When on a long trip, I’ve discovered that I don’t get terribly excited about visiting a place until I actually put feet on the ground. Then the smells, sounds, the struggle to understand and be understood, all conspire to light a fire in my heart and make me want to explore.
I read about the Trevi Fountain in Rome and wanted to see it, but I wasn’t savvy enough at the time to use my iPad’s map functions nor had I discovered the iPad’s GPS. Plus, I went to Rome with two other women who had their own agendas about what to see.
After their agonizing search for the “best pizza in all Rome” restaurant, which was closed, we ate at a café nearby and then headed out on my search for the Trevi. I knew we were closing in, when a sign on the side of a building said we were only a block away from the Trevi McDonalds. I have nothing against McDonalds, but the thought of those golden arches right next to the perfect fountain sent a gag reflex.
Streets in Rome are so narrow it’s like walking slot canyons in the deserts of Utah, deep and dark, yet remarkably interesting. We emerged into bright sunlight to find the Trevi Fountain, an enormous sculptured scene that covers the entire side of a three-story building.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the Trevi but didn’t live long enough to see it finished, nor does the fountain follow his original plans. But many of the larger marble pieces, the sea-horses and mer-men, have a definite Bernini feel ─ strong, gripped in dramatic poses, magnificent.
In November, the crowds were small compared to summertime. Still, we had to fight our way down to the edge of the pool to take pictures without tourist-head photo-bombs.
Inspired, I decided to find other famous Berninis. Then, further inspired, I just went looking for fountains. Dozens more were tucked away in neighborhoods and behind walls.
Click on the two links below for more photos that will give you a taste of the fluid arts of Rome.
Editor’s note: Sherry Hardage lives in Los Alamos and has been traveling solo in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe since she retired from Honeywell in 2009. She is a photographer, writer, and guide who organizes tours of Chiapas, Mexico through her website: www.mexadventures.com
Follow the continuing adventures at Sherry’s blog: http://sherryhardagetravel.blogspot.com/
Hardage welcomes comments via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fountain at the Pantheon. Photo by Sherry Hardage
Detail of the Trevi Fountain. Photo by Sherry Hardage