I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spanish Steps

After I left the Keats house I went to Babington's, the English tearoom on the other side of the Spanish Steps. It was cool and quiet -- there weren't more than a half dozen people there -- and I lingered over tea and a slice of cake, watching the waitresses in their retro long skirts and white stockings.

When I went back outside, it was even more crowded in the plaza and the surrounding streets, and I was suddenly in danger of losing the positive feelings I had started to develop towards Rome. It was just too much: choked with people, choked with monuments, like something a hack director who thinks "Felliniesque" means crowded and confused might produce. I had planned to go back to the Forum; instead I stayed on the bus all the way to the end of the line, enjoying the gradual thinning out of the obvious tourists, and interested to see if there were parts of Rome that just looked like an ordinary city.

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