A lot of people were out enjoying this large piazza -Piazza Navona. The marble sculpted fountains were so idealistically Italy. Our task was to ‘find the Steelers Bar.’ I figured we’d just walk the perimeter looking for La Botticella but it wasn’t that easy. My brother and Phil took off in different directions, and my parents began walking the perimeter which left me standing still to enjoy the view of the Fountain of Neptune.
Fountain photo by Dara McCarthy.
The place was busy. My brother found the bar one or two streets off of the piazza and I couldn’t keep up with Mom or Dad as they drove right through the tables out front and into the place. Giovanni, the owner, came right up to my Mom and shook her hand as she walked in, considering she had changed into her Steelers jersey on our walk to the piazza. (They call Giovanni John here in the United States when he comes to Morgantown or Pittsburgh.)
He led us to Navonna Notte –a good pizza and calzone restaurant just around the corner for dinner. No one really cared how long you took to eat, so we enjoyed a nice two-hour dinner. We returned to the Steelers bar for an after dinner drink where we sat inside and ordered dark beers of Guinness while Mom and Dad looked around trying to recognize the different university flags. We told Giovanni we were headed to Giulianova the next day and he suggested renting a car, which we didn’t do. Our train travel throughout the trip would make everything so much more interesting and eventful. For the rest of the time in the pub we talked about Pittsburgh towns, even Waynesburg. American college students came in and we would have socialized longer had we not a curfew of the train schedule. We made the 11:30 deadline, barely. Leaving the Steelers Bar, we went by way of the Pantheon and Trevi fountain to the train station. Without realizing it we took Rick Steve’s recommended night-time route to see the monuments. All of a sudden we were in the piazza sharing a scene with the Pantheon.
The ancient nature of the Pantheon was more stunning this time than it had been the last time I’d seen it twelve years ago. We stood admiring it for some time before moving on to find the Trevi fountain. There were hundreds of people before this massive sculpture coming from the base of a building and a fountain of rock. Phil and I threw in small coins. Men with roses were abound. The evening colors of gold, shimmering the water with tints of blue were eerie -kind of like what you get below a yellow bulb of a parking lot light. But before the 1700’s sculptural scene, and the crowds enjoying themselves late in the night, we just went along with it. ~ When in Rome…
The next morning meant heading to the heart of our trip -Giulianova! People all around Rome were checking in to get ready for the weekend festivities. God was so central to their being –a part of everyday life, and so beautiful to be within.