I was around six or seven do not remember the age but what I do remember was my birthday celebration that year. Many of my cousins had come and it was a gift galore. I was not much of a reader of books instead loved people reading my books and that particular year one of my grandfather (uncle to my father) who was a teacher gifted me a small hardbound book. I still remember the book cover it was light blue in color with a photograph of a puppet wearing a red outfit and what stood out was that the puppet had a long nose. It was Pinocchio that was gifted to me that year and it was my grandmother who read out the story to me.
Being the naughty child that I was my grandmother reminded me that I would have a similar fate if I kept lying about my various mischievous activities. I kept skipping through the pages to read the paragraph where Pinocchio’s nose starts growing longer as he keeps lying.
Rome Day 1
The trip to Italy was meticulously planned, it was planned in each step and on the very first day I had kept the trip to Trevi Fountain. This is one place that my wife was most excited about since she was carrying with her about two dozens of coins which were given to her by her colleagues to be thrown into to fountain along with a wish.
The nearest Metro station that would take you to Trevi Fountain would be Barbeni which falls under the Metro Line A network. It’s a short walk from the metro station towards the fountain. Ideally, you can use a map on your mobile but I am sure you would not need this as you will be able to clearly see scores of tourists walking towards the fountain.
The walk was something which I would never forget as first of all it was my first day in Rome and secondly, I was simply mesmerized by the architectural beauty of the various old buildings. Some of these had a great similarity with old buildings in Kolkata but the only difference was that here in my city unplanned tree plantation along with streets and pavements have completely destroyed the view of the building whereas in Rome only short trees were planted and were trimmed to keep these in shape.
Saying Hello! To Pinocchio
Forward some thirty years and I was in Italy in the very backyard of Pinocchio. Though Pinocchio has its hometown in Lucca (Tuscany region) but the opportunity of business means that a lot of shops are scattered around Rome especially near Trevi Fountain. This I was unaware of and while walking down from the metro station towards the fountain I came across several shops selling Pinocchio memorabilia in the form of real wooden puppets of various sizes. These shops make it more interesting by having live workshops which can be seen from the streets wherein carpenters make these wooden Pinocchio’s right in front of you.
Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
Traveling to Rome would be incomplete if you did not visit Trevi Fountain it’s almost like visiting India and skipping the Taj Mahal. You have to pose in front of the fountain and have to click a selfie. What I did not expect was the sheer number of people coming to this particular tourist spot. It resembles more like a railways station in India than a tourist spot. You will find hardly any space to actually get your photo clicked, it’s like waiting in a queue for your turn to come for a quick 5 – 10-second window to get your photos clicked.
The fountain was designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci which was commissioned by Pope Clement XII in the year 1730. The constriction started in 1732 and was completed by 1762. Nicola Salvi had died in 1751 thus the fountain was completed by Pietro Bracci.
A Little Warning & Some Gelato
Being a relatively small area with tons of tourist this place is brimming with pickpockets and scam artists. Make sure all your valuable are secured and stored properly. Backpacks are the easiest to target thus do not keep ay valuable in them. Have limited money in your pockets and keep the rest in a money belt or something similar. This place is also full of street vendors and scammers thus be extra careful. Some of the most common scams are the rose scam where they will initially offer you a free rose and they will demand money for some cause. Equally menacing are the friendship band scams thus best to avoid any freebies.
This place is full of shops selling gelatos and some are as cheap as 1 Euro per scoop on a cone. Do try these as these gelatos are equally a Roman heritage.
Hope you have enjoyed my family trip to Trevi Fountain more blogs of our Italy trip coming up soon. Till then bon voyage.