The cynics, the unromantic, the unsentimental and the pragmatic. Stay away from the streets of Italy at nightfall.
Scams and touts and jostling crowds sometimes make Italy seem like a chore. As you’re squeezed between two Italians and three other tourists on the metro in Rome or the water bus in Venice, praying that someone isn’t running through your pockets or handbag at the same time, it can get easy to lose sight of why you decided to come here on your holiday (even if it’s just for a minute).
But as the sun starts to go down, and the day-trippers and tour groups have piled into their buses or trains and left, Italy starts to present you reminders of why you’re here. The streets begin to empty out and for the only time that day, there might even be more locals around than tourists. The lights come on, casting an amber glow on the pastel-colored buildings that dominate the historical centres of most towns. The museums and sites have all closed, and there are no lines to get into (other than at dinner places maybe) and you can stroll around without the burden of an agenda to cover. Grab a table and have an (expensive) meal at one of the outdoor cafes in the many atmospheric squares, if you’re well-heeled. If you’re not, just park yourself on the stairs of the many monuments around. Even the Colosseum with its persistent touts (do they ever leave?!) is worth making that short visit at night to. It’s all a little magical.
(Oh, another thing, might want to invest in a better camera than my point-and-shoot to capture those night shots.)
And if you’re lucky to be at the Piazza della Rotunda (the square outside the Pantheon) in Rome on a Sunday night, you might just be in luck to meet this guy. Now I’m no romantic, but his voice almost made me weep a little (with joy). No marks for guessing which one my favourite square in Rome was. I thought he was a street artist then, but a little internet research on my return told me that Mr.Antonio Nicolosi is a tenor, proper. And I daresay I liked his version of Con te partirò (Time to Say Goodbye in English) better than Mr. Bocelli’s! Here, decide for yourself:
This isn’t my video, I heard him at night with a smaller crowd and less background noise. (yay)
Go out, spread the love then. 🙂