I’d heard the tour of the Colosseum was not worth the 20 Euro price (plus tip), so while everyone else is sightseeing, I decide to explore Rome on my own.
I’ve been to Paris, with its romantic surroundings but somewhat brutish locals. I’ve been to London, where the buildings are a cold shade of gray and its people even more emotionless. I don’t consider these to be bad characteristics of a place But Rome, Rome is different. Rome exudes passion. Rome is warm. The city envelopes me as I walk up and down its curvaceous streets in search of…myself, my roots, this idea of what it means to be Italian, because that’s what I am, and I’m here now.
I make plans to meet up with the rest of the group once the tour is over, only to realize that I don’t exactly know when that will be, and from where they will exit.
From my seat on the wall, I can see the Arch of Constantine, although it will take an art history class next semester to help me recognize that as such. The area is teeming with life; gypsies selling fake Prada and Louis Vuitton bags get chased away by Italian police. Tourists snap photos and wrap lightweight jackets around their waists to better accommodate their large day packs, swinging about their hips. I spot a sharply dressed couple sitting on the wall next to me, suitcases adjacent to them. They are cuddling, sleeping, waiting for their next move, perhaps a plane somewhere new, or a taxi to take them home. They sit basking in the sun, in each others arms, wrapped in coats and good looks.
There’s a reason Rome sounds so much like romance.