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Rome Day One: Vaticano, Castel St. Angelo, Piazza Navona, Campo Dei Fiori

by Anne Thompson
August 29, 2010 9:08 AM
2 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

After a long travel day, I was up bright and early to grab a caffe latte and walk briskly along the ancient Tiber River--my apartment is one block from Ponte Sisto in the old center city--to huge bright St. Peter's Square and the Vatican. The scale of St. Peter's Basilica is so stunning that more than one visitor gasps at the entrance. Michelangelo's Pieta is on your immediate right, and I particularly loved the statue of St. Peter with his right foot worn from centuries of caresses. I stayed for Latin Mass, very cool, reminding me of the weekly sung Episcopal mass from my youth at St. Hilda's. I got the gist of the homily, even in Italian (don't lust for career, success, winning and material possessions; being humble before God and loving friends and family is more important. Aren't they all like that?).

Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

After checking out the imposing Castel St. Angelo, I met up with Variety critic Justin Chang and his girlfriend for a cool lunch in the shade (insalata di mare, pasta with red peppers). They're off to Florence today; we'll meet again in work-mode at the Venice Film Fest.I walked back through winding streets to the Piazza Navona, full of tourists and schlock art, but adored Bernini's cleverly over-the-top Four Rivers fountain. I found my way to a fun Cinema store and to the deserted Campo dei Fiori, which comes to life in the mornings and at night. It's quiet in the late afternoon on an August Sunday. Then I meandered down Via Giulia, a lovely quiet street, back to Ponte Sisto and my air conditioned apartment. Yes it's true. I ordered pasta again at dinner.

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More: Festivals, On the Town

2 Comments

  • Alex Billington | August 29, 2010 9:40 AMReply

    I can't tell you how excited I am to follow your coverage this year, Anne! This is your first time to the Venice Film Festival, right? Since you won't be at Telluride this year (where I'll be instead), this should be great reading to keep me anticipating what's coming to all the fests in North America. Plus, I just love hearing about all these experiences in Italy, so keep the blogs coming!

  • The Pope | August 29, 2010 9:25 AMReply

    The first time I was in Rome, I made point of walking up Via della Conciliazione. I could not help but think of how all those pilgrims might have felt hundreds of years ago as they approached. The sight of it just grew and grew and grew and stepping inside... I think I understood why it was called The Eternal City. The paintings, sculptures, architecture, history, fountains... it goes on and on and on... endless. A terrific city. Where else in the world do you have police officers whose uniforms are designed by a leading fashion house?

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