Rione Ponte – Little-known hood of Rome

Walking tours are often hit and miss. I find that there are times when I “zone out” and focus properly on my surroundings, imbibing every nuance. What I do love about being chaperoned with an army of headphoned fanatics is the fact that they start to train your eye to siphon for beauty.

I also particularly relish in transforming my Italian friends into tourists of their own city. Last weekend a couple of girlfriends and I joined the seniors on a walk around the Rione Ponte area. Given that most tourist outings are now confined to these open-air gigs, I thought it would be a leisurely afternoon. I was super keen to see couple of stops, but more than anything, I was fascinated by the “Monkey Tower”.

La Torre della Scimma:

It is relatively unassuming from afar, as are many sites in Rome. Despite this, the tale is rather of intrigue. Once freestanding, the tower is now wedged between buildings. The legend, myth or stretched truth is the building belonged to a nobelman, who had a son and a monkey. One day, the animal took the child and climbed to the top of the tower. The desperate father gave her prayers to Our Lady: kindly the monkey came down and brought the baby in his cot.
The crowd gathered and proclaimed it to be a miracle and the father from that day, as a testimony of this miracle, built a statue of Mary – I will leave it to you to evaluate the veracity of this towering tale.

The Courtesan and her Sugar Daddy (ies)

Flaming by name and nature, Fiammetta (Little Flame),

to be continued tonight

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