I think I will start this post with a list...
Things I Remember Most About Rome:
1. The air. The air felt like home. After being cold and slightly damp for a week, it was nice to step out of the Da Vinci Airport and feel the warmth and the humidity. I even got a bit of a sunburn. I didn't realize at the time how much I would miss it when we got to the misery of Culcheth.
2. The dust of the Forum. The Forum was amazing. To stand where people I've read about from thousands of years ago stood was simply overwhelming. To see where Julius Ceasar was killed and burned, to see the Arch of Titus, built by the captive Jews after the fall of Jerusalem, to see a 3000 year old bronze door, wow! But I will also remember the small detail of the dust devils. You're just walking along, wide-eyed and amazed and ouch! Dust all up in your eyeballs. Not pleasant. Not at all.
3. The armed soldiers. Everywhere. Armed soldiers in every subway station, outside every ancient building that would attract a tourist, at the airport. I told every one of them that I could, "Grazie." I truly was grateful for their protection.
4. The noise. From our apartment to the subway to the monuments to the restaurants - lots of noise. But after the eerie silence of London's subways it was welcome. Our apartment was noisy with street traffic, crosswalk alarms, and emergency vehicles' sirens. The subways were noisy with the conversations of people, the restaurants with chatter between the customers and wait staff, the monuments with the sound of the tourists. It was different than the other cities we visited.
5. Simone. She was the daughter of the owner of the restaurant where we ate twice. The food was delicious, probably the best we had the whole trip aside from Bayeux, but the service made it exceptional. She sat with us, joked with us, recommended good wine. She is my only contact on What'sApp. She made us feel like family. Wait... isn't that the ad line from Olive Garden?!?
6. The laughter. We laughed more in Rome than anywhere else. The kids were happiest there. The history was most interesting there. We cooked, we ate, we walked, we giggled. By this time in our journey, we were all experienced and knew how things worked. There was no nervousness on the subway or going through security check points. We knew exactly what we were doing and stopped having to think so hard about it all. I guess we really just relaxed.
7. The pharmacy. Or should I say, "farmacia"? Chris and I found one and bought hand sanitizer, nasal spray, deodorant, ibuprofen and sunscreen. This was a process that included two nice Italian speaking female employees and the Asian pharmacist who spoke decent English. Definitely an adventure!
I may come back and add to this list, but for now I'll leave it at this. We loved Roma.