Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When In Rome...Do As The Romans

Piazza Navona located just a few blocks from our apartment
Rome like any diamond is multi-faceted. There is so much to see and do. Last time we saw a lot of the high-lights and walked our legs off. This time, staying in the heart and belly of the city...we lived more like the Romans. We were so taken with their traditions and their life style and their community. Each little neighborhood almost seems self-contained, self-supporting and interdependent. This is something so lacking in our country.

In Italy it is all about the neighborhood, the camaraderie and being outside on foot or public transportation. People know each other and they stop and chat when they see their friends and family. Looking out our window early in the morning the tiny piazza was filled with the hustle and bustle of everyday living and a lovely, fresh, vegetable market is set up each morning at dawn. Rain or shine people are out getting their fresh veggies for the day.

At about 1:00 pm everything closes down for 'riposo' and everyone takes a 2-3 hour break before they continue on for the day. This is a tradition throughout Italy. In the square below our apartment the market is replaced by an outdoor cafe, covered with heavy plastic during the rainy season being readied for the remainder of the day and evening. In the city there are several more hours of work for everyone and then dinner hour and night life starts at about 8 pm. In our little neighborhood the tiny roads are filled with shops and street vendors every night. It is really delightful and the locals all come out for their evening stroll and social hour.

This is what they do instead of shutting out the world and hunkering down with the TV like so many do in America. You can tell it is good for the soul and at that time of day they share the events of their day and they look happy. You see old folks, women with baby carriages and everything in between. Most are dressed very nicely for the big nightly block party. We enjoyed this and loved strolling through the tiny cobblestone alleys, hearing the chatter and ogling the beautiful jewels, leather, scarves and other wares for sale.

Everyone should buy a handbag, purse or something like that in Italy. The selection is phenomenal. So far I have gotten a fantastic new bag and a few bracelets. Laura also bought a gorgeous, alligator, patient leather, red bag. Here is the one I found in Rome!

This is a large, soft, suede bag with alligator straps~it is very scrumptious and something I would never buy in the US. In Rome it was affordable. The competition between street merchants and shop keepers help to keep the prices down. Lucky us! It's more a camel color, definitely not yellow.

Is it not the weirdest thing that we found this bag for me? Laura and I are a deadly combination in the market place she insisted it had to be mine and my arm was easily twisted.

We enjoyed visiting Piazza Navona at night and also the next morning. The three fountains are amazing and immense. It was cold and just right for getting into the Christmas spirit, someone was even roasting chestnuts on an open fire!

One of the fountains

The merchants are everywhere and the spirit
is a festive one enjoyed by all.

Laura took the boys back home
and Jim and Gloria and I had a
lovely dinner in the neighborhood.

Merry Go Round in the Piazza
the next morning on the way to the
bus to tour the city.

Our boys having a fun time on the tea cup
portion of the Merry Go Round!

The kids have been amazing and fun and are the light of our lives! They have been to Rome many times but indulged us in this pleasure, yet another time, with no complaints after the initial..."Mom....Rome again?"


Marie said...

Bonnie, thanks so much for bringing us on this trip with you! I am really enjoying it! I have seen photos of this very fountain takenof my empoyer and their family last Easter in Rome! I hope to see it for myself one day! xxoo

Connie said...

I love all things Italy....and you are taking me right back!!!! :) SO love it that you found your Bon Bon bag--and Laura is right--you HAD to have it!!!! Love you, my friend! Enjoy every single minute and then come home safe and sound. I miss you!!!!

Caroline Craven said...

Of course you had to buy the "Bon Bon" bag - that was a no-brainer. So much fun. It must be the same all over Europe. Kent has told me about the evening strolls in Spain where he was there on his mission. He loved that too and really missed it back here in the US, and he's not even that social!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bon Bon,
That is too funny you found a bag with my pet name for you on it!!
How neat the Lord is!!
Thanks for giving us an update so glad to hear you are having such a great time. We lived in Germany 38 yrs. ago, and it was so strange to us that they too, close down the whole town and schools and everything closes from noon till 2p.m, everyday. I think we should do that here! I loved living in Germany but there is no place like the good ole USA. It was a wonderful adventure tho, we lived there 10 months and Jim did government contracting in the same shop he was in when he was in the military stationed there. God is so amazing with the lil surprises he gives.
You keep having fun girlie, love your bag!!
Can't believe it is Christmas eve
Merry Christmas Sweet Friend
and love to you and your precious family,

Shaun at Oak Den said...

I love catching up with you and reading your adventures! I'm so happy for you and your family. Blessings to you all!

BECKY said...

Hello Dear Friend, I am so delighted to have a few minutes to sit and enjoy these "Italy" posts of yours! Oh how my heart longs for a visit, though the hectic nature of some of the areas might make my head swim. When we retreat as I like to say, we really retreat to quiet, calm, and serene places. As a matter of fact we may make a little getaway over the holidays for a night or two to do just that!!

I know you are having a blast and that just blesses my heart!! I pray that you enjoy a blessed Christmas celebration, and make your way home safely!

Love to you, Bon'!! Oh and that BON BON bag is awesome, and so perfect!!

LA Adams said...

This is wonderful! Does it snow in Rome?