Showing posts with label Puccini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Puccini. Show all posts

Thursday, June 30, 2011

An Open Air Concert in Rome

Steve and I heard the strains of music before we located the source.  Was it a live band or a recording?  As we entered the Piazza Navona after an early dinner of pasta and wine, we saw a crowd gathered in the square and realized people were listening to a symphonic band, in uniform, playing Nessun Dorma, an aria from Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot.

(I just realized now that Nessun Dorma means “none shall sleep.”  This amuses me because when we heard the song, we had been awake for about 33 consecutive hours, if you disregard the hour or two of restless sleep we got on the plane from Chicago to Rome and some nearly comatose minutes during dinner when I almost nodded off at the table.  Thank goodness for espresso.)

A local symphonic band performs in Piazza Navona on Saturday, June 18, 2011.
We made our way around to the front side of the band and stood, enjoying the unexpected free concert in the open air on a warm June evening, and I was reminded of last summer’s Vintage Band Festival in Northfield.  I thought about texting our friends and fellow travelers Lee and Laurel to alert them to the concert, but I didn’t want to break the spell of the moment.  We learned later that they were somewhere in the crowd, also enjoying the music.

I noticed that one of the uniformed members was not with the band, but was watching with the crowd.  Steve approached him during a break in the music and asked the name of the band.  It was La Banda Musicale della Guardia di Finanza, or the Financial Guard Band of Rome.  Maybe the band members would like to come to Northfield in 2013 for the next Vintage Band Festival?  According to the website, the band was founded in 1926, and it has traveled abroad several times, most recently in 2002 when it performed a concert at Ground Zero in New York.

We stayed for a few more songs, savoring the moment of tranquility in a day filled with activity.  Then, after a stop for gelato at Gelateria Della Palma (our second visit of the day), we felt the jet lag begin to overpower us, so we returned to our room at the Hotel Abruzzi and its view of the serene Pantheon.  We soon fell asleep, charmed by the everyday wonders of life in this ancient city.
The view of the Pantheon from our room at the Hotel Abruzzi.