admin January 31st, 2012
AHA and I will be in Rome three times in 2012. Links to the trip descriptions are below this post. Enjoy Part 2 of ROMA.
I came to Italy for the art, history, ancient architecture, scenic beauty, food, wine, hill towns, landscapes, and, loving it all, I return for Rome.
Why does one place reach out and hug you, and others simply don?t?? No one really knows, but really, who cares? It just happens. When it does, however, it is very personal and very intimate.?For some, it?s a sandy- beached island, a mountain perch, an almost silent lake, the sidewalks of Paris, Vienna, or strolling the Giant Sequoias.?But when it happens, you know it.
After about 48 hours in Rome,?I felt a sense of sinking into it, a yearning to get lost in it. Not in the great sites necessarily. Suddenly the Colosseum and the Forum jumped into the back seat. I wanted to be on a back street in a nondescript neighborhood. I didn?t want to stand out; in fact, quite the opposite. I wanted to blend in, fit, and melt into Rome.
Frances Mayes feels about Tuscany as I do about Rome.? She describes it this way: ??The place took hold of me and shaped me in its image.?? Exactly.
?I wanted an aperture,? she writes elsewhere, ?an opportunity to merge with something limitless. Something that takes you out of yourself also restores
you to yourself with a greater freedom.? And finally, ?I wanted an aperture, an opportunity to merge with something limitless.?
This last quote touches on what many travelers who fall in love with a place often recount: ?I felt like I was home.??I love the way Rome swoops me out of myself, fills me to the brim, and returns a wiser, more humbled me. And often, when wandering its tangled web of streets, I feel very small as the enormity of all that Rome has been, is, and will be, surrounds me. How could I not want a repeat of that thrill ride?
Through the ages, Rome has gathered many, many lovers, of which I am but one. When I arrive, we have such a joyous reunion. Rome is all decked out and gives me her full attention.?Below are some thoughts by a few of her other lovers:
Barbara Gruzzuti Harrison (1934-2002) – “I am happy here; when I or others have bruised my life, I close my eyes against the hurt and think of Rome: as possibility and hope. . . The world is lovable when the world is Rome. . . For the rest of my life I will love Rome and think better of my life having known Rome.”
Johann Goethe (1749-1832) – In Rome you learn to. . . . “See with an eye that can feel, feel with a hand that can see.”
Henry James (1843-1916) – At nineteen years old, “I went reeling and moaning thro’ the streets, in a fever of enjoyment.”? Fifty years later – “No one who has ever loved Rome, as Rome could be loved in youth, wants to stop loving her.”
H. V. Morton (1892-1979) – “I looked down with gratitude upon the city where I had learnt many things; but one does not say goodbye to Rome.”
Judith Testa – (During my first visit) . . .”A strange energy surged through me, a passion for the place which has never faded but only increased with each subsequent visit.? Whenever I return to Rome, I experience that same anticipation, energy, and excitement.”
Jim Quist – “I love Rome simply because it’s Italian.”
AHA and I will be in Rome three times in 2012. Funny, even after twenty years, just writing those words, “I will be in Rome”, puts a smile on my face and pulls at my heart.? I would love to share it with you.
Musica in Tuscany: July 12 ? 18, 2012, includes two days in Rome.
Rome and Tuscany: September 30 ? October 8, 2012, includes four full days in Rome.
Roma Amor: Rome Is Love Spelled Backward: October 10 ? 17, 2012, is a full week in Rome guided by Judith Testa, PhD, author of the book by the same name, and myself. A daring duo of like-minded pilgrims are we.