My first memories from Rome are mostly a blur of ruins, monuments, museums and a chance sighting of Sylvester Stalone during a family visit. That was 1992, I think. All blurry except for one memory: I can still see one street scene quite clearly, taken in through the bottom of of a grimy city bus window. Crowds of pedestrians choked the sidewalks as cars, motorbikes and and buses struggled from light to light through insane traffic, a noisy mess that's plagued Rome for maybe 2,000 years. Our light must have just turned green, because I remember pulling away and picking up speed when I first spotted my dad. I had no idea how long he'd been running, sprinting actually, faster than I'd ever seen him go, dodging cars and bikes and people, running in the same direction my bus was now chugging along, past two, three, four city blocks. It was quite a sight: he was fast! But if he was running in the street... he was no longer on the bus. Why didn't the rest of us get off? I finally took my eyes off the wndow. Of course, it was just me, and he did catch up to retrieve his air-headed son for a long walk back through the sweltering streets of Rome.

This time around I took in the city at an impressively slow speed, settling into Rome's cheapest camping grounds, Tiber, about 30 minutes outside the city. As well as several days lounging around the camp's amazing pool, I took a few leisurely days wandering the city's plethora of piazzas. Joined alternately by a long-lost college friend, Val Norman, freshly arrived from studies in France, and select guests from Tiber, I hit just about all of Rome's hot spots, from Charlton Heston's Circus Maximus to St. Peter's all the way back to Russel Crowe's Colosseum, arriving at each in step with dozens and more often hundreds of fellow tourists. In just one day in Rome I probably saw more Nikon D90's and expensive photography gadgetry than in the rest of my life.

I made a final pass by Trevi Fountain on my last day in town. I think I remember tossing a coin there along with the other little Jacksons in '92. So yeah, two hazy memories actually.


Kristen said...
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Kristen said...

Russel Crowe's collosseum eh? Nice.