A stroll out of the ordinary 🏛

Hey guys! I’m back already, isn’t it great? This post will be an unusual travel-related one. As I went to visit Rome for the billionth time yesterday morning, I’ve decided not to act like a tourist but more like the literature enthusiast I’ve become over the years. I went to visit the Non Catholic Cemetery, where many artists from many parts of the world (some more famous than others) are buried. I’ve always had a thing for English Romantic poets and especially for John Keats, so what better way to express my admiration for him than visiting his grave? I’m great, I know. Best fan on the whole planet.
Should I introduce him to my beautiful readers? I think so, yeah.
Keats was an underrated poet at his time. After interrupting his career as a doctor to completely devote his life to poetry – which consisted mainly of odes and letters to relatives, friends and his beloved Fanny Browne – he fell ill and moved to Rome, where he died of tuberculoses at the young age of 25.

His poetry can be summed up by the world “beauty”, seen as the key to immortality, which can be reached either by the use of imagination or looking at anything that positively attracts our attention (a work of art, music, nature, etc).
Now, here’s my little photo gallery of the Non Catholic Cemetery in Rome. It is situated near the Pyramid of Caius Cestius (quite near the city centre), but the place itself is very peaceful. As it was too big, I wasn’t able to fully visit it.
At the entrance there is this beautiful gate:

And that’s what you see once you enter the cemetery:

I’ve got the chance to photograph some beautiful graves, like these:

Emelyn Story

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Elsbeth M. Wegener Passarge

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George Wolkoff

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Devereux Plantagenet Cockburn

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William Shelley, son of Mary Wollstonecraft and Percy Byshee Shelley

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This cemetery also hosts a cat shelter, managed by a group of animal activists.. I’m sorry I hadn’t got the time to visit it 😦

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Finally, here’s the main attractions (yeah I know it sounds a bit weird talking about graves) of the cemetery:

John Keats’ gravestone

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As you can see from the picture, Keats didn’t want nothing to be inscribed on his headstone, not even his name, except for “Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water”. The first part reads “This Grave contains all that was mortal, of a YOUNG ENGLISH POET, who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his heart, at the Malicious Power of his enemies, desired these words to be Engraven on his Tomb Stone”, has been added by poet’s close friends Charles Brown and Joseph Severn, who is buried next to him. Their graves are in a quiet corner next to the Pyramid of Caius Cestius.

P.B. Shelley’s gravestone

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This gravestone is inscribed with “Cor cordium” (heart of hearts) followed by a quotation from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”:
“Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea change,
Into something rich and strange.” 
I guess it was chosen because it reminds of the way Shelley died, drowned in the Gulf of La Spezia.

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If you are planning your first/next visit to Rome, you should consider visiting this cemetery.

Love, Vica x

The importance of giving and accepting help 🙏🏻

Hiya guys! Last month has been very busy one so I couldn’t take much care of my blog, sorry about that.

The topic I’m going to write about is quite close to me. First of all, I think I should clarify what inspired me to write this post – besides a couple of episodes from the last 3 or 4 years of my life.
In this article (I’m really sorry that some of you won’t be able to understand it), the title of which could be translated into Stop telling me “You look good the way your are” when I complain about being fat, a 39-year-old woman describes the difficult relationship she has always had with her body and everything that concerns being healthy, like food and exercise. After years of trying to lose weight but gaining it all again and pretending that she didn’t mind being overweight, she gave up fooling herself and faced the actual truth – she didn’t feel comfortable in her own body and that completely affected her habits and her behaviour with those around her. That’s when words from others, as she says, can make us feel even more uncomfortable with ourselves. As a result of what people have told her during the past years, she thinks that most people (like the “fit and beautiful” friends she includes more than once in the article) will never understand how it feels to live in a body that you can’t feel fully as your own – they’ll just go with some false piece of advice like “You should love yourself more” or “Don’t focus on your weight, your beauty is inside you” and that’s it, they’ll keep being at peace with themselves and you’ll keep hating your picture in the mirror.

What now? Oh yeah, right, it’s my turn. As I’m just 20, I can’t say that the “troubled relationship” I have with my body started decades ago. It’s more like an “extension” of that period of time we all call puberty.
I guess it all started in 2011. I was almost 16 years and a series of shitty, heart-breaking episodes happened that year. I went through my first break-up, I broke my right foot and I lost all my old friends for no particular reason (the last two things might have been connected, but I guess we’ll never know). Music, food and the Internet were the only distractions I had. And that’s when my ascent to obesity began. My mum immediately noticed that and started taking me to various nutritionists, but I just couldn’t be bothered to be healthy. Then, in 2013, something happened. Two things that made me realise that maybe I should have loved myself I little bit more that I used to. First of all, someone besides my mother had told me that I was fat and that I needed to start going to the gym. Then, during the second half of the same year, I started liking this boy, a still-not-too-famous American musician who is older and way fitter than I was/am, and that made me feeling like I was inferior. I started to feel ashamed of what people (and him) might have thought of me as an overweight young lady.
So I started dieting and exercising, because I wanted to. In 2014 I lost 10kg in six months, from March till November. Now I weight 68kg, that boy still doesn’t like me THAT way, and people still love me for what I am as a person.

 

What changed then? I’ve changed. I’ve learnt that the key to growing up is to recognise what your limitations are and overcome them. Sometimes you may not achieve a goal as soon as you’ve hoped. But you will, eventually.. Just try harder than you think you can.

But what does all this has to do with the title of this post? I’m going to explain that in a moment.

If it wasn’t for some people that have supported me the whole way through (and still support me), I’d probably never come to the conclusion above. So, here’s a message to those who have to help a loved one with the same problem: listen to what they have to say when they tell you that they don’t feel comfortable with their body for this or that reason, support them (go to the gym together, for example), and most of all, remind them why they are fighting their war when they seem willing to give up. Just don’t let them.

Love, Vica x