A Morning in Rome
by Tommaso Gambino
Rome is located in a physically beautiful setting, situated on its seven famous hills. It enjoys a mild climate, allowing for an uplifting feel to everyday living. The light is very special, being bright, crystal clear and stimulating. It makes one feel younger, more vital and in contact with life itself. One senses a feeling of wellbeing, leading to a joie de vivre. There is a spell produced that appeals to the human spirit and enhances every thing one does. It is magic! This grand setting encourages an innate psychology and distinguished character that is essentially Roman. This feeling is self-evident in the early morning, as the Mediterranean sun splashes ever-changing hues of pink and rose colors on to historic buildings, cupolas, towers, arches and fountains. It is a call to the human spirit. It is akin to a mother’s embrace, affectionate and long lasting.
Our morning starts in Trastevere, a bohemian part of Rome with a smart salute from a carabiniere. Emerging onto the ancient Via della Lungara, one must weave past the inevitable Vespa scooters as they wiz by before entering Café Settimiana. This bar was partially built along the ancient Aurelian walls constructed in the early 3rd century AD. “Caffe!” shouts Ferruccio, the proprietor and within minutes the best espresso imaginable is served with great fanfare. The locals mix often with the many notables arguing about the latest scandal adding to the chaos. Energized, one is swiftly out the door onto cobblestoned alleyways to Piazza Sonino and bus number 56. Crossing the storied Tiber River, the route continues past renaissance palaces, baroque buildings and innumerable fountains en route to Piazza Barbarini. Myriad Romans hurry off to work while conversing loudly with their companions.
Shop owners are opening their gated stores and the food market is in full swing filled with lively people buying fresh condiments for their evening repast. “Prova! E` dolce! E` fresco!” (Try, Its sweet! Its fresh!). Copious fruits and vegetables are colorfully on display, such as tomatoes, zucchini, parsley, eggplants, grapes, cherries, lemons, melons, etc. One must observes the swirl taking place, absorbing the energy and becoming part of the scene. Church bells chime out and signal the time to leave and continue on for another delicious espresso.
I hope that you enjoyed taking some quick steps together over the cobblestones of the Eternal city. We shall continue our odyssey on April 1, with SPQR-Rome’s Legacy.
Ciao e Buona Pasqua a tutti!