Rome has always been my refuge. I spent three years of my life in the eternal city, the most beautiful years, the years of the university. I can say that I experienced Rome more than having visited it: I lived its daily life, the morning traffic, the chaos of the events, the colors, the smells and voices of the markets, the wet and pungent cold of winter, the asphyxiating heat and the mosquitoes of summer. And then when I think of a place to escape for a while from problems, surely that place is Rome and this time I went there on purpose to unplug a bit, walk around and quietly as I did not for a while (when I say on foot I mean km of walk without taking a bus) while in headphones sing Carl Brave and Franco 126.
“… And I’m at Anagnina with a young lady But she doesn’t trust me, she’s a regatta…
We start from the Parioli district, on a fairly cloudy day, we walk along the Flaminia street and then find ourselves in the large and crowded People’s Square. A ride on yourself to watch it all, people coming, people coming, rose sellers and police. From the square the most famous streets of Rome open as if they were the lanes of a circuit. A guy from a drug community stops us for a signature and an offer. Will 10 euros be enough?
Two junkies stop me in an empty square (yeah) They ask me for a signature to say no to drugs
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We pass through a crowded, messy Spanish Steps… decomposed tourists on the steps, cigarettes and clicks of photographs that more than the square, will immortalize a “waterfall” of people. We walk through the historic streets of the city, we look for the second stage of this itinerary, we look for Trevi fountain. We already know that we will find so many, too many people, from all over the world. There is almost no room to look at it or even to photograph it or to do the most trivial thing: to throw the famous coin to buy the hope that a dream will come true.
“… I who have only trouble inside the pockets of my Levi’s I would steal wishes from Trevi Fountain
We have the same blood, no, you don’t need to explain
Tell me where you are I make all of Rome walk…”
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We continue still walking through the historic streets of Rome: red lights, rivers of people crossing the streets, carpets of red leaves on the lungotevere, noise of dishes in the kitchens. We arrive at the Pantheon, which seems to float on the sea of people around it, it is almost impossible from here outside to see even that beam of light that magically always illuminates the sacred interior.
At 15:00 it would be impossible to eat in a restaurant in Bologna as in London, but here we are in Rome and the tables of the restaurants of Campo de’ flowers are still full of people who pull up the bucatini with a fork or who are still undecided between an Amatriciana and a Carbonara. Campo de fiori is one of the places I love most: the market, the stalls of useless things, the gaze of Giordano Bruno who from under the hood always seems to threaten the city of the sacred and the profane.
“… Campo de’ Fiori the butt are out, the Bangla of the roses on March 8th have mimosas…”
Soon we will leave this part of the Tiber but first we enjoy Piazza Navona: fountains and street artists who for two small edges come alive and give you the most sympathetic photo, the Indian guys make beautiful paintings of the Colosseum dirty with plastic stencil spray cans. On the ground a purple, a cello a flute… is about to start a stylish concert while the restaurants already serve dinner or maybe, for some, it’s still lunch.