I really can’t wait to just sit in — or wander through — Rome’s beautiful piazzas. As far as I’m concerned, that ranks right up there with the major sights that need to be visited. My hotel is very close to Piazza Navona (that’s it above), but there are so many others. Not just the big famous piazzas, but the smaller, lesser-known ones. Those are the ones I can’t wait to discover, as well as some quiet cloisters, if I get brave enough to knock on a door and ask the sisters to let me in.
I’m hoping my first day will be spent at the open market in the Piazza dei Campo de’ Fiori, also close to my hotel. If my plane is on time (please Hurricane Earl track away from NYC on Friday), I should be able to enjoy the entire morning — totally exhausted from no sleep, I’m guessing — wandering around Campo de’ Fiori before planning any specific sights to be seen. Sounds like a lovely way to dip my toes into the waters of Roman life, perhaps with a cappuccino and cornetto to give me energy.
To prepare for this trip I’ve taken out just about every guidebook to Rome from my local library. Hope no one else around here was planning a trip. I’m even taking a couple of the books with me rather than buying my own copies. I’ve been jotting down notes about the different places that catch my eye as I flip through walking tours, top-ten lists, and every other kind of guide.
I’ve also been preparing through entertainment. Do I know how to study, or what? So far I’ve watched “A Room With a View,” one of my all-time favorite films and certainly my favorite Merchant-Ivory film. I’ve watched “Under a Tuscan Sun.” Yes, yes, I know. It’s not considered “art,” but it’s got some beautiful scenes of the Italian countryside and Italian life so I love it. I watched “La Dolce Vita.” Okay, not all of it, I’ll admit. I fell asleep. But I saw Sylvia in Trevi Fountain, which was enough. I promise just to throw coins and not myself into the fountain. Tonight I have Roman Holiday on tap. And, just for good measure, I went to see “Eat, Pray, Love” with its many wonderful scenes set in Rome. (I happened to like the book very much and think the movie got a bad rap by some.)
So there you have it. Only five days till Rome.
Fino a domani.