Friday, February 9, 2024

Rome Journal: Senior Moment

Pamphili Gardens (photo: Francis Levy)

The Villa Doria Pamphili Gardens are an oasis. They're large enough to get lost in. They appear almost out of nowhere. You come to a fork in the road from the Piazza di San Pancrazio at the top of the Gianicolo with its Garibaldi Monument. You can proceed along the Via Aurelia or take the Via Fonteiana which leads into Monteverde. Pasolini occupied an apartment on Via Carini in Monteverde early in his career (after his initial residence at Via Tagliere Giovanni 3, in the shadow of the Ribibbia prison, where he lived with his mother from l951-4). But the warren of streets around Monteverde with their small cafes and inauspicious flower shops and markets are precarious by virtue of their anonymity. The one thing about monuments like the Colosseum they situate you. Any city is characterized by one degree or other of proliferation, but the Rome that’s far from its famous ruins is profoundly difficult to fathom or describe. It’s not that it’s lacking in character. What makes a neighborhood like Monteverde  so confounding is its lived in quality. If you're looking for a senior moment where you forget where you are, this is the place to have it.

read "Rome Journal: the 75" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to Francis Levy's interview with Patricia McCormick on East End Ink (WKPN)

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