Rome Sweet Home
The tickets are booked; I’ve begun to piece together a mental checklist of what to pack, the places to visit and the dinners to plan with friends… It’s not long now before I’ll be back on a plane headed to my home away from home - Roma.
By now, you would think that I’d be over the excitement, that going back to Rome would be as dull as taking the train from Manhattan to Queens. Actually, the reality is the exact opposite. I still find myself counting down the days, losing sleep over that dish of Abbacchio alla Cacciatora or that brisk Autumn walk on Via della Bottega Oscura to browse the antique shops.
Rome is more than a city, she’s a living thing. She’s got her own habits, her own preferences, her good days and bad days. From Monday to Saturday she wakes up at the crack of dawn, ready to greet the day as she’s done for thousands of years... but first, a cornetto and cappuccino, followed by a cigarette, or at the very least, a secondhand whiff of an old Signora’s Muratti. She buys a copy of her favorite newspaper from the edicola and indulges in an animated chiacchierata or chat about current events with her friends at the café. She hops on her scooter and gets to work, where the occasional espresso break marks the passing of the hours until it’s time to head home.
She’s all worked out. After a long week, it’s finally Saturday night. She meets with friends for a cena pagata alla romana (going Dutch) and anticipates a late night spent out on the town, whether dancing or just relaxing with friends in her favorite piazza with a Peroni in hand. It doesn’t matter that she won’t get to bed until the small hours of the morning; after all, tomorrow is Sunday! Why else did God make Sunday if not as a day of rest?
She wakes up late; she lounges around the house; she reads, or maybe she decides to join her family for a car ride to the Castelli Romani for a late lunch. At night she might go out for an aperitivo, maybe not… and that’s the beauty of Sundays in Rome. It’s the only day on which nessuno ti obliga, you’re not obligated to do anything other than take it easy… After all, tomorrow the cycle will start all over again. Rome will wake up early and head to the coffee bar for her cappuccino e cornetto.
I’m not sure if I’ll feel like waking up early with her, but even if I don’t, that’s okay! That’s the great thing about Rome - even if, on a particular day, I feel too lazy to follow my daily routine, it doesn’t matter! Rome is always there to help me get back on my feet. She never stops, she’s always been here and she always will be no matter what happens within her walls - and there’s something very comforting and motivating about that.
Rome is more than a city, she’s a companion; and that makes all the difference.