My little nirvana in Rome Art & Culture

1/29/2010 by Silvia Prosperi Italy

"Rome, a lifetime is not enough"
I have to admit that the famous proverb for me rings very true. I'm 34 (ops, I cannot lie anymore!), I am a tour guide and I still haven't seen every corner of this amazing and unique city. I would like to share with you some of my best discoveries and favorite spots of what I like to call "my Rome".
Let's start form a very hidden corner, which is where I go when I want to rest in peace (not in that sense!) but just get to escape and get away from everything. The "Tre Fontane" is an ancient abbey created on the location where Saint Paul received his martyrdom. According to the legend, when the apostle was beheaded his head bounced three times and three springs of water came out from the ground. Three fountains were built over this holy place and they are still visible inside the baroque church. Leaving aside the art and historical values of this location, the feeling I always have as soon as I walk through the so-called "Arch of Charlemagne" is one of peacefulness: simplicity, silence, a synergy between art and nature and ultimately of harmony.
Rome is the capital of christianity and faith, but I rarely sense the spirituality of this city of martyrs and saints in the celebrated basilicas, while I perceive it clearly among those palm trees and Cistercian walls. Just next to the entrance of the abbey there is a small convent run by nuns belonging to the "Petites Soeurs de Jesus", the order started by Charles de Foucauld. There is a little wood chapel in the garden, where everybody is welcome: no precious paintings, no comfortable seats, nothing that we are used to admiring in a Roman church. It might be just a personal feeling, but if you are looking for a little peace and tranquility I suggest you should go there, maybe sit for a while on the wood floor, enjoy the silence and your thoughts. I would love to get other people's impressions of the place. Or maybe you would like to suggest your own little personal nirvana in Rome?
Finally, before you leave make sure you buy chocolate from the trappist monks shop which are simply delicious.

Silvia Prosperi Italy

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