I had not seen the film, Roman Holiday, in many years. In fact, I’d forgotten the entire middle part of the movie – the fun parts where Gregory Peck is taking Audrey Hepburn around Rome, to do all the things she’s always wanted to do…stereotypical things one does as a tourist in Rome; ride on a scooter, eat gelato on the Spanish Steps, have an apertivo in a cafe on a pretty piazza, dance along the river, and put your hand in the Bocca della Verita.
Watching the movie, I remembered doing all of those things too. Well, I’ve never put my hand in the Bocca della Verita, a very popular tourist attraction. It just seems like something more fun to do with a friend or two hovering over you.
The first time I went to Rome, this lovely Roman man I met arranged for a friend of his to show me around via scooter. Why didn’t the lovely Roman take me around you ask? The Roman guy was married. Anyway, that’s another story.
So I did have my own Roman Holiday, minus the romance.
That was ok with me, I fell in love with Rome.
Eating a gelato, enjoying an apertivo, climbing the Spanish Steps, and visiting the Colosseum maybe be cliche experiences but they are also part of the experience. Why not enjoy Rome? If ever there was a city that is perfect for a temporary escape from reality, it is Rome.
I read an editorial recently that basically said movies such as Roman Holiday trivialize Rome and do not depict what’s real or even interesting about the city. My interpretation of the article is that the author thinks that all of those tourist things are quite boring, and only someone in a coma would find them interesting. Wrong!
I’ve often wondered if I lived in Rome (I think of living in Rome about a hundred times per day), would it lose its charm? Am I hypnotized by a Hollywood version of Rome? Do I return there, time after time, never removing my rose-colored glasses. Would I move to Rome and feel I’d made a huge mistake?
There is something about Rome. I don’t know if it’s in the air…something invisible that gets inside of you and takes hold very subtly, until one day you realize that you’re in love and you don’t quite remember exactly when that happened.
Certainly, the raw beauty of the city is enough to make even the most worldly traveler take notice. I’m a sucker for beauty. Rome had me from minute one on looks alone.
And then, there are Romans – so lively and passionate. They can seem intimidating at first, but I have found Romans to be some of the friendliest and most helpful people anywhere. It’s hard to imagine that they are the descendants of people who screamed for blood,as Gladiators and animals met for a battle to the death in the Colosseum.
No, I don’t think moving to Rome would be a mistake at all. Instead, I think I would find new things to love about Rome. I’d enjoy watching the tourists eating gelatos on their rented Vespas. And I’ll remember when I was once one of them.
All content ©pennysadler 2012. All rights reserved.