An amalgamation of millennia of empire, war, destruction, knowledge, growth, and mythology. To describe Rome in any justified manner would fill a wood-scented library with untold volumes from floor to lofted ceiling. The city is at the epicenter of so much of Western European history that it might as well be the zero-point for any such discussions.
Rome’s long and storied history, once the thing of myth and distant curiosity to a young untraveled American, has somehow become inextricably woven into the story of my own life. I’ve visited in the frigid New Years’ rain to watch fireworks rise from within the Colosseum’s spectacular frame, felt the sweltering summer heat rising in mercurial translucent waves from the Spanish Steps, marveled at the engineering magnificence of the open oculum atop the indomitable Pantheon, and wandered within the marvels of the Vatican City and Sistine Chapel. With each visit, new layers of friendships have been revealed, relationships strengthened or strained to almost breaking. The ghosts of these encounters play out before me in pantomime as I wander past cornerstones.
I find myself once again treading on the ancient cobbles. Even if this trip brings me here in solitude, I can only imagine this city has more for me to discover.