2012 Summer Gabrielle Smarr Temple Rome

The early bird gets the worm.

So I’ve been raving about night walks and how great they are, but recently we’ve taken a morning walk. I am not a morning person..I don’t think many of those exist, but this morning. I was. Up at 5:30 and at the Trevi Fountain by around 7. It was amazing. We were the only ones there. This is an unbelievable feat if you’ve ever seen the Trevi fountain, you’ll know what I mean. Normally it’s crawling with people like ants on a drop of strawberry jelly. People sit there and watch. They watch the water, they watch the magic…I’m not really sure what they watch. I never really liked spending time there at night. It’s crowded and it stinks…everywhere you turn there are people and little men with Polaroid cameras trying to take your picture for a euro. It’s funny watching them take a photo for someone with that persons camera and when they finish offer to take one with their Polaroid with the promise of instant satisfaction. You’ve got the proof in your hand then. Show it to all that will see. You threw money in the Trevi Fountain, right before you bumped into the family of six and knocked the little girls ice cream on the ground. I guess you wouldn’t want that proof. Shortly after we got there people trickled in and out, but there was never really more than one or two other groups. It was one of the most amazing things that I’ve done here. The crisp morning air and an empty Trevi Fountain.

Just to explain what I mean a little bit with the ants…this is normal Trevi upon first impression.


Why stop there right? Naturally, we wondered over to the Pantheon. My goal was to get there before everyone else and really see it the way I’d feel most connected to it. It was such a different view of Rome. The streets were quiet and empty. The sun was splashing here and there on the cobble stone. The only people that were out were the ones that were getting Rome ready for the day. Street sweepers and fountain cleaners, police men and the guys running the sidewalk stands. Everything was quiet. No little scooters buzzing around and beeping at you. We watched people gradually come out of their homes and greet the morning with their cappuccino and croissants…still looking like they have a personal shopper and a stylist that dresses them every morning.

We made it to the Pantheon..and my wish came true. Nobody but the man sweeping the steps in his bright orange suit. We sat on the steps of the fountain out front and took it all in. The  massive building looked even more peaceful than it had before. I didn’t even realize how loud it was before. So many people. I feel like I had my own little secret this time. We sat and watched. The fountains hadn’t even come on then. I watched a worker step up inside and clean out the change.

Eventually we saw a man came up in his suit reading a paper and sipping his coffee. He looked like he meant business. When he was done he set his paper on the bottom of a column and walked over to the doors. It was odd seeing the man interact like this with the Pantheon. It looked like he was on his front porch waiting for his wife to unlock the door.

Funny that he actually did open the door. Seems he was a man in charge. The doors opened and immediately I was on the porch looking into the empty church. Nobody but the cleaning lady. We weren’t allowed to enter yet, not until the floors were cleaned. Unfortunately we were running late for Galleria Borghese.

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