Having exhausted Bath for the location of SPLASH POINT my son and I traveled to Rome. He had the camera, I had the notebook. From my previous blog, I had two characters located in Bath, the Temple of Minerva and the Laura Fountain. Stourhead had given me a grotto. Ideas were buzzing in my head and as I said details are essential to capture the reader’s imagination, but should not swamp them.
I needed a building, that fitted my idea of the mysterious hotel. Oh yes you say, Rome has a thousand buildings. What a choice, but it had to be right? Walking along one of the many narrow streets there was an ageing poster of an art exhibition. There it was, my Splash Point Hotel, but where was it? After considerable wandering for several days I stood in front of it. The palazzo was in need of care, but its appearance was perfect. It had a courtyard with a fountain and lots of exotic plants. I had my hotel. More pictures, notes and even postcards. Now for the grotto beneath it. Where would I find that?
My son and I always enjoy finding new restaurants and again in a side street, we were welcomed by the eager owner, a lively member of the older generation, but so proud of his restaurant.
The dining area at ground floor level was full, but if we would like to go downstairs there was plenty of room. The room was Roman and the decor filled with marble treasures. The owner said that if we went down another floor we would be at the original street of the Roman city, but access was too dangerous. So looking around the room I could now furnish my grotto, combining it with the grotto at Stourhead.
But what of Bill and Hillary I hear you say? Announcing I was writing a novel, he produced a leather bound book and asked me to write my name and the basic story-line. This I did. he book contained names of the famous, which obviously I was not, but he insisted. Only a few pages away were Bill and Hillary. As far as I know the book is still on the shelf in his restaurant, and I’m still waiting for fame, but not desperate for it.