We’ll always have Paris — my favorite city. We’ll always have Rome too. And Rome is where I want to be. I long for the feel of sampietrini stone beneath my feet. Over the years, my husband and I have circumnavigated the city, but these days our hotel base is never more than a few blocks away from the Spanish Steps.
We like to kick-start our day with a standing-at-the-counter (Italian style) breakfast of cornetti and cafe Americano at D’Angelo Pastry Shop. Next is a beeline to the Pantheon, one of the world’s most magical buildings. After together-time spent at lunch, museums and viewing city marvels, we usually split up for a few hours of highly coveted alone-time. My husband likes to sketch on a shady bench. I like to go shopping. This might be the place to interject a piece of retro-binary philosophy. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who hate shopping and those who consider luxury Italian clothes, shoes and jewelry a glorious and wearable art form. You feel me?
Sticking to the Spanish Steps environ, I often make a pilgrimage to John Keats’ house museum and say a poet’s prayer in the sad little room where he died of tuberculosis in 1821. If I need a late afternoon snack, and I do, I’ll sit for a spell at Café Greco and write in my small Clairefontaine journal. Then, maybe on to nearby Rinascente department store where I can browse the floors of shoes, bags, housewares, and hint: whimsical Dodo jewelry — everything considerately priced less in Rome than in New York.
Rome eternally gives me goosebumps at every turn. From the Largo di Torre Argentina archaeological site where Caesar was stabbed to the crinkly streets of Trastevere, to a nightly stroll where we walk hand in hand along the Tiber River, under the swooping arms of Sycamore trees.