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Monday, June 12, 2006

The First Roman Shower

The last two times I've been to Rome it has rained on the day of my arrival. Last year it wasn't a bad sign -- the weather was perfect thereafter -- so I assume it portends the same this year.

So... here I am, la citta bella, and once more I find myself enamored. If one were to ask what exactly I find so enchanting, my answer might not entirely satisfy. Rome is loud, crowded, dirty, filled with people from all corners of the globe who all want to be just where you are going... and it is also multi-layered, steeped in history, cosmopolitan, exciting. All of which could have been said about it, 500, 1000, 2000 years ago.

Every corner reveals yet another treasure -- yesterday I discovered a church built on the remains of a church, itself built on the remains of another church. Four stories beneath the present-day street-level of Rome it is quiet, and cool, and one can hear the whispers of those who, 2000 years ago, walked the same marble paving stones.

I sit in outdoor cafes and let the city wash over me in all its glory. I drink cafe latte or cappuccino or wine, and eat bruschetta or pasta or gelato, and I am once again part of not only today's world but the past. In Rome one can walk from today to yesterday, over and over again, and always it remains the same -- an ever-changing city filled with the ghosts of those who have been here, and those who will come. Today, we are just passing through.


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