I found this fountain with its traditional wolf’s head and SPQR inscription, both symbols of ancient Rome, in the entrance courtyard to the Centrale Montemartini museum. I suspect they’re relics of the Fascist era as the power plant was built during Mussolini’s pre-war leadership, and symbols of Imperial Rome were in very high demand.
Today, it adds a touch of tranquility to an industrial setting.
This is a vintage streetcar at the Piazza del Risorgimento, waiting for a driver shift change. You’d take this streetcar to get to the Vatican, depending on where you’re coming from.
Alas, my chariot to the Vatican Museums and for my visit to Ars Imago, a tiny but very cool camera store fully dedicated to analog photography and supporting the wet darkroom, was the more prosaic modern city bus and subway. I photographed this streetcar on my perambulation home on what was probably my longest day’s excursions – starting out at Via Dei Genovese 37, I walked across the Tiber on the Ponte Palatino, along the Circo Massimo to the Circo Massimo Metro station. From there I took the train to Garbatella, then walked from the Garbatella station to the Centrale Montemartini museum. Alas, my planning ran afoul of the Roman penchant for things being closed on a Monday, and the Centrale Montemartini was not open for visiting, so I consoled myself with photographing the amazing bridge over the railroad tracks and the graffiti art on the Garbatella subway station.
Back on the Metro one stop to Piramide, to the Cimiterio Accatolico (the “English” cemetery so named for the number of British expatriates buried there) to see the pyramid of Caius Cestius and the graves of Shelley and Keats.
Then back on the Metro again, over to the Spagna stop to see the Spanish Steps and have a tea break at Babbington’s. Then back on the Metro to the Ottaviano stop, and then walk to Ars Imago. From Ars Imago, I walked to the Piazza Navona, via the Piazza del Risorgimento, the Piazza Cavour and the Palace of Justice, across the Tiber on the Ponte Umberto I. I stopped in the Museo Stadio de Domitiano. The Piazza Navona owes its shape and size to the Stadium of Domitian, upon which it was built. While in the neighborhood, I also swung by the church of San Luigi dei Francesi to check out the chapel with the Caravaggio paintings. Then dinner at the Piazza Navona, then walked back to the Piazza Venezia to get the modern streetcar back to Via Dei Genovesi in Trastevere. According to my Apple Health app, I clocked in at over 10.5 miles WALKING that day, not including the streetcar and subway rides.
Just a one-off today – a single leaf that had turned brown and fallen on the black cobblestones outside the Centrale Montemartini museum.
In travel, you make plans, and if you’re smart, you have either backup plans or you’re open to serendipity. I do a bit of both.
I had wanted to go see the Museo Centrale Montemartini, which is a collection of overflow ancient sculptures from the collections of the Capitoline Museums in downtown Rome, housed in a former power generation plant along the Tiber river. I had figured I’d go there on Monday, since most museums are closed on Monday, but the Capitoline Museums are open on Mondays. Well… long story short, Centrale Montemartini may be part of the Capitoline Museum group, but since it’s three subway stops out of downtown, it’s not like the ones on the hill overlooking the Forum, and it DOES close on Mondays. So I found myself in semi-suburban Rome looking at a closed museum, camera in hand. What’s a girl to do when faced with a loaded camera and a closed museum? Photograph the first fallen leaf of fall on some artfully laid cobblestone blocks in the museum driveway (and get honked at by a scooter driver for blocking the two and a half lane wide driveway). It also gave me time to shoot the bridge you saw in a previous post.