Music that reminds me of Rome, #1

Now call me a hopeless old romantic, but this is pretty much my favourite scene from any film:

The film may not be about Rome, but it’s close enough. It’s from E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View – or rather, the wonderful Merchant Ivory adaptation of it. In my eyes, everything about this scene is perfect:  the glorious views of Florence from the picturesque Italian countryside; the contrast between the stiff-upper-lipped English vicar who lives in Florence and the wonderful, spirited Mr Beebe and Mr Emerson, and between the uptight Miss Charlotte Bartlett (Maggie Smith) and the free-thinking ‘lady novelist’ Miss Eleanor Lavish (Judi Dench); and of course the fantastically romantic moment in which Lucy Honeychurch is escorted to the field of barley by the Italian driver, wandering initially unobserved towards George Emerson, who, upon turning and seeing her, strides confidently and urgently towards her and, defying all social conventions, takes her in his arms and kisses her – just as Miss Barlett appears on the scene and frustratingly puts a stop to the whole proceedings.

The music is from Puccini’s opera La Rodine (The Swallow) – ‘Chi il bel sogno di Doretta’ – and it reminds me of Rome because I listened to it a lot when I was there on the BSR course and on subsequent visits. For me, it encapsulates Rome’s romantic atmosphere perfectly.  In fact, the whole theme of A Room with a View – a young, naive English woman discovering a passion for Italy and learning a lot about herself in the process – is one to which I can relate considerably…

About Rachel Ingram

I graduated from Oxford University in 2009 with an MA in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History from St John's College. After graduating I worked as a Geographic Researcher at, spending lots of time researching and writing travel guides to worldwide destinations, developing my copywriting skills. After working as a copywriter and content consultant at (formerly SEOptimise), where I most enjoyed working with travel clients, I went self-employed. I now divide my time between freelance copywriting and running the business I set up with my boyfriend - - selling aviation gift experiences. In my spare time I'm training for a Private Pilot's Licence, and I also enjoy travelling, wine and baking. My favourite authors are Charles Dickens, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Bill Bryson.
This entry was posted in Music and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.