Seduced by Rome: Arduous passion and entrancing beauty

Andiamo, andiamo, dai!” (“Come on, come on, let´s go“) A cacophony of sounds bombards your senses. There are roars, shrieks, human yells. The strong and sweet scent of sweat jostles you out of your floating state. All around you, you can taste, hear, and feel the essence of adrenaline, urgency, and danger – intermingled with a kinda cruel notion of fun that many in these years of Roman glory and Roman power are accustomed to. This IS the Colosseo, after all, the largest ancient amphitheater ever created,  built on the blood, sweat, and tears of Roman Empire slaves between the years 72 and 80 AD.


But back to this frozen moment in time, in which you, yes you, are merging with history by becoming a part of it. All of you is prepared: from your dust-covered feet in those itchy sandals to your intimidatingly shiny silver armor, your wrapped leather and cloth strips over your arms and wrists, to your dark, tightly curled hair and your fiery eyes. You are fully aware of the fact that you could easily die here. But you would at least die for honor, and with bravery- what more could an intimidatingly strong and well-built gladiator like yourself want? Apart from, obviously, freedom and at least one decently sized and delicious “gelato”, ice-cream, at pretty-picturesque Piazza Navona in that world´s best gelateria that you had heard so much about…

The Eternal City cloaks itself in images of artistic divinity and endless stories of passion, compassion, and cruelty, just like the one you just caught glimpses of by morphing into a striking gladiator of days long past. Rome is haunted by tales of human trials and human errors, and by memories of fascinating individuals such as the many valiant gladiators, who were usually slaves brought in from outside of Italy but who stemmed from within the borders of the Roman Empire. These braver-than-brave humans fought for their lives and the amusement of the masses in the Colloseo, which remains one of the iconic symbols of Imperial Rome up to this day.

Through its many neighborhoods, its hidden alleyways, charming piazzas, and its small and big and holy churches, Rome quietly tells the tales of its myriad of former citizens whose legacy remains buried in the forgotten part of its history. And through its imposing architectural feats, like the Pantheon, the Castel Sant´Angelo, or the imposing St. Peter´s Basilica,  it reminds everyone blessed enough to lay eyes on Rome´s glory of its undeniable importance in world – and art history. From legendary emperors such as Marcus Aurelius to the crème de la crème of art-defining creative mavericks such as Michelangelo, Rome is like an oasis to the Spirit of those who yearn for endless inspiration and passion.

It´s a place that immediately lures you in, a place that makes you feel alive- deeply, undeniably, passionately alive! To hear the honking of the Vespas, to feel the warm sunshine on your skin, to see and observe people who seem to have emerged straight out of Aphrodite´s drawing book of immaculate beauty adorning the streets, their gazes briefly merging with yours – to lose yourself in a maze of impossible artistic magnificence, of ethereal and eternally live-giving aesthetics unsurpassed by any other city in the world.

The eternal city truly touches visitors in a way no other place can – or at least that´s what Bella Roma did for me, when I spent a month there back in 2007 to visit friends and to take part in a fantastic two-week- Italian language course in Rome. Those weeks filled my veins with so much ispirazione meravigliosa (marvellous inspiration) that I cannot help but turn to these memories whenever I need to recharge my in-awe-with-life-batteries. I recall contently meandering through Rome´s art-filled streets at night and almost being able to feel the presence of Venus aka Aphrodite incarnate in the air. The Roman counterpart to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, who symbolizes love, passion, procreation, beauty, and pleasure, seems to be palpable wherever you find yourself in Italy´s capital.

You´ll catch a glimpse of her when strolling through impossibly charming, funky and bohemian Trastevere and admire the countless trattorias and artisan shops in the neighborhood. You´ll encounter Aphrodite by exchanging glances with the impossibly stylish Roman ragazzi e ragazze, all of whom seem to ooze sensuality and a sense of composed pride, as if they were very aware of how intricately the fabric of this exceptional place is woven into the very depth of their being. 

