By Ben Resini
I had just arrived in Rome. It was a rainy November night, and I was soaking wet. I approached the night attendant of my hotel, and a jumbled cacophony of broken English and bad Italian ensued.
Genuinely elated at my arrival to his hotel, he insisted I needed to know everything he knew about Rome. His pen working feverishly in circles across the paper hotel map, he culminated his midnight tour of Rome for me by circling “Fontana di Trevi” in bold red marker, twice.
The fountains converge at the meeting of three roads, or “trivium” in Latin. They have a storied past, once the slight discontent in 1629 of Pope Urban VIII citing a “lack of dramatic attributes” in the design.
The next century would see a plethora of presented concepts, sculptors, deaths and delays, the fountains ultimately being completed in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini. The familiar aqua blue water along with the Baroque-styled display of artistry and craftsmanship has been welcoming Romans and enthralling tourists ever since.
The next morning I decided to traipse aimlessly around, allowing the Eternal City to reveal itself to me on its own terms. The noisy throngs of tourists had not yet emerged from their hotels. I found myself slowly walking East on Via delle Muratte, not knowing where I was but keenly watching the shop owners prepare for the day. It was cold but comfortable, and the espresso from the hotel lobby bar was starting to kick in.
I saw the golden light just up ahead, slowly guiding me towards the sounds of rippling water. I arrived at the meeting of the three roads, the brilliant early morning sunshine casting its warmth across the fountains and statues. The bliss of being the only person standing before such magnificence seemed selfish and confusing, yet there I was. Life had surely dealt me a winning hand that morning.