Sunday, 25 May 2008

An afternoon in Piazza di Santa Maria

The pouring rain had finally ceased and the sun was peaking through the clouds. I desperately needed to get out of my apartment, so I ventured to Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere. On my way down the back alley way, I stumbled across a group of kids about 15 years old outside of their school. For the couple of minutes that I observed their interactions I noticed friends, both male and females, greeting each other with a kiss on both cheeks. This type of interaction definitely is not a social norm in America. At this point on my journey I really felt immersed in the Italian culture.

As I approached the Piazza I encountered another strange interaction. A beggar came swiftly out of a side alley to my right with a plastic bright blue dog bowl with a couple coins in it. Startled, I quickly looked at him and then diverted my eyes and continued into the center of the Piazza where I took a seat at the base of the fountain.

I sat quietly, as if I were a fly on the wall, watching and observing the Piazza on a Thursday afternoon after a huge rain storm. The trickling of the fountain was the background music to the chattering of three Italian teenagers next to me. I sat immersing myself more into the total scene. I noticed tour groups frequently walking through the Piazza, some with tour guides, others just taking the beauty in themselves. Meandering throughout the crowds were locals taking the opportunity to walk their dogs before the rain began again. I have found people watching to be the best way to fully take in Trastevere’s community life and interactions.

1 comment:

Tom Benson said...

Hilary, this is a nice description of an everyday Trastevere afternoon -- an experience typically Roman.