The Pines of Rome

Rome is all sky and pine, with clouds that give the city height and trees that look like people from an ancient tribe frozen against the landscape.  I know the flat skies of Beijing and Delhi – lids of grey and white with little definition that close tight onto the city.  Here the clouds rise from the ground – ethereal sky scrapers in a city that doesn’t have actual ones.  George used the word “depth” in our new days in Rome when he first noticed and described the clouds.  My last post has goods pictures of this depth.

It’s the trees, though, that I want to show you in this post.  I particularly love the pines  – so much so that one afternoon I googled “Roman pines” and discovered this little gem:  Respighi’s symphonic poem, The Pines of Rome.  You can listen to it and read a description in the YouTube link.  Notice the third movement – it is set at night on the Janiculum.  This is the hill that rises from the back patio of our apartment in Trestevere.  You can hear a nightingale in the nocturne, singing from a pine on a night lit by a full moon.

All four movements are lovely – playful, sad, longing and celebratory.

And the trees in Rome seem all that, still, decades after Respighi’s composition.

Here are the Janiculum pines from our garden:


This tree greets me every morning from my kitchen window:


The pines on our street:

DSC_0281DSC_0272Some seem exaggerated and Dr. Suess-like.  Others remind me of the Acacia in the Masai Mara, like these:


And as always, a few additional photos to fill-in-the-blanks of our days in Rome:

9 thoughts on “The Pines of Rome”

  1. loved the pines of rome, too.
    and love that the mara acacia tree made a comparison with trees in rome… i’m becoming more and more obsessed with trees the older i get.
    so good to see your place; looks beautiful and green. happy you’re getting settled.
    trevi fountain… i went back there more than once during my few days in rome.
    we’re off to tanzania for a week tomorrow morning – ngorongoro crater (a kind of eden) and serengeti. can’t wait to see the views again and share my first country home with all my boys.
    love and hugs to all the yardleys.

    1. i know the respite with Nathan and the boys comes at a good time. our stuff from delhi arrives this week – the final step to feeling at home. more soon. group hug back to you –

  2. Love the fragrance of pine trees as well, and yes, Respighi’s symphonic poem is evocative of the pine trees in Rome….keep posting, enjoying reading these posts….from one of my favourite cites in the world. lol

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