Friday, January 29, 2016

Rome in Winter


Rome  without  the tourists, near the Pantheon

the palms of Piazza di Spagna

January and  February  are  the best months  to explore the center of Rome  and when the sun is shining it is always a good  excuse to spend the day in Rome. 
It is rather fun to be a tourist in your own town.
We took a   leisurely stroll through the centro storico from Piazza di Spagna to the Pantheon pausing to take photos and do some shopping.

I was surprised  to find  parrots  making  a racket in Piazza di Spagna's palms and the  Orthodox church  on Via delle Coppelle gave an exotic touch to the city. 


Around the Pantheon the  empty  tables awaited the few tourists who could be spotted immediately - young couples in jeans without jackets, some even in   short sleeves .
We turned right  at the giant foot at Via S. Stefano del Cacco  to make our way to the magnificent Scuderie, the former stables of the of Palazzo Altieri restored by Architect Gae Aulenti. Here  the  Italian Banks  Association ABI was  inaugurating  a  unique library with 10,000 volumes (especially art books)  published by Italian banks

The  opening of the ABI library gives researchers  access to all those expensive  volumes commissioned  by Italy’s banks  from about  1850  to the present  and used as gifts for the banks’ major clients.  Check the website  for information and  the online catalogue.
I was pleased to recognize a few  volumes  picked up over the years at second hand bookshops in Moscow  and on  Rome’s  Via del Pellegrino.
Since the beautifully illustrated volumes were  published in small quantities and not  for the general public, some have become  quite rare and worth a great deal.


There were few  tourists as we crossed the  usually crowded Trevi Fountain area  and  continued  towards Via Veneto.   Stopping  to admire  the Tritone fountain in  Piazza Barberini,  I spotted  a memorial plaque dedicated  to  American journalist Margaret Fuller who lived in  the building during the  first years of the Italian Risorgimento

A close friend of Giuseppe Mazzini, Margaret  Fuller ‘s articles kept   the American reading  public informed  of  happenings during  the early Risorgimento years (1848-49) and she also coordinated the nurses caring for the wounded at Fatebenefratelli  hospital on Tiber Island .



The romantic, tragic life  of Margaret Fuller  is well described in the latest biography "The Lives of Margaret Fuller " by John Matteson which you can find at the Anglo American bookshop on Via della Vite, near the Spanish Steps.  They are also   the exclusive  agents in Rome  for  my  books.





  1. Hey, this is so lovely post on “Rome in Winter”. The photographs are gorgeous and describing the beauty of Rome. You know dear my sister had destination wedding in Rome. She reserved one of the most historic event venues for her big day.

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