I have decided that Rome is my favorite city I’ve ever visited.
True, I haven’t been to a lot of truly remarkable cities around the world.
But still, even little southern girls are allowed to have a favorite city…and Rome is mine.
We had quite an aggressive list of things we wanted to see when we arrived, and not a lot of time to fit them all in, so we did a whole lot of fast walking, speed reading, and sweating.
It was magical.
Imagine, if you can, what a typical downtown might look like. Busses, taxis, people, crosswalks, and all the rest. Now add in Italian architecture, balconies on every single window, cascading plants on every single balcony, people on the streets talking in loud, animated tones…
This is Rome...
And then, in the midst of all the modern hustle and bustle, you round a corner…
And a giant, 2,000-year-old building is in front of you, proudly defying the test of time, reminding all who pass by that things have not always been as they are now.
This is also Rome…
I was breathless. Not from all the walking we did in order to see the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Vatican, and everything in between, but from the sheer enormity of the history all around me.
I mean, I saw the Sistine Chapel.
And the place where Julius Caesar was cremated after being betrayed and murdered by Brutus.
And the first chariot racetrack.
And the tomb of the great painter, Raphael.
And the place where historians believe Peter, the apostle, was crucified.
I walked where Nero walked. (and, because I am nothing if not Patty Bausum’s daughter, I prayed against the evil that no doubt found residence in the home of that wicked, depraved scum bag.)
I walked where gladiators walked. (and, because I am nothing if not a movie buff, I knew exactly what had happened there. (“I’ve seen Gladiator,” I remarked to my husband.)
I entered the same tunnels where first century Christians may have sought refuge from persecution, and I saw a grave marker with the earliest symbols of faith in Jesus Christ. (and again, because I am Patty’s daughter, I cried.)
We bought a book on the street and at every single moment possible, I sat down and read about what we were going to see. And then I gave Heath the abbreviated version. (because he didn’t want to read every single word, but he wanted to know all that I had read.)
I also stopped at every information sign and read every word. (because I am nothing if not Dan Bausum’s daughter!)
So, basically, I spent the day as a history teacher. (because I am nothing if not Dan and Patty Bausum’s daughter!) J
It had its downside, like every city. Cobble stone streets are torture on the sandal- footed, and on bus and taxi shocks. More than once I leaned over to whisper in Heath’s ear “You know what this city could really use? Asphalt.”
Also, because it’s a very large city (duh, its been around since ‘a long time ago’ BC) it was confusing as heck trying to figure out which bus or metro line to take. Thanks to the cobblestones and all the walking (seriously, you have no idea how much and how fast we walked) I was footsore and grumpy about our frequent state of “where the ‘demon’s lair’ are we?” and that may or may not have translated into a good old fashioned glare off between me and my husband…
But it doesn’t matter. All the cobblestones in the world won’t change my opinion.
I love Rome.
I am sorry to be leaving her. But we are headed into the Tuscan region, and I am certain I will find more things to love in the next town.
But its going to take a lot to outdo my favorite city in the world.