AtoZ Blog Challenge – N – Piazza Navona




Piazza Navona – Rome

In writing Facing East, one of the main characters, Robert Davis, heads to Italy for six months hoping to find his Shangri-la. It allowed me to draw from my own experience while on a garden tour in Tuscany. I could not resist the charms of Italy, and neither can Robert.

If Malcolm could have listened while Robert talked about the people in the Piazza Navona, where he now walked between the street performers and the artists drawing caricatures, he might understand what was happening.  Here was a man who was unchurched, with no visible piety as far as Katherine could tell, drawn to the churches where he sat tucked in a corner observing the tourists walking quietly up and down the aisles, some stopping to pray before side altars. He watched the Italian people with their small children arrive for a mass he knew very little about, though he was beginning to comprehend the words that were spoken.  From Facing East


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in AtoZ Blog Challenge April 2015 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to AtoZ Blog Challenge – N – Piazza Navona

  1. johnvic8 says:

    What’s not to like about Rome? There are so many wonderful memories we share of that beautiful city. Everyone should have their own “Roman Holiday.”

    • When we get to the letter V for Vespa, I mentioned Roman Holiday, which brought attention to these scooters. Would love to be there now strolling through Monti, the section of Rome I settled on for the novel. we can pretend.

  2. I too, do not “go” to church as others do, but I do love to visit them, especially in Europe. There is a special feeling I get when I go. I spent four hours in Notre Dame in Paris once. It was magical… Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @

    • Your experience is what happened to Robert Stillman, one of the main characters in my new novel. I have never forgotten spending a few hours in Pienza, sitting in the church during a service, understanding very little, but blessed nonetheless. If the two of us had been together, I know we would turn and smile at one another. Here’s to other moments like yours in Notre Dame. Come back and see me when you can.

  3. Beautiful snippet of your writing. Robert sounds like an interesting character.

    • Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Robert Stillman, one of the main characters in the novel. does something we all imagine ourselves doing. Taking ourselves off to a destination we dream of visiting. In his case, a deserved sabbatical turns in to a life changing decision. Come back to see me when you can.

  4. noelleg44 says:

    Never been to Italy – this just whets my appetite.

  5. Love Italy. I’ve been there several times, but it still isn’t enough! I wrote a scene from my vampire romance in Genoa, found the little chapel where my heroine lit a candle and prayed to find the love of her life, not realizing her fated mate was standing at the front of the chapel and could (of course) overhear her prayer. I’ve visited that little chapel now 3 times.

    Love traveling and writing. There isn’t anything in life I love to do better, except perhaps garden, or that other thing…

    • Happy, Sharon, to find a kindred spirit. I will come and see you ASAP. Traveling, gardening, writing, praying in chapels….my kind of girl. Thanks for visiting. Come back when you can. I’ll watch for you.

  6. karen says:

    Beautiful city and story.

  7. You make me want to go – NOW! I love churches of all kinds – doesn’t matter the denomination – they always make me feel peaceful.

  8. Beverly says:

    Congratulations on your book. What a great inspiration you had to write it. Italy would be a wonderful place to visit. I love old churches and houses and the history that goes with them.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Nice meeting you.

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