[It’s been 7 months since this trip and 6 months since I last attempted to update this post. I knew this would happen – I’d get overwhelmed by the storytelling, then I’d drop the trail and pick it back up at some future date, feeling nostalgic. So, let’s pause in the midst of this cold winter and imagine it’s summer and we’re all in Rome. For a refresher, I already said a few things about the days in Rome. And if you want to see other stories, search by categories.]
I can’t even figure out what to say about the nights in Rome. At night, the city felt like it belonged to us. I was exploring with a night-owl friend, someone with a long bucket list and a short amount of time. Thankfully, we both walked quickly and laughed often. And even though we were lost most of the time, Rome is a kind, generous city with beautiful sights around every corner.
We quickly realized that the popular sights held no appeal – too many crowds, too many men trying to give/sell me flowers – so we set off on an unpredictable adventure, turning down any and every street that looked interesting. Somehow, with very little planning (at least on my part), we managed to find everything we were looking for. And I will never forget wandering into an open square in the middle of the night, facing the Pantheon for the first time. The beauty and charm of the city were already apparent, but this building taught me to look for more – it was ancient and huge and it just sat there as the city grew and changed.
Our only mis-steps came at the end of each night, when we remembered that public transit had restrictions. That meant taking a taxi our first night out, which was so terrifying and fun that I realized it’s something to be experienced, if only once, in every city. The second night, after a late, late, so late restaurants were almost closed dinner, a dinner that was so delicious (and late) that I cried tears of joy, we RACED back to the train station, just barely catching the final train. Once we sat down, the fact that we’d split a bottle of wine and I’d just sprinted through one of the most romantic cities in a dress and heels meant I giggled the rest of the way home.