Trastevere: Sacred & Profane, Anachronistic & Alive, Gorgeous & Gritty

Festooned as it is with ivy and bougainvillea (or some other flower I've decided to call bougainvillea) and packed as it is with cool shops and eateries, the very residential neighborhood of Trastevere in Rome is long on obvious charm.



But since Trastevere is of a much more human scale than, say, the forbidding ruins of Imperial Rome or the marbled majesty of Vatican City, some of its peculiar appeal is decidedly in the details. Here are a few that didn't escape me:


At Sant’Egidio, this bronze of a homeless person sleeping on a bench revealed itself, upon closer inspection, to be a depiction of Christ.


Shortly after I’d plopped myself at a little outdoor cafe to have a glass of rose’, I heard a voice from above calling to the server and looked up to see this woman lowering a basket on a rope from the third floor. I asked if the neighbors used that system to order takeout and hoist it up. The waiter said the cafe will sometimes accommodate such a request as a courtesy to neighbors but that, in this case, a table linen had fallen from the window and the lady wanted him to send it back up.


I’d seen such a system only once before, in Venice, when a woman from a higher floor used it to collect her mail. I’d pay the price of admission to see it in New York.




Meanwhile, right around the corner, there was this bit of old-world charm...


In fact, the English-speaking frog had a lot to say around the 'hood, much of which I didn't understand.


Whether intentional or a happy fluke, the ivy flanking this bar looks like two jubilant drunkards.


This little gelateria brought to mind a cute memory of my father from our last trip here together, when Dad gave himself one of the many brain freezes of his life gobbling a gelato too fast at age 87.


Some good girl-power graffiti...


And some of the most perilous cobblestones in Rome (just fyi)...


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