You´ll most definitely feel touched by Aphrodite´s eternal beauty while eating yourself through heavenly dishes such as supplì, a fried rice-ball mixed with ragù and mozzarella and cooked to perfection or artichokes alla romana, braised artichokes stuffed with herbs and sprinkled with lemon. These might just be the only artichokes that know how to caress your palate and that subsequently melt in your mouth like little forbidden bites of heaven. Also, of course, try all different types of Pizza available – I promise, you´ll never want to go back to eating frozen Pizzas from your local supermarket aisle ever again!

And let me just chip in from my personal experience – I still recall the sheer mind-blowingly delicious taste of a humble Roman panini from my first visit to Rome 19 years later on! Yes, that´s how mind-boggingly exquisite Italian food in Italy is! Sigh, Sigh, Sigh. 

By the way, you´ll also feel Aphrodite´s gentle a-muse-ment when taking in the sublime art and architecture of the city – from Bernini´s statue “Apollo and Daphne” in the Galleria Borghese to Michelangelo´s Moses in the Basilicia di San Pietro in Vincoli. And those are only a few of countless priceless pieces of art in this city that literally breathes and exemplifies classical art in its many forms: from paintings and sculptures to frescoes, architecture and food-art.

Wait! Aphrodite just whispered something into my ear… she has a beautiful message and announcement for you! Yes, just you! – She wants you to know that there will be another post on Rome´s delights in the future and that there is a special treat in the works for all the ladies who would like to reclaim their inner Goddess! What about that?

A Gypsy at Heart will be offering a 6-week- Goddess Yoga + Healing arts course for women on Saturdays starting in about a month´s time (specific date to be announced)! Feel free to let me know in the comments if you would like to participate or would like to have more information on this, ladies:)

Back to you, dear reader: Have you ever been to Rome, and if so, what were your absolute highlights? As always, I would love to hear from you:) A presto, cari amici!

Categories: Amor und Eros - Love and sensual living, Posts in English, Reiselust- Hungry for travel | Tags: , , , , | 42 Comments

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42 thoughts on “Seduced by Rome: Arduous passion and entrancing beauty

  1. Ahh bella Roma. Cara Maria your post is filled with ispirazione meravigliosa. I adore the way you put us all in the picture, as gladiators in this eternally beautiful city.
    Your photos are stunning, your memories as alive now as when you walked the streets of Rome years ago and yes, you totally transported me. I actually have a memory of being accosted by a handsome and powerful looking gladiator outside the Colloseo many years ago. Of course it was all in aid of posing for a photo and he was seeking to earn some money but oh what fun. And the food!! Pizza, panini, salami, gelato … my mouth was watering just reading your words and thinking about all the deliciousness!
    Yes, I can vouch with you, the sights, sounds and sensory beauty of Rome never quite leaves you does it. I can’t wait for the delights of part 2 and learning from you how to reclaim my inner Goddess! What fun! I’ve no doubt it will be amazing.
    Thank you for taking me back my friend. Your writing is magical and your spirit shines. Much love my lioness gladiator warrior amica. And tanti baci, xxxx 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ciao carina, ah I am so happy you enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing your awesome gladiator-memory with us, I can only imagine how fun that experience would have been:) And as to the food: When in Rome, eat as the Romans do lol. I am so glad that sharing my memories reconnected you to yours and to all the delights that Rome wows us with. Thanks so much for your wonderful and heartwarming words here care amica!!

