|With The Secret Place, A Key to the 91st Psalm, written by Emmet Fox and a pocket-sized translator, Instant Italian (a party favor drawn at a Christmas event four months before) as my only reading materials, I continued on my great adventure.|
It was a glorious summer afternoon on my arrival at the DaVinci airport. The drive into the city was without the usual chaotic weekday traffic. As we entered the Campo de’ Fiori, I instantly felt as if I had come home to familiar sights and sounds of the city. We continued along via Giulia, past the Fontana del Mascherone, to the piazza Farnese. The driver parked the taxi just off the square at via Monserrato. He took my suitcase from the trunk of the cab and led me on foot down the very narrow cobblestone street to the outer door of the old stone building where I would be staying.
My friends were out, but they had made arrangements for me to be let in. I rang the bell, and the heavy wooden door swung open. Inside was a large courtyard. I found my way to the elevator and took it to the top floor. The elevator door opened directly into the apartment. To my amazement, it had the feeling of the cloisters and spaces that I had imagined before my journey began. The interior space was cool and quiet with its marble floors, high ceilings, wide arching doorways, and shuttered windows. It was beautifully furnished with art and antiques.
A stairway from the library led up to a multi-level roof garden and a panoramic view of the city. There were orange trees, in large terra cotta containers, abundant with fruit and fragrant white blossoms. The terrace was directly across from a beautiful bell tower. The bells tolled on the quarter hour as if to welcome me. I was in heaven!
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