it’s 5 o’clock in the morning, looking out our apartment window at the uniform shutters of the neighboring apartment building, my new favorite architectural element, bathed in streetlamp light that has an ancient glow to it – i can’t tell if i’m imagining the antiquity or i’ve been primed because it’s rome, casting a shadow on the morning dewy cobblestone of trastevere streets, while a clock tower in the distance chimes – i think of roald dahl’s witching hour:
“The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.”
― from The BFG
i’m half expecting to hear the rhythmic clop-clop-clop of a horse drawn carriage to complete this transportation into another time and place.
my first day here alternating between disbelief and wonder, from the early morning walk to find caffé dopio (a double espresso order that i then had to sheepishly inquire for latte, per favore, to finish) and a pastry (which turned out to be a delicious quiche layered with eggplant), to walking along the tiber river and the arched bridges, turning the corner to see, me: “what’s that round thing in the sky?”, W: “… the vatican”, to the trevi fountain and lively piazza, inside the pantheon, through narrow alleys spent looking up at the yet more shutters – everything is beautiful. the day was gorgeously sunny and clear, the air was crisp, we ended the five hours of walking at the highest point of our neighborhood, gianicolo: the eighth hill of rome, watching the sun fall over the city – what a privilege it is to be here.
before heading home, we foraged (in a market) for porcini mushrooms and thick fresh pasta to begin our cooking adventures, and finished the day off at our own dining table, filled with chianti, paccheri ai funghi, and melanzane e carote (building my italian verbal repertoire starting with food names of course).