The beauty of Rome is one that can be viewed internally, as well as externally. The more you understand about Continue reading
“Present for you, present for you”, a man says, pulling at my wrist and tying a piece of multi-coloured thread around it, whilst thrusting two roses into my hand. I smile. “That’s two euros.” Hmm. The word “present” has different connotations here, and I’m literally knotted to the exchange. I’m less than delighted at having to pay for my newly acquired ‘gifts’, but I suppose I’m not just getting a bracelet for my money. These men are ultimately selling one thing: romance. And it works.
I’m in a place that’s renowned for having an atmosphere of sizzling passion. Finding love in Rome is unavoidable. Influenced by what they’ve seen in well-known Hollywood romantic comedies such as “Roman Holiday” and “To Rome with Love”, many people visit the city with a hope of finding said romance, whether that falling in love with a person or the place itself. The Italian language, one famous for being a language of love, is enchanting: “ciao bella” appears to have an irresistible and unquestionable charm when spoken by a stranger, whereas the thought of hearing a “hello beautiful” from someone you bump into on a British street is likely to send us running.
I leave my flowers on a table outside gelateria for a passer-by and continue through the maze of streets. The crowds begin to thicken and I start to realise why: the Trevi Fountain stands centre-stage around the next corner. Although a little crowd has gathered, securing a photograph and a close-encounter with this magnificent marble and travertine piece is happily surprisingly easy. The statues glow incandescently, like mother of pearl in the sunlight, the carved bodies of men rippling as though real. Throw one coin over your shoulder into the fountain and you’ll return to Rome; two, you will find romance; three, you will marry. A couple hold each other close for a picture and I wonder whether they’re feeling superstitious.