Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rome (5/5) - Final words...

All in all, Rome gave me the impression of a city that is trying to live up to the expectations of the millions of visitors that descend on the it yearly.

Afterall, it was once the cradle of the Roman civilisation that subjugated the Greeks, tamed Hannibal and had the Eygptians on their knees. It was once the centre of the civilised universe that stretched from today's Northern England to Middle East to North Africa. Rome was also the inspiration of disciplined Roman legions, the brutal gladiators and power hungry emperors and senators.

Despite its wonderfully cheap (and refreshing) gelato, I do sense the weariness that seemed to awash the city.

Its inhabitants, tired of having its fashion capital status taken over by Milan, sick of tourists who insist on speaking English and French, frustrated by visitors who order cappicino even in the afternoons, are resigned to the fact that their politics (and indeed their future) is still very much under the influence of the Pope, who sits comfortably in the Vatican.

Perhaps one day, the Romans will rise again on their own merit and not rely on their ancestry. Perhaps Rome will renew itself as a city of the future and not that of the past.

Until then, enjoy an expresso, my friend.

Why not read these as well?
Rome (1/5) - the capital of the civilized world
Rome (2/5) - Colosseum and the Old Rome
Rome (3/5) - Pantheon (the grand old Dame)
Rome (4/5) - Vatican City, the Papal kingdom

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Mrs. Mecomber said...

I've enjoyed your posts about Rome. :)

I'm a Christian, so I have no desire to see Rome or the Vatican rise again as a world power. (shudder)

kyh said...

will come back and read ur posts later. quite busy lately...

C K said...

Pardon my ignorance about the issues existing between Christians and Catholics but one of my friends (a Christian)mentioned to me that both religions are different branches of the same vein...


C K said...

Ahh, you're back! I enjoyed your Penang posts as well.

But thanks for dropping by despite your schedule.


kyh said...

Y'know, I always thought that u're a Christian. Haha! :P

Well, think of this: Ever since the rise of nationalism in Europe and throughout the world, as well as the strong emphasis on nationhood and ethnic pride, it's
virtually impossible for the Romans to rise again. Furthermore, they're now fully incorporated into the thriving race of Italians.

And regarding mrs. mecomber's comment, I was dumbfounded. Catholics ARE Christians. The 'Christians' she means are more accurately known as Protestants. But we all know this engaging anti-Catholic sentiments among Protestants since the Reformation and their efforts to exclude the Catholics as a distinct religion rather than a denomination of Christianity. In fact, Christianity is not only about Catholics and Protestants, but also the Orthodox, the predominant Christian branch adhered by the Eastern Europeans, Middle Easterners and Russians. And, Christianity won't be hailed as the world's largest religion (2.1 billion followers worldwide) if the numbers do not take into account the 1.1 billion members of the Catholic Church. Rather, Islam will be crowned the titleholder. And interestingly, In Islam itself there are fractions (most notably Sunnis and Shiites/Shias) just like the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants.

And oh, I'm not a Christian per se.

C K said...

Thanks for the very detailed breakdown of various factions. I'm indeed humbled by your research.

Hmm... wonder which of my post gave you the impression that I'm a Christian. Anyway, I'm a Buddhist.. at least that's what it says on my id.

Coming from a place where races and regligions are sensitive issues, I try to leave them out of my posts. However, I do recognize that it's healthy to be more open and have frank discussions.

Once again, thanks for clarification!

SheR. said...

I pretty much doubt it my dear CK. Rome is surviving on dead men's fame and wealth of yesteryears...

C K said...

Hmm, I've always prefer to end my post with a positive note. :)

If you think that Rome is bad, you should have seen Brussels. With the EU based there, the city seemed torn apart by loyalties between the EU, French and Flemish factions.

kyh said...

You guys hv ur religion indicated on ur IDs? I thought only those 'zealous' countries like Malaysia wud love to do that. Duh.

C K said...

I went to dig up my NRIC just to make sure. Nope, my mistake, there's no religion indicated on our id.... :p

I must have mistook my army dogtag with the id. I am very certain that it's indicated there.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful finale to the Rome series. I must say u write very well. Very informative! Enjoyed reading.

C K said...

@my bug life,
Thanks for your very generous comments. There could have been more posts but I felt that the topic is getting abit old.

Thanks again!

.:decadence:. said...

Your entries have been really useful and will definitely be using your advice on my upcoming trip to Europe this summer! Oh and can i just check, what are the sites/museums that the roma pass cover? Is the Vatican city the only site excluded? Thanks so much!! love your blog, its really informative! =)

C K said...

Thanks for your compliments! You can get more information about what museums are covered at

Enjoy Rome!

Anonymous said...

nice blog.
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