No hat nor map Saturday


I shouldn’t start the day by saying ‘Bonjour’ in the breakfast room. I know this is wrong, but it keeps slipping out. It is worse if you are trying to keep a low profile in the off-chance that the breakfast does not appear in your final bill. And it does not bode well for inconspicuosity if a lady takes your photo during breakfast. Was it the hair again?

The forecast said sunny, and underneath it noted rain. Clearly the forecaster wanted to hedge their bet. Was this like being an Anglo-Catholic I mused? I decided not to take the hat in case it got wet and turned to papier-mâché. I wondered what all the tourists would do if it rained, since there are no shop awnings and very few footpaths. Does rain automatically increase the death toll? I need not have been concerned as the moment a few drops fell from the sky, every street corner was abuzz with Tunisian immigrants selling collapsible umbrellas. Enterprising, non? (that was an Italian ‘non’).

I decided to get an early start in case it did turn sunny and was too hot to walk around (for me, any excuse) and I would have to call for a car. I had noticed quiet a few black Mercs taking guided tours. The air conditioning held some appeal if the day’s weather improved. Today I would go to ruin the ruins. Buoyed by my successful navigation of Heathrow, I decided to rely on the tiny map in my phone to avoid possible wet paper issues with a full size folded map.

On the corner of the street was a furrier. Yes, they still exist. I was impressed that the Romans had the intestinal wherewithal to carry this off. Won’t happen in Melbourne, I’m sure. Perhaps they are not as PC here as might be imagined, though the experience with the owls yesterday seemed in counterpoint. Perhaps the owl brigade don’t venture around the corner. I wandered past the Palazzo Barberini (pictured above). I’m sure my barber doesn’t live this grandly. Was it built with the proceeds of all those monk haircuts, or perhaps it was the city home of the Barber of Seville who made his money from musicals. In any event it is now a gallery and I thought I might visit there in the afternoon, post-perambulare.


The next street corner was quite a surprise. I was taken in by the architecture of the church pictured above, which I tried to capture whilst is was spitting with rain. (No umbrella for me, I don’t carry cash). I suddenly realized that I was standing next to a fountain.


In fact the church had a fountain built into the street corner and there was one on each corner of the intersection. San Carlo Quattro Fountane must have been one thirsty dude.

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