Upon further consideration, it may just have been that I was about four decades late in picking up on a trend that Audrey Hepburn had started back in the 50s.
Of course I didn't call it a bucket list. It was probably called Things I Will Do Before I Die, or similar. And believe me, there were a lot of things on that list. But now that making these ambitious and adventurous lists has become so very trendy, particularly with bloggers, I guess I'd better make a new one. But this time, its a themed bucket list. Below you will find 21 things that I vow one day to do in Rome.
And as anyone who's ever written a to-do list knows, you've got to add some items that you've already accomplished, so you can feel good about yourself, like you're getting things done. And I may throw in one or two things that seem well nigh impossible, just to make sure I never stop dreaming.
1. Climb the internal spiral staircase to the top of the Column of Marcus Aurelius.
Ok, so I'm starting with an impractical one. No one gets to do this. And by no one, I mean, probably Obama could do this if he were weird like me and knew to want to do such a thing. This is going to be a very hard one. No plan as yet.
2. Stand in the Sistine Chapel when it's empty (or at least, empty of all but one or two guards).
I could actually probably do this one pretty easily, since my Maritino is one of said guards. I'll have to bug him.
3. See every Caravaggio work in Rome (and eventually the world!).
Considering I have traveled to Naples, Malta, Siracusa, Messina, Cremona, Milan, Paris, Vienna, London, and beyond, just to see works by my favorite painter, it kind of surprises me that I haven't seen all of the ones right here in my city. The only one I haven't seen is the so-called mural of Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto that adorns the casino of the Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi, a noble residence, still in private hands. They do allow visitors, but very rarely and by advance appointment only.
4. For the above, and other reasons, visit the Casino of Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi.
And try not to cry when thinking about the vast and sublime hillside gardens that once existed here, but were heartlessly bulldozed to create Via Veneto. Viva la dolce vita.
5. Visit every single museum in Rome, at least once.
I'm not sure exactly how many museums there are in the city, but if I had to make a random guess, I'd say between 60 and 80. Luckily I've got a big head start on this one.
6. Write a blogpost on every single museum in Rome, after visiting.
This is probably going to get very tedious, but you know what? You're worth it.
7. Chat with Maestro Riccardo Muti in the green room of Teatro Costanzi just after he's conducted a Verdi opera.
8. Stand in the office of the mayor of Rome (and on his balcony).
|Prime Minister Andreotti, Roma Mayor Argan, and French President Giscard, 1977 [Source]|
9. Meet Pope Francis.
The Maritino has already done this. So jealous.
10. See Antoniazzo Romano's frescoes in the Tor de' Specchi convent (also known as the House of Santa Francesca Romana).
11. See Annibale Carracci's glorious frescoes in Palazzo Farnese.
12. Visit the Quirinal Gardens.
13. Have the Trevi Fountain entire to myself.
14. Visit the Casino di Bel Respiro in Villa Pamphilj
|Photo by author|
15. Visit the Vatican Necropolis.
As in, where St. Peter is supposedly buried. Can't believe I haven't done this yet. No excuses, really.
16. Visit all seven pilgrim churches on foot, preferably in a jubilee year. And walk through the Holy Doors of St. Peter's.
17. Visit the interior of the Pyramid of Cestius.
|Photo by author|
18. Visit the Tower of the Winds.
Although not completely off limits anymore, as it was "back in the day" when I got to go (an exceptionally rare visit that I was allowed to be part of thanks to a friend of a friend of my now Maritino), the Tower of Winds (or Torre dei Venti) in the Vatican has nevertheless been seen by very few people. It's a fascinating and beautiful place and you can read more about its function and history here.
19. Visit the Basilica Neopitagorica.
This is probably one of Rome's most mysterious sites. Almost nothing is known about this 2000-year-old esoteric basilica buried near Porta Maggiore and discovered by chance in 1917. The vast three-nave basilica is entirely underground and it is decorated with stucco reliefs of mystical images. Because the basilica is directly underneath major railway lines near Termini Station, it is extremely fragile. That, and the fact that a mysterious "parasite" or "bacteria" lives down there (according to the above-linked video), means it is very very closed. Another daunting challenge.
20. Get married in Rome.
|© Luca Cappellaro, Fine Art Wedding|
21. And last but not least, have my own rooftop terrace with a view of the city.
Can you think of anything to add? Have you done any of these things?