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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Back in Assisi Again

Blogging at you from Room 515 at the Hotel Giotto, my room away from room. This my fifth year teaching here, my third in 515. I ask for it early on. Most of the hotel's renovated, with new built-in units, comfortable chairs. I like the unrenovated old furniture here, and the ceiling height. It's harder for the hotel to sell this room to tours when people are only here for one night, because there are stairs, so even though there's an elevator you end up schlepping your bags part way. But I'm here for two weeks, and it's worth it for the view, the cross ventilation (so long, air conditioning; the hotel has it but I don't like to use it) and the view. Looking out in the late afternoon over San Pietro: peaceful is too mild a word. Fields and valley towns as far as the eye can see in all directions, and almost nothing moving. We're on a hill here, so the view is far. Not so bad in the morning, either.

Yesterday, after a morning of research with Carlos, Barb and I went to the Vatican, because I'd never seen St. Peter's. Okay, now I have. Too much, just too much. Yes, many of the sculptures are beautiful, and the marble, and some of the paintings (fewer than the sculptures, if truth be told) but honestly, even if grandeur impressed me, that's too far beyond grand. No wonder building it brought about the Reformation.

Today, our last morning in Rome was spent having breakfast in the courtyard of the Hotel Santa Maria (and I'm only telling you people about this hotel because I like you; I made the hotel promise that if I sang their praises as they deserve there still has to always be a room for me when I come back, no matter how popular they get) and then strolling across the Ponte Sisto, through the old Jewish ghetto, and having coffee. Having coffee is a big part of a day in Italy, as far as I can see. Especially in summer, it's too hot to go long or far without refreshment. And you must sit and see who is going by, with whom, and wearing what. Then we strolled back, met our van up here, and here we are. Tomorrow I start teaching. Next year I want you ALL up here with me!

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