Roma Eternamente Immutabile

22 May

First time in Rome: Age twenty. Midsummer. Wide-eyed in wonder. When does the director yell ‘Cut’? Pizza by the slice. Travelling on ten dollars a day. Sharing the ‘good dress’ with Marion and Lynde.

Second time in Rome: Age thirty-five. Mother and son early summer vacation. Hand in hand with Cam aged ten. Best pizza in the world at the base of the Spanish steps. Walked so much he got fallen arches. Never complained.

Third time in Rome: Age 55. First time for Stuart. Rainy Easter at the Vatican. Whizzing round wet streets at night with Massimo driving, talking and gesticulating simultaneously.

Fourth time in Rome: Age 57. Brief stopover on the way to Amalfi Coast. Enchanted evening with a green-eyed Italian beauty in San Lorenzo. Shopping to replace clothes worn out after four months travel. Savouring the return of vigour. Walk kilometres before dinner. Happiness tempered by the heartbreaking story of Claudio L’Angioletto spelt out in flowers, photos, soft toys and text. His father stands accused of throwing the 16-month-old boy into the river from the Mazzini Bridge. They found his body two months later. Such sorrow for that family.

Rome never changes. I do.

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The river is a washing machine below the bridge. We watched a log trapped in the churn cycle for 15 minutes.

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Upstream is deceptively calm.

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Giant bubbles turn us all into children.

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Another ancient ruin that shows no sign of disappearing.

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Look hard and you’ll see some likely lads masquerading as Russell Crow.

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I may or may not have bought a frivolous cocktail dress in this Alladdin’s cave…Anteprima Roma.

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Left to right we have the electric bus, the electric personal mobility vehicle and the Smart car!

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Why does a nun feel the need to wear her backpack on her chest walking in Rome in daytime? One to ponder.

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Italian cops are still as interested in chatting and watching women as ever.

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Except when they are napping in their police car.

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Vanessa introduced us to Franciacorta Brut at Pastificio Lorenzo. I shall never drink Prosecco again.

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Classic Italians in Piazza dei Sanniti

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Vanessa’s second secret, Ristorante Pommidoro in San Lorenzo. Three generation’s of Aldo’s family has produced soul food for everyone from anarchists to rock stars and treated them all the same.

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Vanessa’s third and final secret of the evening, S.A.I.D. chocolate factory. Unbelievable!

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These students have the best art classroom possible – ancient Rome.

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