      As to the Goddess course, it will be all about sharing healing tools such as Yoga, Qi Gong, Energy Healing, Dance, and more, adjusted to women´s needs and specific topics- I will message you these days to share more:) I feel it might be just up your alley! And I would be so delighted to share with ya, my gorgeous friend. Sending so much love and hugs cara lioness-and-lighthouse-de-la-ispirazione:) Have a great weekend Down Under 💕 💕 xxx


  2. Bella Roma! Thanks for the passionate tour Maria. Clearly you’ve been charmed by the ancient city, architecture, art, history, mythology, and food. It seems a potent mix, especially when you add the cruelty of the Roman empire into the mix. I’m sure the rest would charm me too, but alas I have not been to Rome, Europe, or anywhere outside of North America.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the angelic art and the way you took us back to the perspective of the gladiator… Thank you for the sensory delights!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My favorite memories of Rome are the Vatican Museum and being in St. Peter’s square for the Pope’s Christmas message in 2007. And then of course there is the food! Your post takes me back. glad you had a wonderful time, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grazie tanto for sharing your wonderful memories and your kind words! I agree with you, the Vatican was a highlight for me, too – a very special place! How cool that you got to witness the Pope (guess Ratzinger?) in action. I got to witness Pope John Paul II back in 2002 on St. Peter´s square, it was an interesting experience! Blessings


  5. Maria you are awesome. The pictures of Rome are so captivating. Thank you so much for taking me on a virtual tour. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Most beautiful post on Rome,my dear Rome.most beautiful articulated buildings old and new Rome.but it is sad that all ancient buildings are made by blood ,sweat and tears of Roman slaves.heyQuerida amiga,I think that there in beautiful Ruins, all slaves tears echo as yelling as echo.but that was ancient time so it was know-here in India,mostly forts were created after a man’s buried as alive in root of mostly fort.that was superstitious concepts that was normal in that era.British rulers had banned on here are many forts are dangerous and mysterious.but i want to hear the painful voice of those dead amazing slaves.they had sacrificed their lives to beautify Rome.Really most amazing photos of old and new Rome.all mythology of Rome attracts me still now.Goddess Aphrodite is often reminded me about meaning of love and inspired me.all myths of their God and Goddess are amazing like Rome-the most valuable gem.
    So much thanks for sharing my favourite topics in such interesting way to make crazy my heart for going there.a lot of thanks,meri jaan !! One day i will come there and we both will hear those echoing voice and see the amazing beautiful architecture .okay.Much love and big hugs to you and Rome too.🤗🤗🤗💖💖💖💖💖💖💞💞💞💞💝💝💝💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meri pyaari dost, bahut dhanywaad for your thoughtful, detailed, and soulful comment 💕💕 Interesting what you wrote about the Indian forts, thank you for sharing that with us:) Do you mean that men were buried alive in India and forts were created on top?! Full on, if that´s the case! I am so glad this post resonated with your heart, querida amiga! I agree with you, Rome is just mesmerizing! I hope we can visit in the future:) So much love and big warm hugs to you in Rajasthan my dear 💕💕💕💕 And thanks again for your beautiful lines 💕💕💕


  7. Dear Gypsy, please tell the Mighty
    Aphrodite, that thanks to your classy
    photography, I can’t wait to get back
    to the Eternal City. Grazie 🙏 💛 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear amigo Redpath, I just delivered your message:) Aphrodite and I are most pleased that you enjoyed the photography 😎 Gracias for tu bello comentario and enjoy your weekend Down Under mate🙏 💛 A presto!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful post my dear. The photos are spectacular.
    Your blog and posts always leave me dreaming.

    I hope you are well. I want you to know you will always have a special place in my soul.
    Happy Valentine’s Day

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hola Drew, thank you so much for your words of kindness and amazing feedback here:) Wonderful to see you back to blogging and creating inspiring poems and projects! And most of all, so happy to know you are back to renewed health and strength. Sincerely! Thank you for your warm and heartfelt words!! Abrazo grande, and I hope you had a lovely Valentine´s day:)


  9. Hola beautiful soul,
    Felt the need to reach out💋💋💋💋💋
    Gorgeous post as always, written from the most gorgeous perspective, Yours
    And I LOVE you in RED

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hola wonderful poetess, aw muchas gracias lovely!! Thank you for your words of love magnetic and kindness 🙂 You brought a big smile to my face omorfi mou!! Hope you are well? 1000 hugs!💜💐❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m in on reclaiming my goddess!
    Beautiful post, dear Gypsy!

