(Sorry, I can’t resist a Monty Python reference. That title comes from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”)
There’s a travel podcast that Melissa and I often listen to called “The Amateur Traveler.” At the end of each episode, the host asks his guest expert three questions about the place they’ve been discussing. Here are our answers to those questions for Rome.
“You know you’re in [Rome] when . . .”
Chris: You put on jewelry and lip gloss to walk to the grocery store, because you’re going to be out on the street being seen. (Romans tend to dress well and put care into their personal appearance when they go out in public.)
Melissa: Everywhere you look you see buildings from throughout history stacked on top of each other higgledy piggeldy (like a medieval brick building using ancient Roman columns as supports in a renovated Baroque facade).
“What makes you laugh and say ‘only in [Rome]’?”
Chris: Watching a gay pride parade march past the Colosseum
Melissa: Not accomplishing anything I want to do because the things I go to see aren’t open when they’re supposed to be and the public transit is frustratingly unscheduled, yet somehow I still feel like I managed to have a good day
“What three words would you use to describe [Rome]?”
Chris: Chaotic, historic, beguiling
Melissa: Ancient, art-filled, sacred
And an extra-credit question of our own: What was your favorite moment in Rome?
Chris: Every cone of pistachio gelato, or else walking into the old papal basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano and marveling at the scale of the space
Melissa: Either sitting by the Tiber and sketching the Castel Sant’Angelo or walking around near the Forum at night