Friday, May 16, 2008

Ciao Bella Roma!

As I walked around the city in the past few days looking for a place to learn more about, the options seemed endless. I am in a city that contains 50% of the world’s artwork and other treasures. How am I going to see all of this and still learn about the city? The only way seems to be to find a place I can call my own.

I looked for a place where I could truly learn about the interactions of Italians. While there are 50 million visitors to Italy each year, there are still 4 million who call Rome their home. What makes these people unique? What do they do during the day and how do they relax? I have quickly learned that piazze are the best places to see this.

When I took an early walk yesterday, I found the Campo de'Fiori. I walked through the market and found my first place with a limited number of tourist shops. There were fruit vendors, others selling flowers, and even raw meat was available. There was confusion in Italian over costs. For the first time, few people knew English and I had to make my way through with some broken Italian. It was thrilling.

I decided to make this my place. I want to sit and watch the interactions of the people at various times of the day. I want to get to know the workers in the bars and find the best gelato there. I plan on getting to know the piazza inside and out. Piazze are an important part of Italian culture and I plan on doing my research to find out how this came about.

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