While Luke and I are in Rome we're living in Trastevere, a neighborhood southwest of the Tiber. Up until about 20 years ago it was mostly a blue collar Italian neighborhood, but now there are a whole lot of international students and tourists around at night. The whole neighborhood is GORGEOUS, winding cobblestone roads, tiny restaurants, bougainvillea, and street performers. I was totally shocked when we tried to go out to dinner at 9pm on a Tuesday night, and had difficulty getting a table anywhere! The cafes were all packed, we finally ended up waiting a few minutes for a table at a restaurant close to home. Almost every night of the week the tiny streets are so crowded with people taking walks, shopping, cafe hopping, that to walk anywhere you just have to assimilate to the crowd pace.
Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere is about a three minute walk from the apartment and features la chiesa Santa Maria in Trastevere from about 200AD, an octagonal fountain, and extraordinary people watching. During the day there are school children in groups walking around, Romans walking their dogs, and huge groups of tourists going to the church. At night the square is lit up and all the cafes get full pretty early. Street performers set up shop, my favorite is a guy who spray paints beautiful pictures of the colosseum. There are no open container laws in Italy so people will bring wine or beer and sit around the fountain to drink. There are quite a few accordion players and small bands, my favorite is upright bass, accordion, and classical guitar.
And the food is delicious! This was Luke's lunch today for 5Euro.