Published on 10/02/14 in In travel
Rome is unpredictable for the walker. And that is its magic. As I walk, I turn a corner and fall upon something beautiful and altogether unexpected that has been here for centuries but gives the impression that it has been placed by chance. It is as if the city is winking at you continuously. For example, the Fontana di Trevi appears where you don’t expect it and looks like a perfect little theatre made out of stone, whose steps are used to sit upon and gaze at the wondrous oceanic world before you.
This is exactly what its architect had intended, but he died before he could complete his masterpiece, having ruined his health by working underground for so many years, in order to harness the waters for the most dramatic fountain in the world. Completely uninterested in the creator, millions of tourists toss coins into the fountain, wishing for a happy return to the Eternal City, and the municipality collects these once a month and sends the money to orphanages and foundations for the poor, the so-called Caritas of the city. Of course, the cleaners also take their own share.
Sometimes, as I am walking, I want to live a truly beautiful moment. I want to hear a familiar sound – the gurgling of the cascading water of the fountains. This is Rome’s endless melody, day and night. This water is called Acqua Virgo and comes to the city from a distance of fourteen kilometres via an aqueduct. The Goths had destroyed it, but the Popes of the Renaissance reconstructed it, and it enters the city from the gardens of the Pincio. These waters fill Bernini’s Barcaccia in the Piazza di Spagna and then continue to feed fifteen other large fountains and forty smaller ones in the centre of town. The Romans say it is delicious and I believe them because they are experts. Entire conversations centre around the properties of every type of water and Italy is the number one country in the world in its consumption of bottled water. Instead of referring to the weather when they want to start a conversation, they say:
“How is your water?”
In this way, a conversation is initiated on a bench, or at the bus stop, or in the line at the tax office...
An excerpt from the book: Feeling ROME
The e-book Feeling ROME, illustrated with colour images, is available on:
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KCZ7QXC
Kobo Books: http://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/feeling-rome
Google Play Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=Bee2BQAAQBAJ
YouTube Feeling ROME book video: https://youtu.be/dLdSSMjQTBI