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question 01: how do you know you are in rome?

santa maria in trastevere

notes on the eternal city

The nomadic season is a tricky one. There exists a medley of faces and places and cities and seas, experienced from above and below and amidst. This becomes a source of apathy for the tourist, for whom the medley is a blur. But it becomes a challenge for the traveler, for whom every new place is an opportunity for the unfamiliar to teach him something about himself.

There are worlds here. An overload of worlds. Hundreds of amazing little worlds. There is life in the sky, where stone and concrete masters created new lines of sight. There is life in the light, where the oranges and browns glow at every hour. There is life in the distance, in the ruins, in the urban hills and valleys. There is life in the life, in business men wearing three-piece suits on vespas, in the crowds whistling at cafes, in the old woman outside my window who never says hello to me.

There is life down below. I look to the cobblestones to ground me, the black tile sampietrino slipped beneath the city like carpet. The irregular placement and large gaps, though responsible for lots of tripping and cursing, greet me like an old friend. They encourage me to walk slowly atop them, they remind me i have a solid foundation in this new place.

I know I’m in Rome because my feet are on the ground and my head is in the sky.

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