I adore Rome! How can one not? If Paris is romantic, Rome is downright passionate-sexy. Rome has captured hearts and minds for decades- er centuries. In Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s novel, Eat, Love & Pray (now on big screen, starring Julia Roberts) the main character begins her self-exploration in Rome. When in Rome just came out on DVD, a comedy about a women chased by suitors. Who does not know of the classic Roman Holiday? Then there was that one where Marisa Tomei chases her destiny, and Robert Downy Jr chases her- from ROME.
I arrived in Rome by train, after an intense sun tan lotion fight with a group of guys from Cornwall, which nearly got them and my friend Lisa and I chucked off at the border. There was slippery lotion and limbs everywhere when the customs officer ventured into our train compartment- but all a G-rated bit of fun, anyhow, we made it to Rome in one piece, said good bye to our companions and ventured into the marvelous city. Live music abounds from everywhere, and every other building is a magnificent piece of architecture that left me breathless in a state of awe. I actually grew weary of saying “wow” by the time we came to the Spanish Steps. After having read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons, I would like to return to follow the trail of secrets in the art, just to see if it’s for real.
Tinyhidden cafes tucked into tight corners send out aromatic espresso scents to tempt the weak willed. Women dangling designer shopping bags, dressed in stilettos, sexy mini skirts, armani silk tops, huge dark glasses and wide brimmed hats pause to laugh and dangle a gold clad armful of bracelets over their dashing partners, each looking like a they stepped out of a GQ photo shoot and oozing of confidence. These are the people all those romance novels are written about. They radiate with confidence and passion. Piaggio scooters whiz down the cobblestone back streets past the side walk cafes, carrying more sexy Italians, lilting voices rise in the air.
The Colosseum took my breath away the first time I saw it, but inside I felt slightly ill- remnants of a ghastly past of christian slaughters clinging in the heavy summer air? I was glad to escape, the other ruins were safe, but the Colosseum? Bad vibes. Again the architecture was awe inspiring- so much history- everywhere they dig in Rome (like Athens), they come across a new ancient site. The whole city is an archeology site- or one waiting to happen.
We were lucky to have been there for the reopening of the Trevi Fountain, another brilliant masterpiece of dimensional art- are the grand masters still creating such masterpieces from marble or is this now a lost art form? The crowd throbbed to the loud music. Lisa took my hand and swept me into the midst of the tall, sexy Italians, and soon I was lost in the sea of bodies. In another country this would have been a sweaty mass of human stink, but in Rome it was a competition of overpowering designer fragrances- a heady attack on the olfactory- overwhelming. And the Romans are a towering lot (I barely clear 5 feet). I was lost in a sea of bodies, overcome by colognes and deafening sounds. I must admit it was the first time in my life that I experienced claustrophobia, and I’ve squeezed down many of tight holes in my caving/potholing adventures with a candle and rope, but instead of swooning to be caught by a gorgeous Italian (darn, I didn’t think about THAT until later!) I fought my way out of the crowd to the sidelines where our fellas from Cornwall sharing a bottle of cheap vino and trying to see if the Pope was about.
I was sorry to see magnificent Rome slip away into the night as we left on our train to Venice, the lights of the city glowing against a starless sky, the sounds of music wafting through the evening air.. Viva la Roma!