Religion, History, Roman Holiday and finding that perfect souvenir were the experiences I hoped to enjoy on my first journey to Rome. Little did I know what I would soon realize instead.
For me, the transformation began in Piazza Navona where you will find Fontana de Quattro Fiumi (The Fountain of the Four Rivers). Piazza Navona is a rectangular Piazza where along the outer edges lie numerous Sidewalk Cafes peddling dishes bursting with the flavors of the region. Pungent garlic, salty, nutty, full flavored cheeses, baked bread that can be tasted from only a whiff of its “fresh from the oven” aroma and the peppery, sometimes fruity taste of real Italian Olive Oil are all mine to enjoy.
Italian Artists with their easels in position, strategically chose the perfect site to create their canvas interpretations of the Piazza. There are tourists, Italians and Italian lovers strolling by while enjoying the glow of the moonlight illuminating the pavement and its light dancing with the water that glistens in the fountain. Music fills the Piazza with pure Italian rhythmic delight.
As I sat at a Sidewalk Café enjoying Rome’s gift to my 5 senses, I felt a wave of peace, contentment and joy flow through me. It was a feeling that can only be described as a renewal or rebirth of youthful emotions. Instead of cynicism that sometimes comes with age, I had a feeling of optimism and hope. This wave seems to wash over me each time I speak, think or write about Rome. I am forever grateful to the Eternal City for my life changing, perfect souvenir.
For me, to travel is to change my perspective, give my heart and mind a fresh nucleus and to afford me a greater understanding of my place here on earth.
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