Photo Friday: Rome at Night

DSC_0198Again, let me express how wonderful Rome can be. As I said in my last post, each day in Rome we just kept walking until our feet refused to take us further. I can’t remember a moment when we weren’t 110% fascinated by the sights, smells, and stories all around us.

And then, there’s Rome at night.

Let me pontificate a minute. I’m a big fan of third spaces. For instance, I’m writing this from a coffee shop. But America is late to the third space game. Even with our coffee shop culture we struggle to feel at ease in public. There are few places where we go to just BE. This is especially true in the evenings when coffee shops close, restaurants do everything they can to get turnover, and bars get so loud you can’t hear yourself think, let alone hear your companions talk.  By contrast, many European cultures thrive through their third spaces. London has its pubs. Paris has its cafes. In these spaces you can come and go at your leisure. You can be social or you can be alone. They are places to relax and to smell the roses.

And Rome? Well, Rome has piazzas. Piazza Navona, Piazza di Santa Maria (well, really all of Trastavere), and Campo di Fiori, among others. These open spaces in the middle of the city fill up at night with people of all ages coming to watch street performers, eat and drink in the cafes that line the square, and soak up the thrilling atmosphere. I treasure our evenings in Rome sitting by fountains to people-watch, and seeing the sunlight turn from gold to pink to purple, slowly yielding to the soft yellows and reds from lights in the homes and restaurants. Magical. That’s the word. Magical.

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mesmerized by the street performer

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caught the moment

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At night AND in the Rain…double fun!

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4 Comments

Filed under Life is good and here's why, Photography, Travel

4 responses to “Photo Friday: Rome at Night

  1. I have never heard of the third space concept before. Thanks for showing me a vocalization for this idea. Living in the suburbs now there is almost zero third spaces, and I feel it acutely, and it leaves a hole. Life is more isolated. It’s not like Chicago is the best for this, but it is better in the city than outside of it. Thankfully, Elgin really seems to be working on making some of these spaces downtown: one of the reasons I love my new hometown. Thinking back to Italy, and the piazzas, especially in Rome, evoke a longing. They are the foci for all that social energy cities generate. You can feel that energy in American cities, but it is not concentrated as well.

    • ecapo

      So glad I could clue you into this idea. I find it is a really great way to describe this social need succinctly. We need to start a movement in America! Missing you guys!

      • I know! It’s hard in the suburbs where hardly anything is walkable, and what is doesn’t always have the best space or good restaurants/retail. We are getting a new restaurant in our city’s downtown with a wine club, and that’s got us really excited, because it;s one more step toward this.

        We miss you guys too! I hope you two are doing well down there. I wish I was there right now and not in frozen Chicago!

  2. Pingback: First Christmas Away | roma e amore

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