"This place is so old. I mea SO OLD."
Stevie just nodded.
That was all I could think and say, over and over again, as I stared at the mammoth, gargantuan, understandably epic Colosseum. This is where people have come to live, come to die, come to be entertained and fed and amused and laughed at and laughed with and it's happened over and over again. For thousands of years. It's served as an amphitheater, a killing ring, a Christian shrine, a gladiatorial playground, a fortress, and today, just a dusty, piecemeal homage to a fallen empire.
Rome. You are so, barbarically old.
Of course, this is how I felt the entire time. Though I've been here before and felt all these feelings before, it's like the first time every time. This place is special and strange, like an elderly relative with long fingers and a mind-full of stories to share, if only you lean closer and ask. And the stories, they are almost impossible to relate to, because their premise is just so old. So I was struck, over and over again, by that hypnotizing feeling of, "Whoa. This stuff is old." Walking through the Forum. With gelato, no less. Prancing down the side streets, alleys marked by slick stone and discarded cigarettes and flowering weeds. I continued my obnoxious open-mouthed gaze as I meandered throughout the palatial churches, the crumbling piazzas, down the Spanish Steps and up the hills to St. Peter's Basilica, and honestly, just over and over again. Lounging in the Piazza Navona, sipping the house wine and finding myself sleepy for all the gasping I had done. Gasping at the old, the epic, the unruly ostentatious, magnificent city of Rome. I know I sound like a broken record, but it's the truth. This city is something of a broken record, replaying and repeating it's history over and over again for each newcomer, those vibrant souls eager to learn and explore and become saturated with the wiley tales of Ancient Rome's elite.
|The Colosseum. Gladiators welcome.|
|The Roman Forum.|
|See what I mean about the sheer JUMBO-ness of this here structure??|
|View from the top of the Spanish Steps. Yes, we carried our stroller down each and every one. Which means we earned an extra allotment of gelato!|
|Arch of Constantine. I think he was rather impressed with himself.|
|The Roman Forum. I'm still struck by the fact that we are allowed to walk all over this archaeological playground.|
|I think this is my favorite street in Rome. It's just so Italian. Insert loooooong sigh.|
|Via dell' Orso. Extravagantly blanketed in wild emerald and pearl Jasmine. Adorable friend is an added bonus.|
|I found my wedding flowers for sale on the back of a truck! Peonies for the win, for always and forever.|
|Piazza del Popolo, very close to where we stayed. We walked through this piazza every morning and every evening. And it was always, always lovely.|
|Baby-free shenanigans, our children fast asleep with grandparents watching them. This is what getting drunk on gelato looks like.|
Rome; day or night... you truly slay me.
Part 1 from our Rome trip here. Previous backpacking experiences in Rome here and here.