Rome Travel Guide

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pioggia Sporca

Pioggia sporca means "dirty rain."  That was burned into our brains years ago, watching the movie Black Rain (1989, Ridley Scott, dir.) in Italian translation. 

Except when set in Los Angeles (where the hot Santa Ana winds serve are the area's unnerving meterological presence), detective novels are invariably troubled by rains, setting a dark and somber
tone for the narrative, inhibiting the clear vision of the problem-solving protagonist, and serving as a metaphor for our hero's inevitable moments of doubt and depression.  

Rain is omnipresent in Conor Fitzgerald's The Memory Key (2013), set in the bleak Rome of November.  Reasonable enough, except that Chapter 41 opens this way:

"The sun had come out.  The white chapel in the order of the piazzetta was almost blinding.  The
gleaming cobbles shone like obsidian, and the potted plants around Principe's building seemed to have been reinvigorated.  The rain had rinsed the scooters and cars bright and new." 

"Rinsed the scooter and cars bright and new"?  Maybe, just maybe, that happens in Rome in November.  But by our experience, Rome is dirty rain country.  A good rain and you've got to wash everthing you've left outside: the car, scooter, the bicycle, the plastic porch furniture, the laundry, the leaves of the potted plants, the dog, the wife and kids.  They'll be filthy.  In Rome, the pioggia is sporca.    Bill

This and the other pics for this piece were taken near Piazza dei Re di Roma, in late April.

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