Macarena at Trevi Fountain, Rome Italy
Updated: Jan 2
The first thing I felt before ever laying eyes on the pale, sea-green water and blinding travertine and marble monument, was an instant euphoria. It came to me by air, cool and fresh, carrying sound, the shouts of excitement, a happening. The temperature dropped and the din grew loud as I rounded the corner and the piazza came into view and then the magnificent fountain, Oceanus and his horses, the taming of the waters, and the three roads of the city leading to it. People thronged it, the light reflecting in their faces, a symphony of voices drowned by the roar of water.
It was my last day in Rome. I would have to catch a train shortly to Fiumicino, and I still had not found a way to photograph Papillon Wrap at the famous Roman fountain. How could I leave and not do it? But it was impossible to get close. I had made several lame selfies and had turned to go, foiled, when, stopped by some power, I paused and looked up. Across the way I saw a most beautiful woman. There was something other-worldly about her, and fine, as if touched by the spirit of the place. Gripped by the modern illusion that anything was possible, I walked straight toward her and in tourist Italian introduced myself, an American, and tried to explain that I had made this thing, and could she kindly wear it at Trevi Fountain for me. I held it up to show her what it was. I may have shown her a way or two to wear it. She smiled at me, and without hesitating, took the garment from me and, with the lightness of a bird, hopped onto an iron railing to gain some height from the crowd and began to interact with the thing as if creating a work of art. It was astonishing to see. I took photographs, or rather, the photographs seemed to take themselves, and then she hopped down, this bird, and in her poised way told me that she was from Sardinia. Her name was Macarena. We exchanged our information, awkwardly thanked one another, and then we parted.
At my hotel in Fiumicino later that night, I texted to thank her and she replied with kind words and I felt somehow that I had made a friend for life. Weeks later we exchanged emails and I learned more about her. Macarena was a scientist and a ballerina.
I met Macarena on May 10, 2019 at Fontana di Trevi, a fountain at the junction of three roads (tre vie) marking the terminal of the ancient Aqua Vergine, one of the many Roman aqueducts that deliver pure drinking water to the City of Rome. She wore Papillon Wrap in Black Dot.
You can follow Macarena on Instagram @macarenabarrero.