Rome was love at first sight. Rome is often compared to another great European capital, Paris, and I have to say, although I love Paris with all of my heart, Rome gets this one. Especially on that spring night, when the entire city softly glows, shadows are cast. It was quiet. Most of the tourists have retired to their hotel bed. The Eternal City was ours.
I did not think I would love Roma as much as I did. I was wary in the beginning because they warn of pickpockets at every turn and lecherous Italians lurking about sleazily murmuring "Ciao, bella". It is a big city and for sure, it will be dirty.
Wrong, wrong, and wrong. It was utterly safe as long as you keep your travel wits about you. Motorcycles are not out to snatch your camera. The people are very nice and if you ask a street vendor for directions, they won't condemn you and help you as best they can (unlike in Paris). The Metro is efficient, easy-to-understand, and clean.
Rome has taught me about aging with grace. Flaunt the peeling plaster, let the fading paint fade. The Eternal City has nothing left to prove.
It was about a year ago now that we were in Rome and yet there was a somber and elegant quality about it that still echoes with me, like voices that bounce against the walls of an Eternal City gone to bed.
And if I could do it all over, I would spend just a day more in Rome...