New Year’s Day in Piazza Navona

Happy New Year 2020 to all our clients and friends around the world!

IMG_7723Temps are pretty chilly here in Rome these days, but that hasn’t stopped either Romans or visitors from continuing to celebrate. One of the go-to places in Rome at Christmas-time is Piazza Navona, a historical gem which we already told you all about in this post. During this season, it is transformed into a sort of a Christmas carnival, which is fun for both children and grown-ups alike.

True, it can be a bit surreal to find an antique carousel parked in front of Borromini’s marvelous Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone–but in some ways it feels even stranger to see Santa (known as Babbo Natale in Italian) and his wife sitting there in their reindeer-drawn sleigh, generously letting tourists hop in for a quick photo. Meanwhile, dotted all over the piazza are booths where you can find all kinds of sweet treets (including cotton candy), and arcades where you can win some pretty impressive prizes for shooting targets or throwing hoops. If local fairs have similar contests back home where you live, well, it’s clear that some simple pleasures aren’t limited by national boundaries.

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But in case you start to forget that you’re in Italy, you’ll be forcibly reminded by the IMG_7737booths filled with fascinating collections of furnishings for your own home nativity scene. Many Italians add new pieces to their scene every year, much like little girls furnishing their doll-houses; and if you could see the dizzying array of colorful characters, animals, buildings and furnishings, we bet you’d be tempted to start this tradition too!

Finally, let’s not forget the reason for the season: this is a public place, under secular Roman government control, but there’s always a fine nativity scene erected here in Piazza Navona (one of several throughout the city), reminding us why we’re here. Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus, and thank You for bringing true joy to the world–and to us here in Rome!

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