In Rome: Slow Down and Smell the Abundance of Fountains

I pulled a Carrie Bradshaw early in the day. Not the good kind. The falling-face-down-in-Dior kind. But not that bad. That would be a mortifying, embarrassing moment. Let’s hope we never, ever have one of those.

Before spending the evening at the Trevi Fountain (It could well be called a city of fountains. Or is it already called that?), coin tossing, and window shopping on Via del Corso, I walked over Ponte Fabricio to the other side of the Tiber, to Trastevere. I thought I’d do Rick Steves’ Trastevere walk since I find his guided walks very straightforward for the most part, and he points out some interesting detours. For instance, guided by the guidebook, I made my way to Biscottificio Innocenti and picked up a whole bunch of sweet goodies for only €4,50. The rest of the walk was spent munching on the absolutely delicious–and different–biscuits and I still had some left over for a late night snack.

So, during this walk, at one point a bar which used to be a synagogue is mentioned. I had just walked past it so I retraced my steps, took a look at the brick exterior, and then realised my right shoe was standing in dog poop. Hello? Sex and the City series finale, Carrie Bradshaw, Paris, beautiful shoes, poop…Okay, if you’ve watched the show you know what I’m talking about. I couldn’t find a nice little dripping fountain, like the one Carrie found, to wash the sole. I just kept entering souvenir stores with good doormats.

In the quest for a good place for dinner, I took a wrong turn early on, near the Pantheon and found myself near a restaurant-cum-wine bar I had walked by on my first day here: Mimi e Coco vinoteca. The music, the lights strung along the doorway frame and the candles set quite a comfortable ambience, and their patio looked extremely inviting. I ordered a prosecco, feasted on mushroom risotto, and the dessert I ordered turned out to be something like a very warm rich chocolate brownie covered in hot, melted dark chocolate sauce. Heavenly. The service there was very friendly; the waiter brought me a second glass of prosecco on the house. Plus, a great spot to people-watch. It’s the next big tourist season after the summer, I suppose. The Fontana di Trevi was packed too. People are here to celebrate the new year and there are lots of them.

And we are all always walking in the middle of the cobbled streets, crossing where we’re not allowed to, crossing when the pedestrians’ light is red. What shocks me is how calm the Italian drivers are! They don’t get frazzled, I’ve hardly heard them honk at pedestrians, they don’t get angry or frustrated, they simply slow down and allow us to cross. I have frequently seem them just drive at a snail’s pace behind clueless pedestrians, waiting patiently for them to realise they’re in the way. Honestly, I cannot imagine this scenario in North America. I guess we’re always in a big rush. We always have to be somewhere else and we’re always running late, trying to make everything happen in the little time we have set aside for it in the midst of busy, packed schedules. We don’t slow down much. Not even to smell the roses, I’m beginning to think.


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  1. skydiver3333

    Last Para.
    Correct. In NA, everyone is in a hurry.

    And this slow, patient, tolerant attitude of car drivers I have seen in the small towns of Spain also.

    Enjoy yourself.

    • Karishma

      I guess I didn’t pay attention to it in Seville, but driving with the patience of a saint is an interesting result of the easy-going, laidback attitude in this part of the world. I wonder if it’s possible for us to slow down.
      Thank you very much!


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