It’s one of my favorite movies. Audrey Hepburn. Gregory Peck. But the real star is the eternal city, Rome. Today, as I rummaged through my desk, I found a small statue of the Colosseo in the back of a drawer. I bought it from a sidewalk vendor on one of the winding, cobblestone streets to the catacombs, probably overpaid. It’s been a decade since I last walked the streets. Yet, the city remains. Here were some of the memories that came rushing back:
- The Coloseo. I admit I was hustled. On arrival, I got out of the cab, paid my euro, and then passed through the rite of passage of the gladiators who grab your camera, declare your wife as Cleopatra incarnate (which I believe to be true), and shove tin helmets on your head. Sadly, I don’t think they allow this anymore. Pity. Still, the Roman concrete stands the test of time. Note, I came across this article on Roman Concrete. To think, modern concrete has a life span of about 50 years. The Coloseo was completed in 80 AD. It’s too bad someone didn’t keep their grandmother’s concrete recipe. It’s stronger, lasts longer, and has a superior carbon footprint.
- The Spanish Steps. There is a coffee shop near the foot of the steps. When the end is nigh, I’d love to be drafting a story, or simply jotting a few notes, while sipping a shot of espresso right here. It truly is the world’s best of coffee.
- Pantheon. Outdoor dining at its best. It doesn’t really matter what you eat. Location. Location Location.
- Roman Forum. Stand still. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. When you open your eyes, you can go back and time, just for a fleeting instant, and picture how the city looked centuries ago.
There is so much more. The Vatican. Catacombs. St. Peter’s Basicala. Sistine Chapel. Piazza Navona. Trevi Fountain. Spend a few days. Better yet, try for a few weeks. What are you waiting for? There is so little time.