There is a slight breeze in the air, it blows droplets of water off the fountain and sprays mist in my face. But it is so peaceful here that I’m not bothered. All of my senses are illuminated… it’s so different here at night, when the crowds of tourists have gone back to their hotels and all that remain are some young locals, two or so romantic couples, and of course, those persistent salesmen who ask to take my picture. After declining repeatedly, they leave me to my peaceful duty of sitting; relaxing; observing.
It is midnight on a Tuesday and although it is strange to see Rome so empty at this hour, it is enlightening. It is a different place, yet it is still Rome: “The Eternal City.” It is so quiet, so peaceful, yet somehow, so alive.
I look around me. I suddenly realize that all the sounds of the city; all the chatter around me has been muffled. The sound of water flowing from this enormous monument makes me feel as if I am sitting under a waterfall or lying on the beach with the waves violently crashing upon the shore. But…if I listen closely… the sounds of the city still exist. I hear a burst of careless laughter emerge from a woman sitting near me. In the distance a Vespa’s motor roars as it picks up speed and drives off. Nearby the sound of dishes clanging together signify that the local restaurants are closing for the night.
Sitting here I am able to forget about reality for these brief moments and rest my chin in the palm of my hand and curiously wonder what the Carabinieri men across the way are discussing as they suspiciously eye their surroundings. I turn my head, I look down. I see crushed rose petals, a broken bottle, an old receipt, and the remains of a cigarette still steaming. I ponder the possibilities of who could have left these items here. My imagination gets the best of me and I lose track of time, just staring off into the rock, marble, and clear waters.
I look at my watch and decide it would be best to go home and get some rest, so I stand for the first time in an hour and stretch my arms and legs. I start to walk away, and take it all in one last time. Taking a deep breath I smell cigarette smoke and fountain water, but somehow to me, this feels like “fresh air.” I exhale; it feels so good to be here. I turn around, take one last good look and begin my journey home. Until next time, Fontana di Trevi.