Not since Audrey Hepburn was there has there been such a pretty visitor to Rome. Yesterday Olivia and I took the train (and the strain, it was 30 minutes late) and went into town.
“Do you realise that since we got to Italy we have eaten pasta every lunch and every dinner?” Olivia said to me once we were finally on the train. “We could eat pizza too, you know.”
Once in town we jumped on a bus to the Spanish Steps. You couldn’t actually see the steps for the amount of people there but it was lovely to be there, mainly trying to sell us useless things to throw in the air or fake handbags (actually not a bad buy for 20 euros compared to 1850 euros for the real thing at Gucci down the road).
Olivia’s favourite sight was the Trevi Fountain. I covered her eyes until we got to a peak viewing spot and then lifted her up above the crowds.
“I want exactly the same in our garden,” she announced.
Olivia was amazed by the Pantheon, she thought the ceiling was “drawed” and was most impressed with the irrigation system. I am guessing this is hereditary. Her father has just finished writing a book about water.
We decided against the pizza and ate lunch in a restaurant my parents used to go to called Nino’s when they lived in Via Frattina, close to the Spanish Steps. Olivia had Fettucine al Ragu and I had Penne all’ arrabbiata. It is one of those lovely old-fashioned places with white linen and professional waiters. I sat there gazing at this litte girl, so elegant and grown-up opposite me, eating her pasta with confidence, and felt extremely proud of her.
After lunch we went for an ice-cream in Piazza Navona. Sadly there was a kind of Christmas fair going on with all sorts of dreadful stalls and poisonous food for sale. We couldn’t see the square but the Bernini fountain was covered in scaffolding anyway.
We’ll just have to come back. As Audrey Hepburn’s character says when asked which city she has enjoyed most on her European tour: “Rome, by all means Rome”.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007