Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Colosseum and Trastevere Complete with Umbrellas and Bicycle

A couple more from the new series:

The Colosseum in the Rain. 

I arrived at the Colleseum a bit by accident, just taking the bus and deciding to jump off when things looked interesting. I literally stumbled upon it. It is as impressive as you would think, even in the pouring rain. I kept getting approached by umbrella sellers, being one of the only tourists who didn't yet have one, but I had a rain jacket with a good hood and a desire to keep my hands on my painting bag after all the warnings I'd read about pickpockets here. I wouldn't mind losing a credit card, but my iPhone is my lifeline here, and a sketchbook, well that can't be replaced.  As it turns out, I'm glad I didn't do business with these guys.  A commotion broke out, and a parting of the sea of tourists, to reveal a fight between these umbrella sellers and the local police. It got ugly, with one of the umbrella guys whacking the coppers with an umbrella, and another picking up a menacing boulder and scrambling for position to hurl it. I walked away fast. Violence freaks me out. But I suppose in a place famous for feeding Christians to lions for the entertainment of the masses a little violence just helps get in the appropriate mindset to contemplate. 

Hanging Out In Trastevere

This is a typical street scene in lovely Trastevere, although truth be told I kind of pieced this together from a composite of photos.  I love the feel here, and every time I think the word 'Trastevere' I hear the voice of my friend the tour guide explaining that the river is the Tevere, therefore 'Tras' (across) and 'Tevere' are not just the name, but also directions to gets there, being just over the river from the center of the city.  I only knew it as the place where Alec Baldwin meets his former self (or is the other guy meeting his future self) in Woody Allen's 'To Rome With Love'.  But I knew I wanted to come here, and I wasn't disappointed. The winding streets just keep revealing one surprise after another. Someday I'd like to come back and spend more time exploring here. And painting of course.  There really are all these classic old bikes leaning against walls everywhere, laundry on the line, a tumble of architectural detail, crumbling and otherwise. Trastevere is like that adorable child, ready to have its portrait done at every turn. 

For anyone who might be wanting one of these when they're done you can still order them at the pre-buy pricing anytime before April 15th.  The info is on my website at

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Wonderful sketches. Thanks for sharing your trip.