Roma, Italy

Roma, former province (since 2015 Città metropolitana) in Latium, Italy, 5 352 km 2, 4.35 million residents; The administrative seat is in Rome.

  • Goethe in Rome
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in Rome
  • From his autobiographical work »Italian Journey« (1816–17)
  • Rome, November 22nd, 1786, on the Feast of Cecilia.

I must keep the memory of this happy day vividly in a few lines and at least convey historically what I have enjoyed. It was the most beautiful, calmest weather, a very clear sky and warm sun. I went with [Johann Heinrich Wilhelm] Tischbein to Petersplatz, where we first went up and down and, when it got too warm for us, took a walk in the shadow of the large obelisk, which is just thrown wide enough for two, and ate the grapes we bought nearby. Then we went to the Sistine Chapel, which we found bright and cheerful, the paintings well-lit. The “Last Judgment” and the various paintings on the ceiling by Michelangelo shared our admiration. I could only see and be amazed. The inner security and masculinity of the master, his grandeur is above all expression. After seeing everything again and again, we left this sanctuary and went to St. Peter’s Church, which received the most beautiful light from the clear sky and appeared bright and clear in all parts. As people who enjoy themselves, we delighted in the size and splendor, without being misled this time by overly disgusting and discreet tastes, and we suppressed any sharper judgment. We enjoyed the good news.

Finally we climbed the roof of the church, where one finds the picture of a well-built town in a small way. Houses and warehouses, fountains, (by appearance) churches and a large temple, all in the air, and lovely walks in between. We climbed the dome and saw the bright and serene area of ​​the Apennines, Mount Soracte, after Tivoli the volcanic hills, Frascati, Castel Gandolfo and the Plaine and further on the sea. Near before us the whole city of Rome in its breadth and breadth, with its mountain palaces, domes, etc. The air did not stir, and in the copper button it was as hot as a greenhouse. After we had taken all this to heart, we descended and had the doors to the cornices of the dome, the drum and the ship unlocked; one can walk around it and look at these parts and the church from above. When we were standing on the cornice of the drum, the Pope went down below to give his afternoon service. So there was nothing missing for St. Peter’s Church. We went down again completely, had a happy, frugal meal in a neighboring inn, and continued on our way to the Church of St. Cecilia.

I would need many words to describe the decoration of the completely filled church. You just didn’t see a stone of architecture any more. The pillars were covered with red velvet and wound with golden braids, the capitals with embroidered velvet in the approximate capital shape, so all cornices and pillars were hung and covered. All the spaces between the walls were covered with vividly painted pieces, so that the whole church seemed to be covered with mosaic, and over two hundred wax candles burned around and next to the high altar, so that the whole of one wall was covered with lights and the nave of the church was completely illuminated. The side aisles and side altars are also decorated and lighted. Against the high altar above, under the organ, two scaffolding, also covered with velvet, on one of which the singers stood, on the other the instruments. who kept making music. The church was packed.

JW von Goethe: Italienische Reise, in: Goethes Werke, Hamburger Ausgabe, edited by E. Trunz, Volume 11: Autobiographical Writings III, critically reviewed by E. Trunz, commented by H. von Eine (Munich: CH Beck, 1998), Page 140 f.

Campagna Romana

Campagna Romana [came pa ɲ a -], landscape in Italy, the flat and hilly, composed of volcanic tuffs and lava flows of the neighboring Alban Hills, the Monti Cimini and the Bracciano crater area of Rome between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Apennines, crossed of the Tiber and Aniene; in the narrower sense only the area between the coast, the Alban Mountains and the Sabatine Mountains, richly occupied with ancient grave monuments, ruins and Roman aqueducts, which corresponds to the Agro Romano, the Campagna belonging to the municipality of Rome. In the sparsely populated area, large farms (tenuts) produce milk and meat, while small farms produce wine, vegetables and flowers.

History: In ancient times the Campagna Romana was a flourishing country with many settlements that have now almost disappeared without a trace. Ruins of aqueducts and cisterns are evidence of ancient vegetable and fruit growing. The landscape was a popular summer destination for the Romans. The Campagna Romana has been deserted since the late Imperial Era. Since the 8th century, the popes tried in vain to repopulate them by building manors to supply Rome. The charm of the lonely landscape, to the depopulation of which malaria contributed significantly, attracted poets and painters.

It was not until the end of the 19th century that the reclamation began in earnest, which was completed in the 1930s; The prerequisites were the drainage of wetlands (from 1878) and the regulation of water bodies. The fight against malaria, the division of large estates, irrigation and the creation of transport links made it possible to transform wasteland and pastures into fertile arable land and permanent grassland and to create many settlements. – Today the city of Rome expands more and more into the Campagna Romana; parts of the characteristic landscape are destroyed in the process.

Roma, Italy