In his introduction to “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” Tony Bennett sings that Rome’s splendor is of another age. We discovered that is not exactly true. There is much splendor and even a spectacle or two to be found in Rome. One of the spectacles can be found among the shops along the Via Babbuino leading from the Spanish steps to the Piazza di Popolo. The neon sign in front of the shop provides a unique view of the Egyptian Obelisk.
The setting sun add a pink tint to the obelisk as seen through the neon spectacle advertising an optical shop.
Several of Rome’s more fashionable streets radiate from the Spanish steps, but Via Babbuino provides the most direct route to the Piazza del Popolo. The designer names among the stores are familiar to anyone who knows fashion.
Chanel still provides a classic look to its window displays
Other stores have names not as familiar but each providing their styles and panache to the area. Of course it being Rome you can’t go very far without coming upon a church or two.
Dior features colorful handbags in one of their windows.
As a photographer I loved walking down this street. Every window reflected not only what was in the window, but because it was nearing dusk and the day had been very sunny it also reflected what was on the outside. However there was one window that even fooled me. The back of the store was just a big mirror that I didn’t notice until Fernando pointed out that you could see us on the back wall.
You can just make out the photographer and his husband (in the red jacket) in this window which also includes a reflection of the Spanish steps.
The street is also home to many art galleries and antique stores with art works for sale. I couldn’t help but think about what some of the people who had been sculpted centuries ago would think if they were alive today.
If only he could tell us what he is thinking.