Rome, behind the lens

Rome, behind the lens


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After four years living in the Eternal City, a writer and photographer learns to capture the views that visitors rarely see.

Amanda Ruggeri recently returned to the US after working in Rome for four years as a freelance travel writer. Her time there meant that she was able to do what most visitors only dream of: explore the city like a local and discover little-known sights far beyond the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Sistine Chapel. Her favourite view was from the top of Janiculum hill, located just over the Tiber river from the city’s heart. Rome’s second-highest peak, the Janiculum looks out over the city’s historic centre, from the giant, white Vittorio Emanuele monument (at right) to the dome of the Pantheon, the Villa Medici at the Spanish Steps and innumerable churches, including St Peter’s Basilica. From this vantage point, Rome’s lively and chaotic pace dissipates into a peaceful, pastel panorama. On trying days – and they existed – all she had to do was pause here to fall in love with the city again.

"For a history lover, one of the most exciting aspects of living in Rome is that you don’t need to go to a museum to see the city’s ancient artefacts: they’re everywhere. Embedded throughout the streets are ancient columns and arches that have become part of “newer” (read: 16th- or 17th-century) structures. A wander through the Jewish Ghetto, a quarter in the city’s heart that was used for Jewish residents and walled off from 1555 until the 19th Century, reveals details like this Imperial-era carved portal on Via Margana. It opens into the courtyard of a palazzetto (small palace) that belonged to the noble Margani family until the 17th Century. In this photo, I aimed to show the ancient marble and medieval building with the modern scooter parked just outside."

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