I think it's what won me over to Rome three years ago, when I found its architecture a bit off-putting at first, the continual insistence on power more than a bit of bullying. And it can be as dirty as you've heard, and the traffic wearing, etc., etc. But then the light hits a wall plastered with a colour that's imbued with centuries of history, a colour originally ground out of available materials, I imagine. So these ochres and rusts and citrons and peach, all even warmer when the sunlight shocks them out of the dark alley. It's as if they're organic, as if they change personality and mood along with the weather.
I know. I'm being fanciful. Going on a bit too lyrically.
But I had time to do exactly that. I scarcely left the neighbourhood (Monti) this visit, and my approach to my travel time was very much influenced by Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost. While I often began the day with a loose goal, directions to which I'd Google-mapped and then screen-shot to guide my steps, I decided several times to take an alternative route just because. . . .
By the end of the week, I was even able to bring myself home without a map, having figured out a couple of the major arteries and noted a few important landmarks.
More on "getting lost" in an upcoming post -- and I also hope to recap some of what I've learned through having spent two weeks on my own. But for now: Five Pairs of "Minor Miracles of Light" (yes, that's the cheating: you get two for one). So 1A above, 1B below. . .
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed this Roman light, and I wish you all a Happy Weekend (and a Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers back home).