18 July 2008

Roman holiday

Just got back from a little field trip to Rome. Yes, I know I said I wouldn’t leave Venice for a whole year, but there was a double temptation I just couldn’t resist.

My lovely friend Federica (who’s Venetian at heart, but lives in Rome with her nice family and four gorgeous dogs) had invited me many times to come stay in her studio apartment at Piazza Navona. How often does one get an offer like that?! All I needed was the right occasion.

That came in the form of a concert. Last evening – a beautiful, warm Roman evening – my friend Craig played selections from his Secret Spaces CD in an incredible 30 BC ruin, La Tomba (“tomb”) de Cecilia Metella on the Appia Antica, near the catacombs. (What you see here is the back wall of the “stage” through a wide arch that served as the proscenium.)

There under the stars, in the cobalt blue twilight, amid the sound of cicadas and the occasional flutter of doves’ wings, just a hint of woodsmoke in the air, I heard my gifted friend play "Venetian Snowfall." It is a delicate and elegant composition inspired by one of my sweetest memories, a dream-like snowfall I had all to myself late one January night a few years ago – in fact, an event Craig had predicted would occur for me. When I returned from Venice, he had written this piece. Somehow he knew…

Afterwards Craig and I were treated to a splendid late supper with two other charming gentlemen at a fascinating taverna on that ancient way, one that few non-Romans would ever have the chance to visit. I was even able to keep up with most of the Italian spoken at the table.

Again I ask: if this is really my life, how did I ever get so lucky?