Inspired by Federico Moccia’s book, then turned into movie, I Want You, where Step and Gin, the two main characters, sealed their love by locking a padlock to the third lamp post on Ponte Milvio in Rome, thousands of Italian teenagers chained padlocks on the bridge until the lamp post collapsed for the weight.
In 2011, Gianni Alemanno, Rome’s Mayor, decided to move some of the padlocks to the City Hall to be displayed. Since then, Italian teenagers have invaded other bridges, including Ponte Cestio, a Roman stone bridge conncting Tiber Island to Trastevere.
Is there anything better than sitting at a cafe’, sipping cappuccino, nibbling on an apricot jam croissant, watching people chatting outside the Basilica, tourists resting on the steps of the S. Maria in Trastevere fountain, teenagers taking photos with their iPhones, children playing in the piazza, Romans leaving the Basilica after Sunday Mass, and just enjoying the decadent beauty of Trasteverean palazzos?
I think this is pretty close to ‘Il Dolce far niente’, made popular by American author Elizabeth Gilbert in her best seller then turned movie Eat, Pray, Love. Literally translated ‘sweet doing nothing’, what it actually means is a sheer indulgent blissful laziness. Rest your mind, just let it go, don’t overdo, don’t over think, just let the moment slide and enjoy.
This is what I did on Sunday morning and I truly believe this is the best way to discover a city. You can learn so much of a place by watching people and everyday life happening; when I travel I always leave some time free to be able to enjoy moments like this.
Caffe’ di Marzio
Piazza S. Maria in Trastevere, 15
I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man. (Zhuangzi)
I found this street vendor selling butterflies in Trastevere, Rome. It reminded me of Hirst’s recent exhibition at the Tate Modern.
If you haven’t seen it yet, hurry, it ends soon, on September 9th.
When I am in Rome I fast as the Romans do, when I am in Milan I do not. So likewise you, whatever church you come to, observe the custom of the place.
In Rome for a friend’s wedding, we stayed in Trastevere for the night. This morning, we woke up to a chilled Roman Saturday morning and headed for breakfast at Bar and Pasticceria San Cosimato in San Cosimato’s square.
We chatted and watched the locals sipping cold cappuccino, eating a yummy whole wheat and honey croissant.
Locanda di San Cosimato
Piazza di San Cosimato, 63