Coming Up for Air…or Wine

After the intensity of our day immersed in the horrors of Nazi history, we re-emerged into sunshine and revived ourselves with a cup of gelato.

Then we grabbed a taxi back to our apartment.

A word about taxi drivers in Rome. A ride with one will bring a level of respect and veneration worthy of the most competent race car driver. Deftly maneuvering through Rome’s centro storico, a maze of pedestrian and one-way streets, careening buses, and darting motor scooters, a taxi-driver’s expertise cannot be anything but awed.

Dad loves them. Considering them carnival rides on wheels, he always sits in front, chuckling and shaking his head in amused amazement.

Later that evening we walked back to Piazza Navona. Due to its proximity to the apartment, it had become our open-air living room.

I noticed streams of people coming and going into one of the churches on the edge of the piazza: the Church of Sant’ Agnese in Agone. Constructed in the mid-1600’s and dedicated to Saint Agnes, it rose over the ruins where she had been martyred centuries ago.

This night the church was host to a free classical concert by soloist Roderic von Bennignson, presented by the Compagnia per La Musica in Roma. The space swelled with the ethereal notes floating from his cello near the altar, further uplifting our spirits.

Gino, Dad, and Mom --
with refreshments in Piazza Navona

By now, a glass of wine was in order, so we perused the cafes lining the perimeter of the piazza until we found one with a table on the edge where we could continue to watch the ever-evolving people-show. Two street musicians stopped to serenade the patrons with a poor rendition of Pavarotti before asking for tips and shambling on to the next singing spot.

It's good for your heart, right??

Later that evening, Gino and I had dinner by ourselves at Serafini alla Pace, a charming osteria near Piazza Navona. We sat outside, admiring the restaurant’s picturesque walls green with cascading ivy and people-watched as we dined.

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