The Odyssey: There’s no place like Rome

…to her strange sense of time. Her alchemy is perfect, with her classical beauty, ancient history and fantastic food but time feels different. Which is natural, I suppose, in the eternal city.

Whether you’re going to spend 3 days or spend 3 years in Rome like we did, time will feel as if it’s stopped. It will play with your mind. When friends came to visit they agreed, it was like time ceased to exist, or they felt the sensation of having lived a previous life in the eternal city. Again, alchemy, or something else…

I fell in love as a tourist and found her residents culturally Catholic, like many Italians, yet uniquely relaxed about their faith. Romans, in general, just appear relaxed. Even with all her deep secrets kept at the Vatican, her hyper-surreal environs, surrounded by fountains bathed in sensual statues.

Her art stood still as well, in classical mode, achieving perfection, and yet the drama of Caravaggio’s epiphanies startle modern day gazers in the same way they did once upon a time. She is a most seductive city and you will want to succumb. Especially if you attend the ballet the the baths of Caracalla, this event I still remember like it was yesterday. I never really could quite believe I lived in Rome. It truly felt fantastical for me, an American, our country so incredibly young in comparison.

We visit as often as we can and each time it feels exactly like the first time I walked across the Tiber river and just knew we had to live in Trastevere; the heart of Rome. I’ve yet to hear of a visitor feeling let down. Like meditating, you might as well give in and let Rome takes care of the rest because she will take of you; I promise.

For example, I never thought I could spend 3 hours sitting down to lunch. But you will when you are in Rome. Nowhere else has the experience of sitting down for lunch felt as nautural as it did in that city for such an extended period of time under such a warm sun.

We often talk of Rome but I’m not sure about the next visit. I may have lived a nomadic lifestyle but I was never a natural traveler. I’m just grateful I did decide to jump off so may cultural cliffs. And now that we live so close Venice I think the gravitational pull may understandably shift.

But what a trip it’s been. When I left Seattle and sailed across the Atlantic on our sailboat in 2002, I felt like I’d weathered an emotional cyclone – both in Seattle and while sailing across a big ocean – not unlike Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – but I think it’s safe to say…

there’s no place like Rome…

Published by baileyalexander

An American living in Piemonte. Sailed across the Atlantic aboard our 43 Nauticat in 2002 and spent over a decade living in Rome, Paris, Prague, Malta, Venice and Bucharest before settling in Piemonte, Italia.

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