Roma Rome

Meeting Rome: how to know and picture the city

Intro to Rome

Hello this is Rome speaking! I am an Italian city, regional county seat of Lazio and capital of Italy where about 2.874.605 Romans live. They are a lot but none of them is completely certain about the reason why my name – “Roma” the italian for Rome – was chosen.

Moreover, according to legends, it seems that in the past “Roma” was just one of my names, namely the public one, but that there were other words used to refer to me: in fact, I probably had a religious name, most likely “Florens” and a secret name, which was thought to be my inner soul keeper and for that reason it was secret and forbidden.

It was known only by few people. They say that the knowledge of it would give the power of influencing the course of my future. Some think that it was the word “Amor”, the latin word for love, which is indeed the semi-palindrome (semordnilap) for “Roma”, but this story is not certain.

History

The origin of the city name

It is not clear the reason why my name is “Roma”. There are many legends that tell different stories about it and they all have something to do with images of strength or nourishment. Let’s see a few of them.

First, my name may come from the old name of the Tiber river: “Rumon” or “Rumen” which means “to move quickly”. Second, it may come from the name of a Trojan woman most likely one of Enea’s relatives called “Rome” which in ancient greek means “strength”. Third, it may come from the latin and etruscan word “ruma” which means “breast” as image of feminine energy able to give life and nourishment or as image referring to the Roman hilly territory. Whatever the truth may be, “Roma” has always been my name.

The myth of the founding of Rome

Legend has it that my life starts on 21 April 753 b.c when Romolus and Remus found the city on the Palatine Hill where they was saved by a she-wolf. I know this is just a myth however I never get tired of listening to it and  believing it a little.

So I’ll tell you the story! Romolus and Remus were the sons of the vestal virgin Rea Silvia and the god Mars.  They were the heirs to the throne of Albalonga a city lying on central Italy hills. They were kidnapped by the uncle Amulius who had taken control of the city over the rightful king Numitor, Romulus and Remus’ grandfather.

So Amulius ordered them to be killed by being abandoned on the bank of the Tiber river to die. But they were suckled by a she-wolf  and then raised by a shepherd. As adults they came back to Albalonga. They reconquered the throne to the benefit of their grandfather Numitor and later they founded the city of Rome. And that’s my story!

Since I was born I had have a very long life witnessed by the many monuments recalling the stories that keep being played over my territory day after day: a very long and complex story, at times brutal, full of voices and made engaging by the carefree and exuberant atmosphere of the city.

In fact, while walking, big picture thoughts suddenly dissolve and tragic echoes turn into comedy lightness, irony and life pleasures…

Food

that is one of my favorite thing. Here we have a lot of good meals to offer. I really like the  “tonnarelli cacio e pepe” a particular kind of pasta with italian cheese and pepper.

Then I love the “pasta alla carbonara“, very easy to make: jowl bacon, eggs, pepper and pecorino (sheep cheese)! this pasta it’s actually an example of intercultural food: in fact it was first created by American soldier feeling homesick, hence adding to the italian “cheese and pepper pasta” the typically american ingredient for breakfast: the bacon.

Besides I love the fry salted codfish as appetizer and as second course I like roast lamb and the “i carciofi alla giudia” which are fried artichokes. If you like meat you should try the Roman-style tripe in Italian the “trippa“, the “coda alla vaccinara” namely oxtail stew or the “pajata” a meat dish whose main ingredient are the intestines of an unweaned calf.

Being honest nowadays, as other cities, I got used to sushi as well as other foreign food and I have to admit that it is not too bad, however you know what they say about Italian food…

Hobby

I like laughing, smiling and telling jokes! Then politics is one of my passions! As a matter of fact I host the Italian Parliament and it has been long time that people keep gathering and talking, talking and talking; I do love this constant exchange of ideas, concepts and words.

I adore classical art and history! religion is also a big part of my culture as I live very close to the Vatican City. Besides I really like shows, culture, theatre, concerts, the opera, exhibitions and so on…

Books

Many, coming soon

Films

Lots, among which:

Rome, open city by Roberto Rossellini, 1945
Roman holiday by William Wyler, 1953
Bicycle thieves by Vittorio De Sica, 1948
Sotto il sole di Roma by Renato Castellani, 1948
An American in Rome by Steno, 1954
A difficult life by Dino Risi, 1961
Totòtruffa ’62 by Camillo Mastrocinque, 1961
Mamma Roma by Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1962
8 ½ by Federico Fellini, 1963
La famiglia by Ettore Scola, 1989
Night on Earth (Rome) by Jim Jarmush, 1991
Only You by Norman Jewison, 1994
People of Rome by Ettore Scola, 2003
Facing windows by Ferzan Özpetek, 2003
To Rome with Love by Woody Allen, 2012
The great beauty by Paolo Sorrentino, 2013
Una gita a Roma by Karin Proia, 2016

Place to visit

Click to watch the pictures in the lightbox

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