It was 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Let me repeat that: it was 108 degrees outside. If I had been home I wouldn’t have stood for the heat (you would’ve found me chilling in an ice bath), but somehow the heat just made being in this new place even more exciting. Of course, I wanted to look nice, a nearly impossible feat due to the fact that every time I walked outside I was immediately drenched in sweat. The locals didn’t seem too bothered by it, they just carried on with their days, but I knew that this heat was unusual even for them.
Part of me wanted to take refuge in our stunning hotel room (different post), but a much larger part of me wanted to go out and brave the heat. As you walked by restaurants men in suits would offer menus, and softly say, “Ciao, bella” as you wandered away down the winding alleyways. People sat under umbrellas, fanning themselves with papers that read the wines available for the day.
Every little detail in Rome was stunning. Crumbling but sturdy, and simple yet elegant. Doors had beautiful molding and engraving, buildings had edifices and facades more beautiful than any I’d ever seen.
The Pantheon nearby (another post) had a beautiful plaza spread before it. People wandered in and out of fountains, splashing themselves or taking a drink. Children ran around, and in one corner a string quartet played and in another a man with an electric guitar and an amp played “Hotel California.”
Each plaza had entertainment, and I have to say, out of all the European cities I visited Rome had the best street performers. The highlight was a man, whose body was hidden under a children’s stroller and face painted like a child’s, who then made baby crying noises and pretended to breast feed. Weird stuff.
People sped through the city on vespas, turning corners and swerving in and out of lanes. Bikes stood chained to posts, as their riders sipped coffee nearby.
You didn’t need a jacket even at 10pm. Nightfall didn’t bring coolness with it, but it did bring a beautiful glow upon the city. Everything seemed to light up in the most dim way possible, and a golden tint was cast over everything.