I would probably never find out why the flight to Rome, Italy makes me so excited every time I do. Must be something really magical in that city, that pulls me back over and over again. Approximately every three to five years I am back. I have a hunch. The story is a bit weird, but made me to believe in miracles. About 12 years ago, I threw a coin into Fountain di Trevi, located in the heart of Rome. The legend says, if you want to come back to Rome, you should throw a coin over your shoulder in Fountain di Trevi. Regarding the hypothesis, that coin, laying on the bottom, grants the next visit and assures somewhere in the future return to the Eternal city. The locals also believe, if someone dares to take one of those coins out of the fountain, it causes years of bad luck.
Underneath rest plenty of coins, coming from all over the world, different size, colour and nominal. My contribution to this extraordinary monetary collection was added in January 2005. It was a Turkish lira, thrown over my shoulder. On this quite cold winter day, that coin was the only left in my pocket. And now, I am flying my fourth time to Rome. So…the legend actually works and my story is the proof.
I kept my fingers crossed with a hope the Italians meanwhile started learning and speaking some English. Well…even being so attracted to Rome and generally to Italy, my knowledge of Italian is really poor. Unfortunately, the Italians in general are not very keen to learn English, so the communication would be a bit problematic. The good point – they are quite capable of gesturing. The Italian speech is often accompanied by lots of waving, signing and pointing. I already know it could be pretty supportive.
At the same time, any sound of appreciation, disagreement or confusion is so loudly ear-splitting, that there is no way to be mistaken. The Italians are quite turbulent people, but in a very funny way. I always enjoy being amongst and find them interesting and gentle. My mate Alessio is a perfect example, definitely the most smiling and patient person I’ve ever met, ready to always help and assist. He is very proud of being a Roman. Once I called him Romanian by mistake and he was about to get insulted. Another friend of mine Giancarlo lives in Rome since 14 years, but comes from a Turin background. He still faces some issues with the typical Roman life and the crowd around.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the Romans are the most helpful Italians ever. A few years ago, I got a puncture on my rented car, very late in the evening, right in the heart of Rome (via Venecia). I was unable to reach anyone from the rent a car company by phone and it took me really long time to manage the situation. I won’t blame the crowd just passing by. No one stopped to just ask or check what’s wrong and why I was circling hopelessly around the car, not able to pull the damaged tyre out.
In about an hour, a young woman surprisingly stopped by my side, asking in fluent English if she may help. I was finally relieved and grateful some of those Romans cares (later on, I found she was Australian, married to a Roman). She called the Carabinieri, sort of Italian police. Believe it or not, but I felt almost as a VIP (but a very stupid one). Because I was unable to fix the puncture by myself, I was honoured the Italian Carabinieri to do it instead of me. All’s well, that ends well.
Armed by good mood, positive energy and lots of expectations, I was heading back to Rome again. No explanation why, but at the moment the plane lands at Fiumicino airport, all my cares vanish away. Then out of the airport, the Mediterranean greenery and especially the local stone pine trees turn my spirit onto a holiday string. The aroma of fresh made cappuccino and pizza (especially Frutti di mare) always tease pleasantly my receptors.
Whole life I try to keep on diet, but was never successful. Rome is the place I can break all those restrictive regimes and eat whatever I like. The Mediterranean cuisine is completely irresistible. The variety of fresh vegetables, plenty of different cheese and quality wine is a huge temptation, I have no energy to fight with. I hate pasta. It’s a very brave confession in a country where 70% of the daily food is kind of pasta. But hopefully I’d be forgiven for loving pizza, seafood and vegetables.
I also admire Italy as the flagman of the best shoe industry ever. Being addicted to shoes and having an inspiring shoe collection, I would describe Italy as a shoe paradise. It enjoys my eyes, warms up my heart and damages my credit card funds. But the bargain is always worth it, so no regrets. Before making a quick escape to the shoe stores, I need to satisfy another Italian passion of mine – the cappuccino. Only in Italy, its home, the cappuccino is really hot, has an amazing aroma and smooth taste. It’s time for a mug of real Italian cappuccino at Piazza Navona, the heart of Rome.
See you 🙂