All of the world's major cities have art galleries of various distinction but when you visit Rome, it quickly becomes evident that Rome itself is probably the world's greatest gallery of visual art.
I explore most of the destinations I visit by just walking the streets and taking in (and photographing) the visual cues of buildings, people, public art, etc. In Rome there are "works of art" on just about every street, where people live, work and go about their everyday commutes among stunning classical examples of ancient Rome's greatness.
Beautiful statues, reflecting classical religious themes look at you as you walk by, telling their secrets to those who stop to reflect. From the angels of Ponte S. Angelo, to brooding figure of philosopher Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake in the Campo de Fiori for heresy, to the modern "statues" of shop window dressing:
Rome is famous for its water supply, consequently there are fountains in most of the public spaces, often based on wonderful sculptures, like the Fontana del Moro in Piazza Navona. High quality water is also one of the reasons Rome has the best cups of coffee in the world!
Of course, there are more modest ways of supplying water, that still have visual character, like this "fountain" in the Campo de Fiori:
The Campo de Fiori is one of my favourite places to sit and drink coffee watching the visual art of the market and its traders perform among the colours, scents and sounds of the day, while in the evening, dining in any of the restaurants in the square as the sun sets is an experience to lift the soul.
In fact, I found the whole experience of visiting the art gallery that is Rome, to be uplifting and inspirational, as well as humbling because I knew I could never do justice to the beauty and culture of this city through my photographs. Rome is one of the few cities of the world with which I found it possible to have an emotional connection – it is the catcher of dreams and memories for all those who visit.
Bob Hill is a photographer from the UK who enjoys travel, especially to Italy. He likes to blur the lines between photography and art with the creative use of paint in his photos. For more of Bob’s photos see http://www.wix.com/bobhill1107/art or if you would like to see the collection of his photographs of Rome, you can preview the complete book, Roma, at http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/4718241-roma. Follow Bob on Twitter.
Concierge tip: To see further stunning perspectives of Rome, check out the Roman penthouse suite at Regina Hotel Baglioni.