This morning I woke up to the sound of thunder. The sky was cloudy and dark, but in a typically Italian fashion, “il meteo” said that Rome was sunny and it was not going to rain. In five minutes, the first drops touched my window.
I went out anyway, or actually, especially because of that. Rome is a different city when it rains. It becomes quiet and serene, the summer rain washes away the dust and its scent is freshly sweet.
I photographed the streets of Rome as they were slowly waking up, and decided to make a coffee table book of my photographs. No grandiose pics you see in usual books about Rome – the ordinary life with the nice and the not-so-nice, seen through my eyes and the lens of my camera. Rome is very inspiring when it rains.
I sat down in a little café, had a cup of cappuccino and a “tortina di marmelata” – a delicious little cake with home-made apricot jam, and watched the buzz. Street sellers obviously knew better than the weathermen and were ready offering umbrellas for five euros to those who were crazy enough to trust the Italian weather forecast. The owner of the café was having a loud discussion with her husband. Or, better said, she was yelling at him while he was hiding behind a newspaper. In a few moments, she rushed out of the café, the husband put the newspaper down, winged at me cheerfully and brought me a glass of spremuta – fresh orange juice – on the house. “Italian women are tough,” he said, smiling.
In the afternoon, the weather cleared up and Rome turned into a hot, humid city again. I hid in my bedroom with a stash of magazines, and slept until 5 p.m. when I was woken up by the bells of Rome. It’s Saturday, and they have been chiming incessantly ever since. Each of them has a different sound, a different voice, a different story to tell. All of them are beautiful, and their chime, although majestic, softly whispers: “Slow down. Life is now, and heaven has just descended to Rome.”
Tonight, I’m staying at home. I don’t care everybody else is enjoying the Saturday Night Fever alla Romana. The accordionist under my window is playing his cheesy tunes, and I’m having a cornetto di cacao – chocolate croissant – and a huge cup of tea for dinner. Why not? In heaven, you can do as you please.
Stay tuned for more live reports from my Chique Italian summer! In the meantime, you can read previous live reports here.
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