Rome, Italy


I went to Rome for the first time a month ago and it put a spell on me. I was deeply moved by the art, the ruins, the colors. I didn’t take many pictures while I was there because I wanted to process things the old fashioned way – looking with my eyes not my iPhone. Read on for a few memories from our 3 nights in Roma.

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We went in August which might be the worst time to go to Rome. It’s so hot – every afternoon we went back to our hotel and had a siesta. Then around 6, we ventured back out to find the oranges, pinks and reds looked even better in the golden hour.

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We didn’t really plan much about this trip. Will had been several times and part of the fun was figuring it out as we went. But if I had read one guidebook, I would’ve learned that all of the best restaurants close in August! But it’s Rome, we still had some amazing meals.

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One memorable meal was dining in a deli. Roscioli sets up tables along the counter in the evenings and they serve a full menu. We ordered what we saw behind the counter – lots of antipasti, good bread and WINE!

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Other highlights: a long leisurely walk through the Villa Borghese gardens, fresh pasta with pesto from a stand for 5 euro, Peter & Paul’s jail cell, St. Peter’s – I don’t know if that place will ever leave me.

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I felt like I was swallowed up by beauty in the Room of the Immaculate Conception at the Vatican Museum.

I read Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter while I was in Rome, and I must say it really shaped my time there. It’s a story about stories, the memories we hold onto, the dreams we sleep through, and how our regret, disappointment, desire all weather us over time. To be in this city of “endless contractions, in the artifacts of generations, in the bones of empires,” full of monuments, doctrines, so many stories, it certainly humbled me to be a part of something so much greater than myself that I believe but will never fully understand. It made me grateful for all the moments that I will string together and one day call my life. It inspired me to continue building these tiny (3 minute) monuments that will one day will just become ruins.

Life is so complex, so beautiful that it deserves all the attention we can give it and maybe building something out of someone else’s ruins is our job, maybe even our joy.

Have you read Beautiful Ruins? What did you think? Have you been to Rome? What was your experience?

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