Monday, December 22, 2008

Natale in Piazza Navona

It's beginning to look a lot like (Italian) Christmas. But I'm afraid it is all entirely lost on me. I've been so wound up with work in the last few weeks, I've only just now surfaced long enough to realise that Christmas is only a few days away.

In Italy, Christmas is brought not by a large man in a red suit on a sleigh, but by a witch on a broomstick. (You're starting to get why I'm not really getting the Christmas vibe here, huh?) And the whole thing, apparently, emanates from the Piazza Navona where there is a fair.

Went on Sunday after Mass to try to pick up the Christmas mood, but no go.

Had a pretty good time anyway though.

And got some good pics for y'all.




These "living statues" are very popular, and there are always a few at least in the Piazza N. They're often not very good, though, and rarely stand still. But this Pinocchio was quite good, and she had some very charming movements that looked very much like she had strings attached to her arms and legs.


Lots of balloons.




My friend wanted nothing more in all the world for Christmas than a toffee apple.




The Natale Strega are all over.


I'm told that this is the first time in years that anyone has seen the Three Rivers fountain. It has been covered in scaffolding for repair and cleaning for a decade.

The sun was brilliant, but the air cool. A lovely October day.


A demonstration of correct candy floss technique from Boyden and Magdalen.
"You see, you have to do it properly. You take a giant wad, and you stuff it in your mouth, tamping it down with your finger like wadding for a canon."


Like this.


It was fifteen degrees yesterday.


No respect for great works of art.


Triton battling the most EVIL THING IN THE OCEAN! These Romans understand the radial symmetry threat.


A bit of an overreaction, I thought. It's only a pigeon.


One of Italy's last children.


Getting the prize for "most adorable".


Bernini's allegorical figure for the Nile. I'm told that his pose is a comment (an expression of horror) at the Borromini church opposite. They didn't like each other, apparently.


Bernini's allegorical figure of... um....another river somewhere. Possibly in Europe.

It's difficult to get an idea of the scale of these figures from the photos, but they are at least five or six times life size.

There was a row of places where you could chuck balls at bottles, and shoot balloons and all that sort of thing. Lots of clowns, and some very good street performers doing magic, and playing music.


and a very beautiful carousel.

A proper fair, in other words.


But one that could not possibly be complete in Rome without nuns.