Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Enchanting Trastevere

Rome’s oldest preserved district – Trastevere, lured us to return almost every day with its captivating maze of cobblestone streets opening into piazzas and stark pastel colours contrasting the deep blue sky; bulging walls of old buildings, stripped plaster and faded paint work; creeping plants cascading from windows; items of clothing blowing in the breeze as they hung to dry; cars, scooters and pedestrians navigating the tiniest of spaces, dodging each other just before impact and of course did I mention the pistachio gelato!!? Time to take a breath now!

Captivated by the depth of character that oozed from Trastevere, we wandered around for what felt like hours, exploring every nick and cranny. It was obvious that compared to the rest of Rome, very few tourists frequent the area, a bonus for us because it enabled us to see what the locals get up to away from the crowds. One of the many beautiful scenes we witnessed was an older gentleman standing outside his front door, smoking a cigarette and watching the world go by. What was starkly different about this gentleman however, was the biggest, fattest cat that he had draped over his shoulders, snoozing away and perfectly balanced like it was a regularly performed activity (unfortunately didn't capture this on camera). We watched as people walked their dogs, stopping to chat with each other and others on their mobile phones, waving their hands in the air and almost dancing in the street as their conversation turned into a live drama for all to see. More moments when we had to remind ourselves that what was before our eyes was indeed real.


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