The sounds of Roma

Rome is filled with so many interesting and wonderful sounds!  The first sound in the morning is the opening of shop fronts, a nasty, gritty sliding sound that signals a new day.  Next comes the roaring of trucks coming to stock up the nearby shops and restaurants with goods.  Unknown birds cluck mechanically in the distance (we are still trying to find out what kind of birds they are).  Next comes the loud chorus of the street cleaners – a load brushing, roaring, and spraying sound.  At quarter to seven the bells of a nearby church begin to ring and go on for several minutes.  The day begins early.

During the day the sounds are more typical of any city.  There is the sound of (Italian) chatter, of cars passing, an occasional dog barking, and the calls to-and-fro of daily business.  The sound of an occasional (foreign) street musician can sometimes be heard, or the whirring of some toy that a street vendor is trying to sell.  Dusk brings the sound of street performers.  Accordion and violin players line the restaurants or claim a fountain at the center of a piazza.

When our class was preparing to head to Rome, we were warned how much tighter the living is and closer the quarters.  When I arrived at my apartment I was quite surprised to find it quite spacious despite the fact that several of us have to share rooms.  There was one day however when I heard my first Italian neighbour rivalry.  One night when I was cooking my dinner I heard the sound of a nearby organ playing.  I thought it sounded beautiful, but a few other people didn’t.  After only a few minutes they started complaining and shouting for the poor organ player to shut up.  It was very amusing because he continued playing for quite a while despite the catcalls and almost responded to them with his music!

Another moment when I recall a memorable sound is when Vikkie and I went together to see the Spanish steps late one evening.  The stairs were filled with a hundred or more people sitting, talking, arguing, drinking, and one group specifically that was singing.  I found it impressive how something as simple as a large stair on a piazza could draw so many people.  Everywhere in Rome the sound of the people in a Piazza is filled in with the lovely sound of moving water from a nearby fountain.

One Comment to “The sounds of Roma”

  1. Love this post Lise. It seems you’re having a perfectly amazing time. Thanks for all the sounds!

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