esso building in the south of Rome, Morandi's Metronio market, Ponti's math building, Del Debbio's "Officine Farneto," Santa Bibiana, MACRO), and we're just overconfident enough to be cautiously critical of structures that have otherwise been widely praised (Hadid's MAXXI).  In all this, we are devoted amateurs.  (For those interested in further exploration of Rome's more modern side, we recommend our latest effort, Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler, now available in paperback and all eBook formats (63 color photos, walks in Garbatella, Flaminio, EUR, and on the stairs of Trastevere).)

Cats and Caesar, attractions in Largo di Torre

We also have many guest bloggers to thank:  Bo Lundin (the cats in Largo di Torre Argentina), Allen Beroza (language encounters), Paul Baxa (for several posts on Fascism), Frederika Randall (for several posts on art and poets and song), John Preissing (bicycling), Joan Schmelzle (dry
fountains), Riley Graebner (ancient Roman law), Raymond Belliotti (on the morality of killing Caesar).

There's more, but if you've gotten this far you've been more than indulgent.  Thanks so much for being around through the first 500.  We plan to keep it up until we have nothing more interesting to say, and then a while longer.  We hope you'll stay with us.

Bill and Dianne

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dianne and Bill, Congratulations! 500 posts is no small feat. I have learned much through RST and seen things I would not have otherwise seen: The Monte Mario hike, Villa Medici, Villa Pamphilj Park, and Quartiere Coppedé are highlights. We also went to your favorite restaurant and enjoyed it very much, although it was a long trip for us. Looking forward to the next 500!