    No, I’ve never been to Rome, but I would love it!
    Also, I’ve never eaten a frozen pizza. At least I have many Italian friends, and they have fed me many luscious foods.
    So, it’s been a crazy year. I truly hope you are well.

    You must miss travelling something awful.
    Anyway, things will eventually normalize. I has my first vaccination a few days ago.
    I hope you return soon.
    Also, my apologies for taking so long to get here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello lovely Resa artista,

      excuse the late reply, your comment somehow made its way to my Spam folder! Thank you for your
      wonderful feedback, dear! Wow that’ s quite a feat that you managed to never eat a frozen pizza!! Frozen pizzas were like my go-to-food
      in my early twenties, lol 😃 I am sure you would feel right at home in Rome with your appreciation of great Italian
      food and your artistic soul! It has been a crazy year, no doubt about that…
      I will publish a next post very soon and will check out some of your beautiful work, too!
      I hope you are well lovely. Much love! xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank goodness you rescued me from SPAM!!!
        Okay, nice to see you around. I did a new Art Gown post before my new post, which is drawings.
        Take care sweet lady!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’ s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to rescue you from the evil-eyed SPAM 😎lol. I will be by soon to take in your amazing art, amiga artista! Much love and big hugs all the way to Canada xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Most lovely and enchanting post.Really ,Vatican city is the oasis of soul.I admired its architecture beauty and you Honourable Father-POPE.Most inspiring post is impressing me very much.much love,Querida amiga.❤🙏🙏🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, dear Aruna! Yes, Vatican city is a stunning place. Thank you for all your kindness and generosity, always. Much love, meri pyaari dost ❤🙏❤🙏❤🙏


  12. You bring the passion of Rome and life together with this post of yours, Maria Elena. Wonderful, and you give glimpses of the Eternal City like few can ~ I like how you describe how it “cloaks itself in images of artistic divinity and endless stories of passion, compassion, and cruelty…” such a mix of strong emotions, how could one ever resist such a place. Bella Roma indeed, and even without all the incredible sights of the city, art, and history — you make a great point that the food alone is reason to visit. Wishing you a great day ahead…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ciao Dalo, how nice to have you visit, amigo! So glad to hear that you enjoyed this little mind vacation to the Eternal city, your comment means a lot 🙏💚 At times it’s nice to alternate Pad Thai’s with Pizzas, isn’t it? 🙃 Thanks so much for your meaningful lines, and wishing you a fab rest to your week! I hope you’ll have another post in the works soon:)


  13. My dear – I’m loving all your 2021 posts which I’m very late at reading much apologies… this beautiful depiction of Rome is everything that I felt about this unforgettable city – its many dramatic juxtapositions, splendour and ambition. And you look beautiful by the way, and fit right in the stunning aesthetics of Rome! Like other bloggers have mentioned, I so agree with your description of how Rome conjures ‘endless stories of passion, compassion, and cruelty’… it really has so much razzle dazzle of all extremes of the human condition… sometimes I find Italy to be overall like a smaller and European version of India in its sentiment (forgive the weird analogy!) but it’s that strong, loud expression of identity that I find so beautiful and magnetic… beautiful piece Maria Helena big hugs for now…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear kind friend, aww thank you for your sweet words here, so glad you resonated with my words and thank you for your beautiful compliments. 💕 I LOVE your observation of Italy being like a smaller India… I feel so drawn to both countries, and especially Italy… I have not been to India yet, hopefully in the future… thanks for your wonderful generosity and sending you big hugs across the oceans. I miss Asia!!! And Asia’s kind inhabitants (lol obviously I haven’t met all of them but all I met so far were SO kind and polite! 💕💕💕) You are a diamond in this world my dear!! Big hugs 💕

      Liked by 1 person

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