Salve

Is how you say hello in Italian.

But most people say bongiornio or buona sera, meaning good morning and good night respectively dependent on the time of day. Greetings are not optional, and I like that.

Salve, is such a beautiful word though. It made me think of the trip as a heady healing balm, or as salvation from the steel jaws of the grind.

Rome was everything I had hoped and it was so much more.  I’m getting choked up just thinking about it as I type this. Thinking that it’s wasn’t my life but someone else’s that I got to try on for size for a bit and now I miss the way it fit so well.

I stayed in an amazing apartment in the Trastevere neighborhood, my host Federica was overwhelmingly lovely and helpful. This picture is the road right outside of the apartment and it leads directly up to Gianicolo Hill where those trees and beautiful sunlight are coming from.

On top of Gianicolo Hill is the Piazza Garibaldi a memorial to the Italian Unification and the most beautiful view in all of Rome. It’s my absolute favorite spot in the city and now one of my favorite places in the entire world.

View from Gianicolo Hill

We walked all over that city, I ate pasta, mostly cacio e pepe and amatriciana, pizza a taglio,  chicory and branzino, gelato and cornetto. Drinking negronis at sundown, wine all night long sometimes starting at lunch, Fernet Branca after midnight and acqua frizzante all day.

I fell in love.

I can’t desribe the beauty, the bustle, the rhythm of this place. I love the sound of tires on cobbles, gulls in the air and the fluid quick Roman dialect heard in all directions.  The juxtaposition of ancient and modern is so seamless that it looks easy. The food was really good, we did end up scarfing some tourist slop but also had some amazing meals.

The city is quiet at night though. Dark streets, a warren of cobbled narrow by-ways, couples gathered in embrace, old and young, unabashed in their emotion.

I’ve been listlessly moping about the house like a jilted lover all week. Lots of heavy sighs, and daydreaming. The lure of an Italian villa was enough for me to buy not 1 but 3 lottery tickets, but I lost anyway.

Spring is the perfect time for a trip to Rome, the weather was warm in the day and cool at night. The sites weren’t crowded and easy to navigate. I can’t imagine going in summer though. I’ve decided to make spring break a habit, I hope that on my next trip I can get out to the countryside, perhaps Naples, or Florence and some wine country.

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