Spring in Rome: Guest Post from Coins in the Fountain Author Judith Works

We are taking a virtual trip to Rome today with author Judith Works as she shares a guest post with us!  We are thrilled to share her post--and share her latest book, Coins in the Fountain!  Enjoy Spring in Rome--and be sure to learn more about the author's book & enter to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

We are sharing this guest post as part of an iRead Book Tour. 

Spring in Rome
Guest Post from Judith Works

Even though it’s often spring-like in Rome when February rolls around, I think the season begins on March 8, International Women’s Day, when all the women wear springs of bright yellow mimosa flowers. The trees lining the streets are laden with the small fluffy blossoms, and florists display small branches mixed with colorful tulips and fragrant freesia. 

The pre-Lent winter celebration of Carnival is over by this time. The event is much-changed from the bawdy and often cruel entertainments of the past. Now there are parades of costumed children all dolled up to look like not-very-fierce pirates and very sweet princesses, their elders in Renaissance costumes, and floats with papier-mache figures lampooning politicians. The children toss confetti until the cobblestones are covered with the bits of colored paper. Carnival has its own favorite food – a sugar-dusted fried pastry called frappe.
When the weather warms, workers bring out large terracotta pots filled with blooming azaleas. They are placed on the Spanish Steps to create a sea of pink flowing down the stairs to delight the eye. In anticipation of Easter, shops are filled with football-sized chocolate eggs covered in bright foil that dazzle the eye and cause children to beg their mammas, or better yet nonnas, for a treat. Grandmothers never says no. Shelves are lined with boxes of the dove-shaped cake with almonds called Colombe Pasquale.

On Good Friday the Pope leads a torch-lit procession from the Colosseum to the Palatine Hill with prayers at each of the Stations of the Cross that have been set up for the occasion. Easter Sunday is notable for the huge crowds gathering in front of St. Peters to hear the Pope give his message of hope and peace in many languages. Families gather after church to dine on the traditional lamb accompanied by the tiny and tender spring artichokes.

The word for “Easter” in Italian is Pasqua. The day after Easter is called Pasquetta or little Easter, the traditional day for the first picnic of the year. Traffic is a nightmare as cars laden with family and food head for nearby parks or the hills to find a patch of grass to put down a blanket and enjoy the spring flowers that bloom profusely under the umbrella pines and next to old chunks of marble left over from some ancient temple.

When the Rose Garden is opened in May, I know that spring will soon turn into summer. The beautiful garden has 11,000 varieties in fragrant bloom. The setting on the slope of one of the Seven Hills, the Aventine, overlooks the Circus Maximus and the Palatine Hill. 

Roses and ruins – an early summer treat for Romans and tourists alike. 

Learn more about Coins in the Fountain by Judith Works. 

Innocents Abroad collide with La Dolce Vita when the author and her husband arrive in the ancient city of Rome fresh from the depths of Oregon. While the author endeavored to learn the folkways of the United Nations, her husband tangled with unfamiliar vegetables in a valiant effort to learn to cook Italian-style. In between, they attended weddings, enjoyed a close-up with the pope, tried their hands at grape harvesting, and savored country weekends where the ancient Etruscans still seemed to be lurking. Along the way they made many unforgettable friends including the countess with a butt-reducing machine and a count who served as a model for naked statues of horsemen in his youth.

But not everything was wine and wonders. Dogs in the doctor’s exam room, neighbors in the apartment in the middle of the night, an auto accident with the military police, a dangerous fall in the subway, too many interactions with an excitable landlord, snakes and unexploded bombs on a golf course, and a sinking sailboat, all added more seasoning to the spaghetti sauce of their life.

Their story begins with a month trying to sleep on a cold marble floor wondering why they came to Rome. It ends with a hopeful toss of coins in the Trevi Fountain to ensure their return to the Eternal City for visits. Ten years of pasta, vino, and the sweet life weren’t enough.

Part memoir, part travelogue, Coins in the Fountain will amuse and intrigue you with the stories of food, friends, and the adventures of a couple who ran away to join the circus (the Circus Maximus, that is).

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   iTunes   Amazon.UK

Meet the Author:

Life was routine until the author decided to get a law degree. Then a chance meeting led her to run away to the Circus (Maximus) – actually to the United Nations office next door – where she worked as an attorney in the HR department and entered the world of expat life in Rome.

Her publishing credits include a memoir about ten years in Italy titled Coins in the Fountain, a novel about expats in Rome, City of Illusions, and flash fiction in literary magazines. 

She continues to travel in her spare time, having fitted in over 100 countries. And when she is in Rome, she always tosses a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure another visit.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest   Instagram   Blog

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