Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rome is beautiful but...

Ara Pacis Museum - we kept passing and could not figure out what it was. Photo by maxgiani

The Milanese have a funny way of looking at Rome. They tend to qualify all statements with "E' bella Roma ma..." (Rome is beautiful, but...). I think Romans tend to say that Milan is ugly and foggy. No qualification at all.

Examples of things the Milanese say when visiting la Città Eterna:

1) E' bella Roma ma...it's too hilly.

2) E' bella Roma ma...it's too chaotic. And not "controlled chaos" like in Milan.

3) E' bella Roma ma...Romans themselves are a bit gruff and rough around the edges.

4) E' bella Roma ma...they don't know how to take care of the city.

5) E' bella Roma ma...I could never live here.

I don't agree with most of the above, but I do find the whole Milan-Rome competitiveness thing funny. I love Rome, but I don't think I would want to live there and can't really put my finger on why. Maybe it's one of those places I enjoy visiting so much that I think that living there would ruin it for me. Know what I mean?

13 comments:

charlie said...

I think all Italians are like that about anywhere that is not where they were brought up. And especially reguarding the cooking. Nothing is ever as good as the cooking in their own hometown.

Caro said...

I'd move to Rome in a flash. My other half would leave me though.

Anonymous said...

Nice looking museum, no wonder you didn't know what it was. The couple of museums here also seem to be lacking in signs! The regional museum has a huge high fence and a permalocked gate in front, no sign/ name/ opening hours etc. Instead, you have to be in the know and walk around the corner to the little side entrance then along a long path. They are always looking for ways to increase visitor numbers. Ah, hello! Put a sign up and open your front gates maybe??!!

Maybe the Milanese can't imagine living in Rome as they think it's the 'dodgy South'? Agree with the comment above about food though. That probably ranks right up there with La Mamma about important things in life and reasons not to move. Vanessa

J.Doe said...

I'd also visit Rome in a minute. It is a city filled with beauty, excitement (and chaos). I would never live there either.

Deborah Cornwell-Kelly said...

I lived there for two years - I've never got over it, would give anything to be back there, just to breathe that warm, vibrant air again!

Deborah Cornwell-Kelly said...

Although admittedly I was a student there, that might have something to do with it. Milan means kids and work to me!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

ha. To me the Milan vs. Rome debate is very similar to San Francisco vs. Los Angeles. I can see why New Yorkers talk smack about Los Angeles and vice versa but two cities in the same state?!

I have only visited Milan for 24 hours so I can't really comment on this debate.

One great thing about Rome is it's very central so you can get to other parts of the country, north and south, very quickly.

If Milanese find the Romans gruff god knows what they must say about folks from Naples or Palermo.

Too hilly? The seven hills and the light reflecting off those hills is one reason Rome (esp. at dawn and dusk) is so beautiful. Plus the hills give you nice workout with the bonus of a great view.

Glad your trip was fun.

Saretta said...

Maybe it's the fact that Rome is kind of like a showcase, a living museum (and overrun with tourists), whereas, for you, Milan is now home?

Kataroma said...

nyc/caribbean - I found palermitanos to be incredibly friendly when I was there. Actually everyone in Sicily was.

I've never been to Milan so can't compare. I'd like to check it out though. I had a funny experience though on the Rome metro (if you can call it that!) There was this lady at the top of the escalators looking befuddled. She then muttered to me in a thick northern accent "this would NEVER happen in Milan." I got kind of defensive and said "what would never happen?" and she said "this utter chaos - people are standing all over the escalator so no one can get past. In Milan they'd all be on the right hand side." I thought that the chaos was just Italy but it's possible that that's just Rome (and south...) I also know another Milanese woman who lives here who is always going on and on about how awful Roman drivers are and how corrupt everything is here - according to her Milan is more 'civilised'.

Chia of Bologna said...

Eh eh eh Kataroma, you did well to be defensive!

I happen to love both Rome and Milan, but while I think I'd live very well in Rome, I could never live in Milan. Too grey. Too much fretting and working for the sake of fret and work. I need colors. I need the sun, and warmth.
Owning a little apartment in Rome is the dream of my life. Oh well, maybe through Superenalotto...

Chia

Chia of Bologna said...

Michelle, I think THAT was the building protecting the Ara Pacis Augustae an altar built back in Roman times by Emperor Augusto. A true masterpiece of Ancient Rome's sculpture

Chia

Pierre said...

Sounds like some good-natured sibling rivalry. Personally I'd settle for Rome, if only just for the vibrancy. Thanks for sharing - great blog!

Anonymous said...

I live in Rome, hate it and love it at the same time. With a non-existent metro and having to wait 30 min for a bus, then tram, then another bus to get somewhere...I hate it. But then, I've lived here for 2 years and still haven't seen half the sites, there's no other city in the world like that, so much to see, I still feel like I'm discovering a new place everyday