All roads lead to Rome
or “Tutte le strade portano a Roma”
“You may have the universe, if I may have Italy” said Giuseppe Verdi too long ago. And Rome is the emanation of Italy. Rome is perfection. And I do not want to talk about the Colosseo and the Fontana di Trevi, about the Spanish steps and the basilica St. Peter, not because they are not worth it, hell no, they are majestic and impressive, but Rome is not only a city of sightseeing tours and buses with no roofs and people with cameras on the top of them, listening to a monotonous voice telling them some backstory of every building. Rome is experience. So when you want one, take your time, go there for as long as possible, for a week or a couple, for a month or a whole summer. Go there and relish the dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing) as the lovely woman in Eat, Pray, Love did, as all the Italians live.
Let’s start with the natives; though famous with their mafia, they are indeed cheerful, happy, smiley people, expressive and enthusiastic. They not only speak their lovely language, they talk with their gestures, with their whole body. They are Romans, successors of the ancient civilization, they have saved what they got from their parents and grandparents – they are calm and sprightly. After you meet them, it’s time for you to get lost – to leave the crowded area around the Fontana di Trevi and to choose one of the cutest little streets in the world. Don’t hasten now. Walk slowly, and imagine the people who lived here thousands of years ago. Who were they, how did they feel, and who did they love? The jolty streets you walk through are the same where crowds of people were going so as to get to the Colosseo for a spectacle. Out of nowhere you soon see an old house with an old lady on the balcony with wash-line and flowers, and you think of the interesting life this woman has led. Around the corner you find a unique family restaurant with really small tables and four chairs around each, right on the lumpy street. A restaurant where you can taste the real pizza and pasta – home-made, with love and passion, and a recipe handed down through the generations, of course. You try the wonderful Toscanian wine, made of grapes that had gathered the sunbeams and made this magical drink more rich and dense. You soon find yourself on the riverside road and you are enthralled by the bridges and the sensation they bring to you. You go to museums full of history and silence, and back to the streets where life never ends and you are hiding yourself in the clamor. You stop for an espresso, short, deep, great, or for a cappuccino – uniquely prepared. You take a gelato and soon are back on the la strada (street) where you have so much more to see: people on Vespas and churches and fountains on every corner, and fashion shops and magic. Rome is precious, beautiful, flawless.