We arrived in Rome early afternoon, dropped our bags off, and shuttled into the city center with excitement weaving through our veins like the Vespa’s through traffic. Lost within steps and oddly unconcerned about it, as every twist revealed new wonders.
Our drop off point was next to the river Themes and little did we know the domes we admired that first night were those of Saint Peter’s Basilica. It took two days and a high vantage point to get our barring. The river itself is confined by mighty walls, for flood control, and the murky olive water seemed to teem with ancient monsters.
On first glance the city seems dirty. But after reflection, it felt like an old man too grizzled to shave and too respected for anyone to say anything about it. Old gods rub elbows with cubby cherubs and the Virgin Mary in nearly every plaza as we walk.
Cobbled streets smoothed by years of feet, domes instead of skyscrapers, and marble steps older than ten times your years. A feeling of insignificance is inescapable here and so is dinner, once you take your seat you are expected to keep it warm long into the night hours.
The massiveness of the ruins makes you rethink ancient abilities (or aliens) as the size seems inconceivable even by modern standards. The coliseum, forum, pantheon, capuchin crypts, and endless bubbling fountains leave awe and more than a few scribbled thoughts.