Friday, September 17, 2010

The First Week of Roamin’ Rome

First day in Rome

     You know when you have a moment where you can’t believe this is your life? Well I my “ah ha” moment three days ago when I was on my friend’s balcony staring at the statue of Vittorio Emanuel. The weather was sunny and all I could hear was the busyness of the streets.

     Life is a lot faster, chaotic and as an outsider there doesn’t seem to an order. I am sure the Romans have a different opinion than I do. I learned very quickly pedestrians do not have the right away in a cross walk or in the streets.  On my first day I got side swiped by a car. If this had happened in the States the driver would have stopped and apologized profusely, instead the car kept on going. Initially it did not hurt; I think I was more surprised than anything. I now have a wonderful war bruise I show off.  I consider it my initiation to Rome and a friendly reminder vehicles dominate the road.

Another Piazza I visited, although I don't remember the name
           I’ve watched Romans crossing the streets--they do not rush. Instead Romans cross trusting that they will not be hit. On the other hand, tourist are easily spotted as they run for their lives in fear the cars won’t stop…. which is partly true. My taxi ride from the airport to Rome was an experience in its self. Within the first five minutes I said a prayer in hopes I would get to my destination alive. Previously friends have tried to explain the taxi drivers have their own set of rules when driving. As nerve racking as it was to be in the car I made it alive. How that is possible, I am not sure, but I prefer not to take a taxi. I rather walk than have a heart attack at the age of 23.

The first day in Rome was spent trying to fight jet lag. My friend, Tamara, made sure I wouldn’t fall asleep and literally kept me on my feet-- we spent the entire day walking around Rome. My feet got serious millage and serious blisters. It is extremely important to find comfortable shoes. I envy the Italians. They all look like they are walking to a Giorgio Armani photo shoot, and their shoes are the highlight of their outfit. I tried to dress up like the Italians and wear fashionable shoes, but within 10 minutes I realized it wasn’t do able. My feet were swollen (I blame the airplane ride, and maybe dehydration). Finding comfortable shoes is a huge dilemma. Did you know the biggest female shoe size in Rome is 41? I was lucky to be blessed with the BIGGEST FEET ever! I am a size 12 men’s in the United States, and a 45… that’s right, a 45 in Italy. You should have seen the looks on the storekeeper’s faces when I asked if they had a size 45. Most pointed to the very masculine and ugly man shoes.  After shoe shop for nearly half the day and being disappointed store after store, I randomly walked by  “Louis Big Shoes.” What are the odds? The Roman Gods answered my request. Right when I was about to give up I stumbled across the store. As I was about to enter I realized it was closed. For those of you who do not know, most stores close during lunchtime and reopen around three. How convenient. I haven’t had time to go back, and I will very soon because my outfits are being limited by my lack of shoe choices. (Not that it really matters)
One of the many places I visited on the first day--Piazza Navona

The first three days were spent with Tamara’s family. I’ve decided to adopt them as my new Italian family, whether they know it or not.  She moved from Marin County to Rome with her family.  I consider myself fortunate to have them close by. I will be visiting them weekly and taking her son out to gelato and practice my Italian with the family. Because of her family, I do not know how it feels to be homesick. How can one be homesick if you feel at home?  They have a beautiful apartment with phenomenal views of Rome. Most of the meals take place on the balcony. It is a nice way to end the day. No rush, no stress, just good conversation and company.

 I find myself at night not being able to sleep, and it’s not just because of jet lag. I am excited for the next day and what I will see, smell, and even taste. The food is amazing. I’ve now tried three flavors of gelato. My favorite so far is pistachio.  A gelato owner said there are over 100 flavors, whether it is true or not, I’m dedicated to tasting every gelato until I’ve tried them all.

From your loving  Romin’ Roman

Word of the week: Polverizzare. (Tamara and I looked it up to try and explain what had happened to me when during the car swipe. My vocabulary keeps on getting bigger and bigger)


  1. Your pose looks like you are doing the opposite of the statue as if you had the missing arm he might have had if only it had not broken off. Too bad people did not find the missing part and now a days they could crazy glue it back on. Now that would make an interesting commercial.
    The fountain is something else all lit up at night. I think I would just spend some time there and take in the scenery and the colors. Have you had a chance to eat at or near the place of the last movie you saw?
    mill valley mom

  2. Have some of the coffee there and the morning bites. They are simple, delicious and WORTH IT! I will e-mail you some of my favorite places to go when I have a chance to look through things. Miss and Love ya!!!!


  3. Yeah, those Italian drivers are too much! Troppo! All that passion behind the wheel isn't always a good thing.


  4. My Dear Friend Alece....
    My two favorite parts of the above post:

    1. How can you be homesick if you feel at home? That sentiment is lovely, I am so happy you have that feeling :)

    2. "Louis Big Shoes" HA, that's what I need too!!

    Much Love!!