A few quick observations about Rome... it is NOTHING like we thought it would be. From photos I've seen, I thought it would be a clean, organized and historically preserved remnant of its former empire. But, after being here for a day, we would say that Rome is ANYTHING BUT clean or organized. The exciting thing about Rome is that you can see everything from its history and everything from its present all smashed and layered together like the strata in a rock formation. All the eras and examples of Italian design that I studied in art history are all mixed up together with a dash of modern life thrown in as well. All the streets and alleys twist together in an unintelligible pattern. Jake and I agreed that Rome is a lot like a colony of ants living in the skeleton of a larger animal that has since rotted away. You can see the niches in great stone buildings and the ancient aqueduct filled in with pizza stands and SIM card retailers.
The people are wonderful and good humored so far, although they usually won't address you first. I always try to use my limited Italian and in return they speak to us with as much English as they know. My secret weapon is "Parli Inglese?"... "Do you speak English?" to which they respond "Ah... Poco." and then seem to understand everything we say. We are amazed at how brilliantly bilingual everyone seems to be.
This evening we set out with a group to see some of the favorite piazzas and monuments. We visited the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. It was exhilarating to step out of some obscure alley way and suddenly be face to face with some of the most famous public works in the world. They certainly are beautiful and so very sincerely epic.
Tomorrow we visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Vatican City. Our adventure is really just beginning! All our love from Rome!
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