My luck had officially run out. Two days prior to my flight I received an email saying my flight into Rome had been cancelled due to the general strikes in Spain. I scrambled to find another flight, but I has to miss a day of class, crash on a friends couch in Madrid, and be a nervous wreck for two days as I wasn’t sure if any of my travels plans would fall through or not now. Luckily all went well and soon enough I was roaming the Roman streets, gazing at countless years of impressive and fundamental historical landmarks that instantly became materialized before me. Rome presented itself to me as passively domineering. It was the foundation of Western Civilization. It has power– even today amidst all of the tourists, its ancient stands do dominating the space in a powerful yet nonchalant way. This unspoken power allowed for this to be the place of some of the world’s best: the best cappuccino, the best thinkers and philosophers, warriors, art, food, and atmospheres that were readily available in every piazza. Every thing Roman– everything classical yet modern at the same time– as smooth as the gentle slope of the boldly colored mopeds that zip in every which direction. Rustic burnt orange walls chipping away with time– sully glowing against the strength of the spring sunshine as the ubiquitous marble fountains bubble not far-off. Though crawling with tourists, Rome’s character is unshakeable and so recognizable that its what many consider to be quintessentially Italian and even quintessentially European, that it is reproduced subconsciously be many. So naturally the same conversation sprung up within the first day. Every trip I go on I always end up having the same conversation with whomever I’m with: which decade fits the personality of this city the best in your opinion? Very often the reply is influenced by a movie or book. To me Paris would have been the best in the 1920s thanks to many artists who called Paris home in those days and also thanks to the recent Woody Allen film, A Midnight in Paris. For me, Rome will always be in black and white in the late 1950s and early 1960s thanks to the classic film, Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. So as the days passed, the more I felt the powerful and influential presence of Rome. Hours before my flight I rushed through the Vatican Museum in hopes of catching a quick glimpse of the Sistine Chapel. After elbowing young school children and tour groups out of my way I made it into the chapel. As I stood under the over-whelming ceiling I focused in on the panel of the famous picture of God reaching out to Adam during the Creation. Rome is much like that moment of anticipation in that it feels like you are standing on the edge of true and a greatness that seems almost other-worldly. A powerful sensation to say the least.
2 thoughts on “Rome”