me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Chinquechento Queendichee

515, my room number here at the Hotel Giotto, Assisi. Pronounced in bad Italian, which is the only kind I speak. I had this same room last year, and when I finally got the number right to ask for my room key the young woman at the desk burst out, "Madonna!"

The room itself is kind of spectacular. Not huge, but big; up and down two short sets of stairs, even after you take the elevator (which I usually don't because you have to wait for it) because the elevator's in one wing and the room's in another. That makes the hotel sound grander than it is. It's lovely, warm, comfortable, welcoming, with a wonderful staff; but it's not grand. It's just that because no two inches in Assisi are at exactly the same level, once you cobble together a hotel out of two or three older buildings you've got stairs every time you turn around.

Because of the extra stairs this isn't a room they give the tour groups, who come in at six in the evening and leave at six the next morning. Me, I'm here for two weeks and I spend a fair amount of time in the room, writing, so this one -- a corner room with windows south and west; two desks; a big bathroom with a tub -- is great. Also, among my favorite things about ol' 515 is that it's unrenovated. The Giotto went through a change of ownership and accompanying renovation three years ago. Some of the changes are good, but the renovated rooms have now built-in streamlined modern furniture. Which means the desks can't be moved to sit under the window, or in the case of the renovated room I had two years ago, in the French doors. With a view like this, why would you want to stare at the wall when you're working?

from my room, east

from my room, north

from my room, northeast

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