Rome. Tourists are bouncing their suitcases over cobblestones. The Vespas are out in full force, buzzing down streets, living in a limbo between cyclist and car. Local Romans pass by with a suave yet visible “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that I know I could never pull off.
The city’s fresh coat of paint is long gone. You can see the time pass by in the cracked, weathered buildings. They’re damn-near like an old man or woman’s face near the end of their life. There’s character. A story.
Who knows how many people have knocked on these doors and for what reason. To share a loaf of bread? To check your political affiliation?
More famously, there’s an interesting proliferation of decadent statues featuring naked, muscular men doing, well, things with water, it appears.
You can’t just fly a drone over here and say, “This is Rome.” You need to be on the rooftops, on the ground level, walking, and ducking into as many shops and eateries as possible.
Everyone’s moving, but there’s an easy pace to it all, orchestrated to a uniquely Roman rhythm.
Turn and there’s a breath from the relaxed chaos, the proverbial contrast of stillness and quiet, whether it’s a view over the Tiber River or one of the city’s countless ancient ruins sequestered for preservation.
Then, the conveniences of 21st-century life sweep you out of the once beating heart of the globe faster than ever imaginable by those who once ruled. At least you know you can come back.
After all, all roads lead to Rome.