Signs of Spring

I’d like to post some photos from last month, because April is one of my favorite times of year in Rome. The sunlight is warm, the afternoons grow noticeably longer, and the city slowly starts to bloom. Wind-swept flower petals turn up in the fountains and once-sagging vines grow lush with fresh leaves.

Camellia trees are the first to bloom, seemingly overnight, and vines of wisteria burst into lilic, their blossoms draped softly over doorways and windows.  The period for wisteria is quick – blink and it’s gone – but it’s such a dazzling sight it draws crowds of passersby, cameras in hand, unable to resist sticking their faces into the blooming vines for a subtle whiff of spring.

Tourists in bright floral sun dresses start to sprout around town as well, resulting in a comical sartorial contrast with the Romans, who remain bundled up in their plaid scarves and navy parkas. As the days grow longer, refracted sunlight dapples the buildings, and afternoon shadows grow more pronounced. The piazzas become vibrant with sight-seers, and the monuments echo with the murmur of unrecognizable languages from around the world.

In a couple of months the city will feel too crowded, the sidewalks clogged with gawking tour groups. The summer sun will be blinding and afternoons will be spent collapsed in front of a fan. But in April, Rome is a little slice of heaven.

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