Clouds like swollen marshmellows drift around an azure sky. With faces like they’re playing with a baby across the room, foreign tourists gawk and drool at Castel St. Angelo and Trajan’s market.  Meanwhile, Italian men say things like “Why the hell are they looking at that?” with enough vowels and romanticism to make even old English women get a little sweaty in the thighs.


…Atop the Bridge of Angels, seven sweaty Americans stride across the Tiber River in search of Tuscan nourishment.  Sunlight bounces of the water and one can almost imagine ancient Roman slaves transporting goods beneath the bridge’s arches.  The river is Irish-piss green and there’s a smell that hints at something digestive.



…In Trastevere, deep-rooted trees cast artistic shadows along cobblestone streets as restaurant employees tempt youthful crowds into their establishments, the sautéing garlic and baked mozzarella scents seducing ravenous travelers.  Trastevere is popular for its nightlife, the smoky alleyways and unlit walkways playing host to young Italians searching for happiness beneath the belt-line.


….At Campo di Fiori, adolescent pickpockets dip dirty hands and purge unaware sightseers….With its three famous fountains and enough street performers to make Cirque de Soleil hold down its skirt, Piazza Navona resembles an LA freeway at rush hour.  Laughter fuses with accordion music to create an authentic ambience. By the middle fountain, Gelato attacks a child’s face and several overweight males rub their chins in a way that makes you just know they are thinking uncomfortable thoughts about a strolling runway model.


…The ruined Roman Forums resemble a child’s room after a Tinkertoys fight.  Fallen columns and stray brick litter the grounds as unused condom packages blight two-thousand years of history – and suggest someone may have been thinking of putting someone on a pedestal.


…531…The number of steps it takes to climb to the top of the Vatican,

albeit with three litres of lost sweat , brief but life-saving pauses for oxygen, and the uncompassionate duck and swerve around an older woman who couldn’t seem to un-wedge herself from between the walls, not to mention the totally inappropriate word plays of  “Jesus Christ this is high!” “Holy shit”  and Vaticant (def) see photo below


…Views from St. Peter’s Cupola stretch from the Mediterranean to Northern Italy and include Vatican City, a country defended by Swiss Guards who dress with the sort of over-enthusiastic fashion one might expect in a “very gay” parade.

…After fifteen miles of walking, two home-cooked plates of Fettucini Bolognese followed by pizza bianco – imagine two slices of pizza bread placed on top of each other with a large swath of nutella in between and covered by enough powdered sugar to cause a diabetic episode – with new Italian friends.


…Lying upon a soft pillow wondering how I am going to survive at home knowing life like this exists.





By ccxander

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