Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When In Rome...

On more than one occasion on this blog, I've expressed my desire to go to Italy.  I even posted a list of things I want to accomplish before I die, and touring Italy was numero uno (that's Italian, not Spanish).  I don't think that one trip to 'the boot' will suffice.  I think about all the Parmigiano Reggiano and Proscuitto di Parma to be had in Parma, the fiery peppers to sample in Calabria, the sun-drenched herbs of Tuscany... I could go on and on... And on.  When I think about it, it seems like it would take years to fully explore that country the way I'd like to.

However, if for some reason I was only able to ever make one trip to Italy (God forbid), I would go to Rome.  I'm sure most people would pick Venice as their number one.  The gondolas, Murano glass, Piazza San Marco... It's all very romantic.  Really, they can keep their stinking polluted canals.  I know that their seafood is second to none, and of course there's the architecture.  While I want to see it, I'd pass Venice up in a heartbeat in favor of Rome for my one-stop-Italian-tour.

Why Rome?  Oh my... Why not Rome?  I'd like to say it's because Vatican City is there, but I'm not Catholic.  I'd also like to say that seeing the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Solare Obelisk or the Pantheon are high on my priority list.  If I'm honest with myself and you dear reader, none of that matters.  What matters is something I can't explain.  It's something about the Roman way of life that appeals to me.  If anyone embodies La Dolce Vita, it's the Romans.  Rome is positively overflowing with fat, American tourists... Yet it still holds on to its very ancient heritage.  Truth be told, I'd like to live there.

I'd like to live an Italian life, going to the market everyday to purchase my produce for dinner.  Sitting in an outdoor cafe, sipping vino and eating cacio di pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper) sounds like the most divine way to spend an evening with someone special.  I don't know what exactly it is that appeals to me about Romans so much, or the Roman way of life, but I'd like to live it for a while.  How could you not want to live in a place with all that ancient, beautiful genius in your backyard?

More importantly, in my opinion, how could you not want to eat as well as Romans?  It's really all about the food for me, and Rome is probably the most perfect place on the planet for me to eat myself into oblivion.  Sure, I'd find some restraint somewhere deep down... I guess.  I think a stay in Rome is in order.  Six months should do.  Anyone want to come along?

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