Monday, July 28, 2003

Lillies and Callouses for Roma

Giddy at the end of our summer camp gig, I happily headed in the opposite direction of the Adriatic coast early Saturday morning. No sand between my toes this weekend...just some sore, but happy, feet. A lifetime of Saturdays couldn't be enough to experience every aspect of Roma but I walked this weekend as though it were my last.

The major sites I'd seen before, but is it possible to come to Roma and not walk by the Fontana di Trevi at least once? So to fulfill both desires - to make the token stops but also experience a new aspect of the Eternal City - I dodged through viccoli and shady side streets between Piazza Navona and San Pietro. Sure it added several steps to the route from Trastevere to Piazza del Popolo, but as they say, the joy is in the journey.

I snuck into a lovely couple's wedding ceremony where the incredible ornaments and paintings of the church were complemented by the red tapestry draped over each pew and sprays of white lillies flowing from nearly every flat surface. The dome of San Pietro popped into view from between the columns on the south side of the piazza and was even more impressive from this acute angle than from the breadth of the main corso just steps away. Cold watermelon after a long day in the hot city made even this ragazza feel like a Roman Empress. (Somebody please tell me if there's still a watermelon seed stuck in my laurel wreath.)

Returning to Macerata under the last rays of the day's sun, the temperature was dropping and the breeze cooling. I walked (again) from the train station to our apartment, but this time took the more direct route. Major sites of that tour included the dimmed lights behind the locked door of one of our favorite pizzerias, ladies in too high heels trying to keep up with slick gents late for the Sferisterio's performance of La Treviata, and the skinny orange cat who lives in our neighborhood with about three dozen fellow strays. Not much compared to the spendors of the past 48 hours, granted, but they were the sights of home and so brought about a similiar feeling...from a dominion slighly less grand but ever so dear, I felt like an empress all the same.



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