On board the plane to Rome. Leo says, “This is life in the air.”
July 22, 2018
We arrived in Rome today and we’ve already visited the Pantheon, my favorite building in Italy (Mike's, too). I asked Leo if it was now his favorite building in Italy, too. Wisely, he held off on commenting, having only arrived two hours ago.
Our hotel is tucked inside the walls of the city, by the Villa Borghese.
A proposito: at the park around the Villa, our visit morphs into a one-of-a-kind, laugh-filled afternoon tooling around the sprawling property in a "rickshaw bike." It looks – vaguely – like a rickshaw but has bike wheels. And feels as though it is about to tip over every second!
I am awake now at 3:30 a.m. Probably partly an oversight, as far as the sleep aids I chose, but also the Italian motor within has been awoken and won’t shut down! Walking + streetlife + errands + vistas + the lingua di Dante. That’s too potent a combination for a simple sleep aid to conquer.
Take, again, the Villa Borghese and the magnificent park that surrounds it, which includes an overlook in Piazza Bucarest of the city, bursting with cupolas of every size. Oh this exists? Oh, okay.
Plus Via Veneto. I remember being there maybe once. How fancy! Home to the American Embassy, well whaddaya know. Even Palatine Hill – sure I’d visited before but so much of it appeared thoroughly new to my eye. Is that Rome's magic?
In the taxi ride from the airport, I saw a sign for Via Merulana, from the Gadda book (The one with the title that begins "Quer pasticciaccio"). First time visitor!
In Florence now: we are staying on Via del Campuccio, in Santo Spirito, a stone’s throw from my old apartment on Via dei Serragli. The key for the door: to open, place the logo down and turn clockwise a quarter turn. Va bene. I’ll try.
Leo says, “Mommy, what’s your favorite vowel?”
(I've learned to have answers for any question he asks, even if I have to stall first with, "Oh that's a good question.")
He agrees. “Me, too. ‘E’ is in my name and the word love and there are two in your name.”
July 25, 2018
Scoperta: Piazza Torquato Tasso has a playground. And a small soccer field. The piazza is also home to Il Tranvai (where Floriano took me many moons ago). Leo and I walk onto the mini soccer field where we find a 6-year-old Florentine boy who’s more than happy to kick around the soccer ball (courtesy of the Della Roccas -- see below).