After a long week of low hanging overcast and occasional downpours,
the sun came out this weekend.
Following a late night of homemade dinner and wine with Alleigh and my roommates, Saturday morning woke us all up with bright rays bursting through our southern facing windows. Craving some vitamin D, no one was opposed to start the day early.
After meeting up with a few other girls, we took off on the #19 Tram eastbound towards Villa Borghese. Like typical Americans/college students/20-year-old girls we were completely clueless as to what stop we should get off at. Somehow, we picked the right one and ended up at Rome’s green north end.
Villa Borghese is a English manner style landscape garden, originally owned by the powerful Borghese family in the early 1600’s, sits on nearly 150 acres on the north side of Rome. However, family ties to the property ended just over 100 years ago, allowing the area to be used by the public.
Of the many different sectors and villas in the park, Piazza di Siena rolls in as my favorite as it housed the equestrian dressage and jumping events in the 1960 Summer Olympics. If horses aren’t your thing (your loss), there are plenty of other piazzas, museums, and landmarks to look at in the park.
While temperatures are in the upper-40s and 50s here, winter in Rome still means an absence of leaves on trees, no true greens, and lots and lots of orange-fenced construction. Maybe this was to blame, but I was pretty underwhelmed with the park as a whole.
Call me a Midwesterner, but statues and man-made lakes don’t compare to the year-round picturesque Lake of the Isles or Boom Island parks we enjoy in the Twin Cities. When it comes to English manor style landscape, Pennsylvania’s Longwood Gardens or Delaware’s NeMours Mansion are truly spectacular and I am so lucky to have spent a lot of time there. Or maybe it just seemed better because I was with my mom and I miss her.
Summer reminiscing and comparisons aside, it was refreshing and exciting to see plenty of Romans out enjoying a sunny day, kicking around a soccer ball with little ones or just strolling arm in arm. We are lucky to live in a world where people value green space and preserve such spectacles. It’s a nice place to spend an afternoon, and I know I’ll be back!
The other thing that was nice to see was the view! The southernmost side of the park leads from the famous Piazza Del Popolo to the even more famous Spanish Steps. The view of Rome from this point, called the Pincian Hill, is incredible.
Ok, are you still awake? That’s the end of today’s history lesson.
The rest of the day was spent walking large shopping streets and small, narrow alleys. We bought some Italian makeup, stumbled upon the Trevi fountain, and sought out the perfect pair of wellies for the upcoming week of precipitation. Eventually, we walked Alleigh to her tram stop, and then took our own bus home to have some pasta on our sunny terrace.
We’ve got it pretty good, all of us.
I’ve got a couple more things to say, and I’ll have time to say them later. Homework is finished, and we’re off this morning hike up to the Rome Observatory, near our apartment. Or maybe just to go to the grocery store.
Lastly, lots of you have been ruthlessly bothering me for more pictures/a Facebook album. I’m getting there, I promise!
Ciao, for now.