Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The trouble with squares

st. peter's basilica -- our first night in italy

oh hello.
st. pete's square
One of my favorite things about Rome (and London and Paris and on) is how squares and plazas are so sociable. You could spend hours in one place, sitting and talking with never a shortage of people to watch as they sit and talk. Squares are civilization's campfire, the way they put you in a trance and make time stop, allowing you to think and listen despite all the people. It was in a square, seven years ago, that I first remember feeling like a real adult.

So I was all in love with squares up until I learned something very sad about them. Only one of them, really. The one that was right by our hotel and is pictured above.

It closes.

Which brings us to the scene of our first crime in Italy.

One particularly late night, before we knew the closing rule, we climbed over some barricades in order to cross the square and get home. Yeah, I know. Barricades don't require translation to = alert! back away! stop! but we were tired and had all sorts of reasons to ignore them, like how the fastest way through a circle (even one called a square) is right through the middle. And also how, you know, we're American and there's freedom and the mayflower compact and everything. But it was mostly cause our feet hurt and took over our will cause have you seen the size of that circle/square?

Anyway, we're about 1/3 of the way across when this police car comes out of nowhere and starts speeding right toward us. So either we've walked onto the set of the newest Dan Brown movie, or we've just done something very wrong. The car stops just short of hitting us and two angry police officers get out.

After playing a quick game of charades--Italians love that game!--we learn that the square closed at 11:30, and we'd best be backtracking before somebody gets hurt. Fine. The whole time we walked around, the car circled the perimeter, just in case we decided to make a break for it over another barricade.

Still love squares though.


Shannon said...

Wow. Italian police? That's quite the adventure. Also, that square is beautiful. I'm so jealous that you could just decide to go to Italy one night. Sigh. Can't wait to see more of your trip!

Cosme & Judy Salazar said...

What a fun experience, you guys!!!

talida said...

Adventures like that are worth experiencing for the stories they fill. And you have such a way with storytelling! Your version of Italy sounds wonderful!

lindsay said...

That is awesome. You two are kind of a lot of trouble though, so I'm not too surprised.

lisa said...

haha--thanks, everybody.

Talida... hoping to see you soon!!