Thursday, September 04, 2008


After a well rested nap and much needed showers, we walked from Hotel Giulio Cesare to a Metro station. From Lepanto, it was only two stops and we got off at Berberini station. We visited a corner shop for our first slice of Roma pizza (pizza al taglio) after a short walk of a few city blocks. Mine was the standard cheese, tomato and basil. CP had different toppings with sausage and big chunk of mozzarella. Then we continued our walk, a few more blocks, turning the corner, coming out of a narrow alley, and there it was, the world famous Fontana di Trevi, designed by Nicola Salvi, completed in 1762.
We stood among the crowd of tourists and of course the hidden threat of pick-pockets, wondering what Salvi were thinking when he designed the Fountain and the whimsical rendition of mythical sea creatures admid cascades of splashing water. According to the guide book of Rome by Rick Steves, the fountain was built to take full advantage of the abundance of water brought into the city by Rome great aqueducts. Salvi used the palace behind the fountain as a theatrical backdrop for the figure of Ocean (the statue in the center) who represents water in every form, rushing from 24 spouts and tumbling down into the base of the fountain. From there, the water would find the way at Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain at Piazza Navona.
I took photo of this fountain on the way to Citta del Vaticano, but unable to find out the exact name of the square. We were rushed to get to the Vatican to meet our tour group. That was Monday morning, July 7th. After we completed our breakfast at the hotel, we saw the newspaper article in the lobby mentioning that the transit workers were on strike that day. We had no choice but to walk from our hotel. Actually it was not too bad because even if we took the Metro it would be only one stop from Lepanto to Ottaviano.
One of the nice things about Rome was the availability of many public drinking spouts. We carried plastic water bottles and refilled them often. We were drained by the summer heat and constant moving. Photo above showed my husband enjoyed the clean cold fresh water. I was unsure at first but after taking a small sip, I found the water rather refreshing.
At the base of the Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) the Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Old Boat) - photo below- is a popular spot for young Italian men looking to befriend with foreigners, specifically lovely young ladies. This Fountain was not for drinking. On a hot day, it was very tempting to jump right into the fountain just to cool off. If it was the Fountain of Youth and I jumped into the fountain, could I "do-over", going back to 1980, starting over as a 19 years old Vietnamese refugee coming to America? There would be no regrets because I knew exactly what I should do with my life. I would choose the right major in college, picked the right job in the right industry and not spending too much time on silly things such as dreaming of finding the right person to fall in love with. I would be a better daughter, a better sister and took better care of my parents, sister and brothers. I could have been doing something important such as saving the world and keeping peace among all nations, instead I became an unknown blogger posting useless information and meaningless stories no one cares!
My husband and I did what most of the tourists would when visited the world's most spectacular wishing well and one of the most crowded sites in Rome, we each tossed a coin into the fountain to ensure that we shall return to the Eternal City. I wondered what Salvi thought of the mind-less 21st century mass busy taking photos without any knowledge or real appreciation for his masterpiece.

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