absorbing the moments
i am looking through the over one thousand photos i took while in italy, and i keep coming back to a few thoughts.
my favorite photos are the ones with me in it. please don’t take that a self-absorbed comment – but one that acknowledges you can only have so many pictures of the colosseum or some other ruins before they all run together. i am so happy that i flipped my camera around to capture me in the moment with the memory in the background.
i will admit that i felt a bit silly at times taking “selfies”. as popular as this type of photo is, it has a negative stigma with many people. i even found that most people would step up and ask if i would prefer them take the photo of me. while i did this from time to time, there were not always groups of people around to ask, or they were busy trying to capture their own perfect photo. i am glad i preserved through and kept taking them. i will probably never see any of my co-travelers again anyway.
the other thing that pops into my head are all of the missed photos. many of places we could not photograph in were the coolest places i visited. for example, you cannot take pictures in the sistine chapel. i watched security escorting a guy away that tried to sneak in quick shot on his phone. it was serious business in there.
while most churches and basilicas just ask that you use no flash, something just didn’t feel right for me about taking ton of pictures inside an active place of worship. (that is just my personal feeling – but i was one of the few that was not snapping away). the few i had didn’t turn out well as i definitely did not pose in these situations.
one of the most interesting places (and one i knew the least about prior) was the catacombs. here, absolutely no photography was allowed. the catacombs are just outside of rome and were the underground burial site for thousands of romans, including many early christians. i walked with a small group, seeing the actual ‘holes’ and family rooms where people were buried nearly two thousand years ago. some of the original murals and inscriptions are still in place.
this place was amazing. since i was not busy taking pictures, i feel i probably better inspected, listened, and absorbed what i was experiencing. i may not have any photos to print or share, but my memories are better than some that i have of pompeii, where i was always on the look-out for the next picture.
we wrapped up the trip with a walk down the appian way and around the aqueducts. i really appreciated this tour not only for the variety and mix, but also because it took me just outside of rome – which can be over-stimulating at times as it is so busy and populated (granted visiting during holy week pumped up the tourists in town). this was a favorite guided tour (disclaimer – i think i say this about every tour).
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over my shoulder is by a covington, georgia native who graduated from presbyterian college and ga state with a bs and ms in business economics. she's a true southern lady naming biscuits as her favorite food. she has traveled to machu picchu where she decided she wanted to see all 7 wonders. her favorite US places are sonoma, california, and alaska. next on her agenda is to make it to new zealand, australia and south america . . . or wherever she finds a wonder.