Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Country inside the city. Can you guess it?

Here I am, ready for another nice anecdote of my life as a Wandering Writer. This time, I am going to tell you about the most famous of the smallest Countries in the world. As you could, perhaps, guess by the title, I am talking about the Vatican.
Now, calling it a Country is, from my point of view, a big stretch and to be totally honest with you, I wouldnt call it either a city, likewise San Marino.
The Vatican, resemble mostly a district of Rome, without any border or anything that will tell you hey you just entered the Vatican city.
Like some other, even bigger, countries, it doesnt have an army, and it is protected by the Italian army, although, there is not a formal defense treaty between the two countries. The Pontificate Swiss Guard is a military corps of the Holy See, and its main responsibility is to provide security for the Pope. Historically speaking, the Swiss Guard is a military corps of the Holy See responsible for the personal security of the Pope, and resident in the state. Soldiers of the Swiss Guard are entitled to hold Vatican City State passports and nationality. Swiss mercenaries were historically recruited by Popes as part of an army of the Papal States, and the Pontifical Swiss Guard was founded by Pope Julius II on 22 January 1506 as the pope's personal bodyguard and continues to fulfill that function. It is listed in the Annuario Pontificio under "Holy See," not under "State of Vatican City."
A personal note on the Swiss guards is that they wear very funny uniforms, being able to keep a straight face (and generally they are also quite cute).

The biggest attraction and the main reason to pay a visit to the Vatican is the St. Peters square and the Church, together with the museum. The rest of the city reflects the amazing beauty of the host city, Rome, the Città Eterna (eternal city).

The St. Peter's church will leave you literally speechless for the beauty of the numberless details that will keep your eyes busy and your imagination run at impressive speed. You will be caught in the admiration of the richness of the décor, the paintings, the sculptures, the architecture that might keep you busy for hours if you want to really appreciate it fully.
Take your time, and prepare your camera, because you definitely want to have a full experience and you want to keep a record of that fantastic place also in your album when you return back home.
 For me, one of the main reason for visiting the Vatican once again was to see him no, not the Pope, him:

Now I know what you are thinking, and no, I am not crazy. The young man represented is Antinous, the young slave, and lover of Emperor Hadrian. I literally fell in love the first time I saw him, and the melancholic beauty expressed in every statue of him (and believe me, they are quite many), as much as I fell in love with the story of his life.
But let's go back to the museum as there an immense collection of artifacts have been collected by the different Popes during the centuries.
The museum contains 70000 art works, of which only 20000 are exposed. Besides the art work, the architecture of the museum is one of the most notable I've ever seen.
For this reason, if you go to Italy, I strongly suggest you to visit Rome, and if you do, take definitely a tour to the Vatican, you will not regret it. 
With this, I give you appointment to the next week with another journey with the Wandering Writer.
Stay tuned!!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A tour to the smallest Countries with the Wandering Writer, are you ready?

Some would say that size does matter, other would reply that it doesn't. As for me, I do believe that when we are talking about cities and, in this case, countries, size doesn't matter at all.
Instead, a small country can be visited effortlessly in a short time, particularly if we are talking about those countries that have the same size of a city.
Today, we are going to the Republic of San Marino and considered its small areal extension (about 61 km2) with a population of 33000 inhabitants, you might wonder how can this be an independent state. For this, we need to recall the history of the country, which had its independence in 301 AD.
The story goes like this, a stone cutter (San Marino) escaped the persecutions against the Christians and founded a small community in the Mount Titano, the highest of the seven hills of the Roman Republic. The community was established in the territories owned by a rich woman from Rimini, who gifted the place to the community and was called in honor of the founder "Land of San Marino."
According to a legend, before dying San Marino pronounced his last words: "Relinquo vos liberos ab utroque homine" or "I set you free from both the men," meaning both the Pope and the Emperor.
Those words became the foundation of the independence of the Republic.
Now, let's talk about the city and the feelings I had as I was visiting it.
That day was perhaps the best day for a visit and a thick fog embedded the whole hilltop; I know what you are thinking, and no, I haven't gone crazy. The fact is that nothing makes a place more suggestive than fog, and considering that the main attraction is the fortress, you can agree with me that a castle on the top of the hill when the weather is foggy, is the best to hope for.

What do you think? Isn't it impressive?
The city instead didn't look great with the fog...

Nevertheless, the view of the valley with or without the fog was absolutely stunning. However, something that I totally forgot to remember was that I suffer a bit scared of heights. As I happily and carelessly climbed the outer part of the castle, intrigued by the view I was going to enjoy and the pictures I would have taken, my own reality stroke back.

I was petrified, yet in awe of the beauty of the sweet beauty of the valley just under my feet. San Marino is the perfect place to visit for a day visit, the typical place you want to see but do not need to reserve a week or more. Great visit for a Sunday stroll, if you happen to be in the neighborhoods.
We spent the whole day, and when it was time to leave, also the fog decided to clear, allowing us to have a nice view of the external part of the fortress. 

 Not to mention the fantastic sunset we could enjoy on our way home
And with this wonderful sunset I wish you a great day and weekend.
Stay tuned!!!

The long road of writing a book.

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