|Italy - Olaszország|
|Selected photos||Italy is a corner of
I have seen a lot of it, but I have seen almost nothing if you compare it with the rich opportunities this country offers. If you compare with the richness of nature, of beauty, of culture, of buildings, museums, pictures, sculptures, of people.
It started with stop-overs in Rome, flying to Tripoli of Libya, then to India. Rome & Vatican: you feel in the centre of our world. Then we spent a week at the seashore at Bibione. The shore was a few hundred meters from our apartment, it was packed in several rows of sun-bathers, the sea was ugly, full of algae, looking like huge green leaves. We did not enjoy it at all and decided to make "stellar" trips to much more exciting places: Venice, Udine, Pordenone, Treviso, Padua, Vicenza, Verona..
Later on I visited Milan and Turin on an official trip. Then another business visit took me to Carrara. I used that opportunity to drop over to nearby Pisa too.
Venice has such pulling force that I spent again a couple of days there, coming back from skiing in Slovenia.
My wife and Amrita made a trip by bus to Rome - via Assisi - around '95.
It would be hopeless to try to act as a travel-guide: either you write a book about Italy or miss thousands of important sightseeing spots. Therefore I shall only write about my impressions, a few unusual sensations, feelings.
Rome. Splendid, extraordinary, exciting. The most important place to visit definitely is Vatican. You may consider the Castle of Saint Angelo - a really "ancient" (almost 2000 years old) and very impressive building - the gate to Vatican City, . Then you reach the "Piazza di San Pietro" (Saint Peter Square) the best ever built on Earth. This "entrance" to the Basilica adds to the feeling that you stand face to face with the most monumental Christian church in the world. If you cite the names of the famous designers-builders, you may be shocked: Bramante, Raffaello, Antonio da Sangallo, Michelangelo, Maderna worked on it more than a century, starting from 1506. Every square meter, every piece of this temple is wonderful and very rich, but now I recall as probably the best the Pieta of Michelangelo (some 30 years ago damaged by a mad Hungarian) and the dome, the internal height of which is123 m, also the creation of Michelangelo. I twice studied the dome standing below it in the middle, but could look up only for a minute or so, my head started swinging in both cases. The impression is unbelievable. Do not miss the museum of Vatican, the richness of it in works of art, in marble, gold and silver is matchless! You will find here, in this chain of premises of shocking beauty the unsurpassable Chapel Sixtus, which - unfortunately - was under reconstruction, partly covered with scaffolding, but still of shining beauty. I was so excited, that sat down on a step and hardly could move from this site of human grandeur.
I am unable to describe Rome, I just want to mention those places that I recall now as most exciting for me. No doubt, the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II is very impressive, the Colosseum is definitely the best amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, The Spanish Stairs radiate quiet atmosphere, Forum Romanum gives good insight into the life of the capital of an ancient empire (there are better Roman remnants in Libya), but I liked best - besides Vatican, certainly - the Capitolium square with its fantastic buildings, stairs, sculptures (I could see the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius) and the Museum of Capitolium with its Etruscan masterpieces, the Trevi Fountains, that I remember as a light, graceful, casual playground, though the whole wonder is dominated by gracious statues, and finally I was very much impressed by The Christian catacombs just outside Rome.