5:30 in the morning is not known for its charms. However, sitting on a terracotta rooftop terrace looking to the river and watching the city emerge would have to be one of the few.
I have been watching the sunlight creeping down the walls of the church and building next door. Despite the fact that we are near the centre of one of the largest cities in Europe, there’s surprisingly little noise, and now, almost 7AM, there’s not that much going on yet. Some vespas, lots of birds, and the clattering of opening shutters. Someone is shouting down to someone else in the piazza.
Yesterday the art historian filled up her art corpuscles. First up, the Villa Farnesina for that fresco feeling, with a spot-the-gods ceiling and of course, Raphaels and more Raphaels. Arriving fairly early, we had the place to ourselves for the first few rooms – definitely a bonus, and a little place I will always want to revisit.
Then, a quick coffee standing at the bar and down to the Pantheon plus a market, in the rain. This followed by an exhibition of Quattrocento art and its effect on Rome – yes, please thank you says the art historian – followed by more walking, and San Pietro in Vincoli, the church where Michelangelo’s Moses sculpture broods at tourists in a muscular Vulcan-like way. I can’t remember why he’s got horns: can anyone recall why he’s got horns? My art books are two continents away….
Finally, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, where we explored an exhibition on speed and Italian design (motorbikes, cars, futurist art, and an airplane right in the middle of one of the rooms). Running around making vroom vroom noises would have been nice, but they already had them on the stereo. To finish: the best damn art and design bookshop I have seen in a long time, if ever – we escaped without too much damage: it’s amazing what the threat of carrying all your belongings will do. Back to Trastevere in the rain.
Now I can see that the café down in the piazza is opening up, so I must leave you and we will post more later. For now, a photo.