Home » memoir » Postcards from Italy: Rome is…

Postcards from Italy: Rome is…

graffititrainAfter I posted a book report over at Goodreads on The Dark Heart of Italy, a friend suggested I take a look at Paul Ginsborg’s A History of Italy. Seemed like a good excuse to run up to Rome and pick up a book, so I did. My destination was a little English title bookstore, Anglo-American Book Shop, on Via Della Vite, that I figured would have the book.

We got lost using the GPS function on Gary’s iPad. Street signs are hard to find here in Italy. Sometimes they’re on the buildings themselves, sometimes they are on poles like in the U.S. The wide avenues don’t have signage at all. Everybody knows what Via Nazionale is, so why do you need a sign?

Despite the fact that it was cold the streets were crowded. Everybody was out. It was Saturday and time for a walk after all. The outdoor cafes had heating devices placed strategically amongst the tables. They consisted of see-through cylinders with gas jets inside. Blue flames shot through the tubes, keeping the diners closest to the jets warmest.

We were hungry by the time we found the store and made our purchase. One of my favorite things in the whole world is to be hungry in Rome. To be hungry in Rome is to find meaning in your life. There is no better position to be in than hungry in Rome.

We searched for about a tenth of a block for an appropriate place to eat. As is typical of Italian eateries, it was small on the outside, and endless with backrooms on the inside. We found a little nook in back complete with wine in a basket, checkered table cloth, and MTV featuring Gangnam Style on the flatscreen above our heads. How romantic. I ordered papardelle with a porcini sauce. Comfort food. Delicious and rib-sticking. I had no need for dinner later. Gary had…something else. The wine was great, the bread fresh out of the oven, the cappuccino passable.

We slept on the train ride home.

I have a hard time writing on Rome because I don’t have anything to add to the trillions of words that have already been published on the subject.
I don’t even know what to photograph. It’s all so…Romish. Following on from my post on graffiti, I thought I should include the lovely sample up above that I shot in the train yard. (That’s actually the train to Frascati by the way. We were on the wrong platform. Fortunately there’s always another train to Frascati.)

Here’s my sum up:

Rome is…
…old;
…beautiful;
…crowded even in mid-winter;
…mysterious;
…eternal.

There I said it. Hopefully I’ll find another excuse to head up there and spend enough time to write a more serious contribution on Rome. Meanwhile, I’m going to go and read my book.

Thanks for checking in,

Sue Lange

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