Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Grizzuti Harrison moment

Every time John and I walked by the Pantheon in Rome we remembered how one of our favourite travel writers described the bliss of sitting in one of the nearby cafes.
 Barbara Grizzuti Harrison's Italian Days (1989) is a wonderful memoir of Italy and it contains a hundred and fifty ecstatic pages describing her experience of Rome. John wanted to sit on the patio where she had sat and have a drink in her memory.
 The only problem is that the Piazza della Rotonda  has become a tourist trap with overpriced everything and the whole circus -- mimes, persistent hawkers of this year's junk novelties and endless tour groups.
So the reality of sitting in this square seemed pretty unappealing.
But nevertheless one evening we spotted an empty table. We were soon seated and served. We toasted our beloved Barbara Grizzuti Harrison with her own words:

 "I sit here for hours. Dear God, let me be this happy in Heaven. If Heaven rejects me, I have had this."

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