Posts Tagged ‘ Spanish Stairs ’

Roma + Stalker

After meeting Stalker last night at a dinner and exhibit in the Villa Massimo/German Academai, it was time to take a trip through Roma ala Stalker style.  But first, we (the students) were given some free time to roam around Rome.  Things that I did not see the day before were the Spanish Steps and we did not get into the Santa Maria del Pache cloister which Jim was raving about, and correctly so.

Spanish Stairs

By taking the Metropolitana line A to the Piazza de Spagna stop, I arrived at the Spanish Steps and proceeded to take the trip to the top.  To my amazement, there was a great view of Roma and also perched at the top was another Obelisk and also another church the Trinita del Monti.  Both sights were great to see, although the gypsies were storming around trying to sell cheap little toys, umbrellas, and being quite annoying.  I saw many tourists get sucked in by the schemes of the gypsies but I tried to stay away from the hordes of tourist and gypsies.

Trinita Del Monti - Church at the top of Spanish Steps

My next step was to derive my way through Rome until I got to a familiar spot.  I ventured through tight little ally ways away from the storefront and tourist ridden shops.  Although I am a tourist, I certainly do not want to be engulfed by the mentality of see something, go shopping, see something, sit down for hours, and repeat.  I want to see everything Roma has to offer and this involves many hours of walking and really keeping the pace up.  Nevertheless, I made my way to the Piazza Navona (with the help of a sign or 2) and then made my way to the Santa Maria Del Pache cloister.  The cloister was a perfect square that contained a great procession of columns and an up-close vision of a double barrel vault.  It was very well preserved and the small frescos were also beautiful.  Very quite and peaceful, with a nice but pricey little café on the upper portion, the sketching environment was great.  I proceeded to sketch a plan and section and it came out pretty good.  No sketches have been uploaded, but I will once a scanner becomes readily available.

Santa Maria del Pache Cloister

Santa Maria del Pache Vaulting

After spending some more time in Rome and eventually getting to art store to buy watercolor supplies, which was a pain in the ass I might add, it was time to head back to the Derby and get ready for our first walk with Stalker.  Jim explained that we would be walking along the old aqueducts, but we were in for a different culture shock than we thought.

After meeting at a location far from downtown Roma, we started a journey with our new found friends of Stalker.  We traveled along the edge of the aqueducts and we saw areas that back when many aspects were built for a modern Roma, many cheap labor works lived under the arches of the aqueducts by building concrete walls on one end and keeping the other end open but draped with cloth to make small tented areas.  Many people lived this way because the payment they received monthly could not even sustain a monthly rent bill.  So in terms of living, the homeless were employed and supplied services for the greater city, yet they couldn’t even afford to be a part of a community that they are creating.  Fair? Just? I think not… Now the area that was once a refuge for these struggling blue-collar workers is now a growing area with beautiful homes and also homes for other immigrants.

Aqueducts of Roma

In the midst of this, a Person Pic of the Day popped into view of my camera.  It was of Tim and our newfound friends from Stalker, Lorenzo and Julia.

Tim, Lorenzo, and Julia

Throughout the rest of the day we walked around many different areas of this portion of Roma that was inhabited by many people of many different races.  People from Bangladesh, China, and other European countries were living in the area while trying to make a living in Roma.  We even crossed over from a developed park into an open field that was flattened down, as if a civilization had picked up and moved, which is exactly what had happened.  Gypsy camps along with other refugees from other countries constantly change locations in order to avoid being thrown around by authorities.  Many of these people are doing jobs around Roma for little to nothing, similar to the situation with the aqueducts approx. 35 years ago.  Seeing a trend? Very disappointing in my eyes.

That night we eventually ended up in a district that was developed and a school on the corner was virtually unused.  This was true because a law in Rome says a certain percentage of students need to be truly Italian.  What that means is that the child needs to be born in Italy and have parents that are both Italian.  Most of the area’s populations are immigrants so many of the children that were born in Italy are not Italian citizens.  So because the percentage is not to par, the school year cannot progress.  In an area so diverse with 3 completely different religions residing on one street without conflict, the community will only suffer with the lack of proper education.  I can only hope that legislation with change, and that Stalker will help change these ridiculous notions that are decades old and will no longer work in a world so globally diverse.

Arrivaderci