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When in Rome… wear white plimsoles and eat obscene amounts of gelato… right?

Do you remember that lovely list I jotted at the beginning of the year…? Well, it’s all going rather like tick, tick, tick. I finally waved off my oh so faithful Hyundai in April for a lovely new beast (named Maurice) and have upgraded from a black waiting room style sofa to a plush light grey ‘throw a blanket over me and I’m done’ model (I didn’t name the sofa…. but the store did… so if you’re wondering, it’s called the Perth). So far, three ticks there. Then, there’s the fact I’ve joined a pilates group and the local running club. These were both on the list, so tick, tick.

But that’s enough trumpet blowing… I want to tell you how amazing Rome was. Yes, Rome was on the list too and has been for around fifteen years, since I visited Tarragona with my brother as saw the amazing ruins there. It inspired me to want to see the home of these ingenius people, and thus the intention has waited silently but determined (a little like it’s conceiver) until the timing was right.

It was great to have a break, and I felt so invigorated and inspired by the entire city. We walked our socks off, or white plimsoles in this case, which by about day two, were a more earthy shade of grey ochre. The highlights? Simple things like finding a murano glass shop on a side street and watching a glass blower making vases, a massive scoop of melon flavoured sorbet at the pantheon, a huge scoop of salted caramel gelato on the river, a chocolate ice cream cone (just kidding!)….. but seriously, we saw all the usual tourist attractions and they were captivating, but none so much than the Colluseum. Thankfully I had my film camera with me and though the reels aren’t back yet, I can’t wait to see them. My intention was specific – not just to visit Rome, but to take a black and white 35mm photo of the Colluseum at early morning light. And I did it. At 0805 we were stood in line and b y 0835 we were inside. The scale of the building, the early morning sunlight, the height, the ruins, the footsteps, the history, the stories, the plays, the terror, the bloodshed and the thick air of rags, riches and memories – the place is oozing with it and feels heavy with layers of human interaction. I absolutely loved it and felt so very small but honoured to be there. I think it is a rare thing to know you’re having a defining moment in your life, as often they happen and its only afterwards you realise right? But not so here, this was a defining moment, not just because it was something that I had wanted to do for so long, but because of the enormity of what this building meant to me, in my life, in this year, at that particular moment. I will never forget it. Or the gelato… Rome, thank you, you have my heart. I will be back… with slightly more appropriate footwear.