Two weeks. We are two weeks back from Rome and I am still in a blissed out state of relaxation from the memory of all of the amazing meals, cocktails and good times we had.
Rome for me is a centering place, a place that puts my internal compass in balance. Maybe this is simply because when I am there, I am on vacation and the stresses and worries of work, home and life are dulled for the moment. Or, maybe there is more to it, something deeper, like a spiritual, almost karmic connection.
Not one to pay attention to things spiritual or signs, I felt an unusual ease and comfort on my very first trip to Rome. With not a word of Italian in my vocabulary and nothing to guide me but a few streetviews on Google Maps, I stepped into the cobblestone lined streets of Rome as confidently as I did the street I live on at home. I had no fear and that alone was telling to me.
That first trip, which included a stay in a Tuscan villa, was a watershed moment for me. I feel like I have spent the ensuing years since in an endless quest for the next trip to Italy. In the years since that first visit, we have been to Florence, Sorrento, Naples and Capri, all of which were soul soothing and wonderful in their own right. But every trip has also included Rome. It had to or I would feel the emptiness of an opportunity missed. To be teased with the closeness of Rome and skip a visit would cause a longing that I would feel physically, an actual pain. I know this because I felt it at the very suggestion that we maybe skip Rome this time.
This most recent trip was special because it was about the sweet pursuit of nothing but to bask in the essence of the city itself. To sit in a piazza for hours doing nothing but drinking wine and people watching. To be Roman, if only for a moment and to dream of a future where sitting in a piazza could be our primary job in life. A job that I feel I was born to do.
Cornetto and Cappuccino - aka Breakfast.
Veggies at Campo de Fiori - always beautiful enough to make me want to eat vegetables (no small feat).
A closer look at Chariots in the Sky.
A closer look at the Colosseum.
Ingredients for a cooking class. Ingredients like this kind of stack the deck in your favor for success.
The city is full of dogs, which is awesome.
This was the meat sweats waiting to happen but worth every bead on my brow.
Drinking by the Pantheon by day...
... and night
A beautiful day in Piazza del Popolo.
Porchetta sandwich and beer from The Angry Pig (consumed at 11 am, so technically the breakfast of champions).
The Tiber by night...
And just to spice things up, a day trip to Orvieto.