Roma – Time well spent.

It would be easy to spend a lot of time here. There are a lot of big ticket items to see. The largest.. physically.. well, the Flavian Amphitheatre takes the proverbial cake:

pano04

Oh, there’s also this famous place where the saints and sinners go. St. Peters. Piazza San Pietro? The vatican? The place where cycling is forbidden, even if a critical mass ride tries to force its way in 🙂 Pity the bicycle wasn’t invented when this whole christian thing came about… would have made the crusades a little more versatile. Then again, the roads were probably pretty shitty.

pano01

Looking for other reasons Rome is fantastic? How about MINOTAURS? They are pretty neat.

Minotaur

I finally found a statue in Rome worthy of the state of my liver these days. Dead and sexy:
I'm drunk, you're sexy
Dionysus. Scratching his head, asking the satyr to keep holding him in place. The god of libations. I think this is a god I can worship.

Like I said, there are a lot of things to see. Personally, I thought the death of a Gaul was one of the more vital organ grabbing of the items on display at the national museum.
The dying Gaul
More or less, when you conquer a kingdom, and decide to epitomize your victory in marble, you might as well humiliate your new serfs.

Strangely, I found the national museum pretty empty, despite neat foreign imports such as:
Baths of the Diocletian
There was almost no one at the baths of the Diocletian. Yet, for some reason, people seem to love the Spanish steps. Perhaps it’s because not much thought is required.

Piazza di Spagna

Nice, but not very interesting.

For me, the most interesting was to meet the people that make Rome what it is. To that end, the people here make Roma. The first night we arrived, we were able to ride the Rome critical mass. I would not realize it until later, but of all the European cities, I think Rome needs cycling awareness the most. The traffic here is a little crazy at times.
Critical Mass, Roma

I made a short video from various clips I took. However, I had some difficulty riding on cobblestone streets and taking video. It’s not the best, but at the very least it gives you an idea what to expect.

Apologies for the quality.

Anita and I spent the first 3 days at Guilia’s place. Sadly, I didn’t get a photo of her. She was also a member of the cicloofficina (bike kitchen) near here house.
Ciclofficina, via Prenestina

I love finding these places, and the culture that surrounds them. This one was on par with the one in Vienna, although I think there was a little more drinking in there. Sauf Velo in Vienna posted this:

I’m envious, this was well done. I wish I’d stayed in Vienna a bit longer with Max, Karl, and company. When I was in Vienna, Karl to me about a cycle trip from Berlin to Budapest, on tall bikes.

This is a picture of my brother with a tall bike he built:

I was impressed with Karl. Tall bikes are tricky to ride, nevermind tour across a continent with. I then met Piero in Rome. He’s involved in the Cicloofficina, but also works at a local bike shop. I had him repack my rear hub at the bike shop, and was privileged to hear his story.

Piero P

This guy, rode from Rome, to China, with a circus, for nearly 4 years. RESPECT! Oh yeah, and he did it on a tall bike, with a unicycle and variety of other tools strapped to the back. They were called cyclown.

Piero P

I think, perhaps, this is the best photo on the website….

Piero P
Clearly, the Georgian army is impressed 😉

The rest of my stay in Rome was nice. I moved in with Pia for what was supposed to be a couple days. Ten days later and counting…

I went out with her and her friends to try some authentic Roman food. The rumours are true, the food here is spectacular. Even the pasta with intestines in it. (on the right)
A night out in Rome

The company was fantastic too. Daniele, a boyfriend of Pia’s friend Monica, spoke French, while everyone else attempts to speak English… at the same time. It made for some very interesting conversations, amongst the boisterous nature of the Italian restaurant.
A night out

I’m now, finally, off to Sicily. My 4-5 day stay, turned into a 15 day stay. Today, I will take the train, for the first time in 5 months, and a boat for the first time in 5 months…

Peace, love, and bicycle grease.
-jer