I went to Rome yesterday to see a friend and while there, I noticed a sign that said Natale di Rome and I thought, huh, Christmas in Rome now (Christmas is referred to in Italy as Natale), but he pointed out that Natale simply means birth which in the mind of the Roman Catholics typically refers to THE birth; in other words, of Jesus. But no, this Natale was celebrating the birth of the Eternal City of Rome. In fact, it's the 2,765th birthday to be precise and the city was mobbed with people celebrating what has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
I am always glad to go to Rome as it is an amazing elixir to the complexities of life. Somehow, amidst all the chaos that certainly is Rome, there is a strange sense that "it" can all be taken care of. The Italians always said to me when I first struggling with their language, "Piano, piano"," which means slowly, slowly; in other words, take the long view. I guess with so much history under the belt of one city, the feeling is if "I don't get it done, my children will."
Gabrielle is an old friend of mine and Lisa's and before dinner we decided to join the throngs and walk though the center of Rome. It was a menagerie of all possible walks of life: kids being pushed by proud parents, street performers on every corner, scooters weaving through the crowds, Grandparents sitting a benches talking, the Carabinieri (Police) keeping a watchful eye in their fancy dress uniforms, music coming out of bars, people everywhere eating and talking, young couples kissing and all of it with the wonderful laid back rhythm of a beautiful spring evening.
On the way to the train station this morning I saw this little three wheeled truck and took the enclosed picture and I think it somewhat captures how utility combined with beauty is so common in Rome. It's a certain patina of the living overlaid onto the seemingly timeless decay of Rome that makes it so fascinating. It's simultaneously surprising and yet.....perfect.
So Happy Birthday Rome!