When in Rome (or Florence as of 3pm today)

Trip Start Apr 07, 2010
Trip End Sep 11, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 4 of Italy.  So far here is what I think of Rome (I just arrive in Florence so I can assess her later):



Aviator glasses

Boys with cool hair

Men with googly eyes and loud mouths

A language that is so beautiful but sounds so over the top that it sounds cartoonish



People that actually speak English (unlike France)



Amazing trees











Bad metro




That would be the number of times I ate pizza in 3.5 days.  :)


Some funny things, sweet things and then some deeper things.


Funny things:  I met a jockey at the hotel breakfast on my first morning.  He asked where I was from and replied in the most amazing Italian accent "fee la DEL fee ah!"  (yes it is a strange thing to tell people I am from Philly, but being the nomad that I am I dont have much else to say at this point).  When I was at the Colosseum wandering the corridors I heard Whole Lotta Love blasting on loud speakers.  Turns out they used some of the guitar riff sections for a video on the excavations.  Then theres Italian men.  They are of the kind that see someone they think is cute and dont do the modest look, glance away, glance back slyly.  They just stare.  And turn around and walk backwards while staring.  And ask if you are married after about 10 seconds of talking to you.  I mean I wasnt even safe in the Vatican. I got asked out by TWO Vatican workers.  One of which was very obnoxious (hey buddy Im trying to look at art in this room, not YOU), and the other a very sweet older (by which I mean 30 something) man in the Sistine Chapel of all places.  He was very sweetly asking about my guidebook so I drilled him on the paintings under Michelangelos, and that turned into, Hey heres my number if you want to come back to the museum and see it again, hint hint. 


Sweet things:  There really are Good Samaritans.  I was trying to figure out the pay phone at the airport to get ahold of the hotel for a shuttle so I wouldnt have to pay the overpriced cabs (no buses on this route) and a very sweet 20 something Italian girl was sitting nearby and offered to call on her cell.  When the hotel said it was too late to arrange a shuttle she offered to drop me off once her Dutch boyfriend arrived.  For 20 minutes I connected with her, and then her boyfriend, they even asked me if it was ok to smoke in the car, or if I was too cold in the back seat with the windows down...I gave them my email for when or if they come to the States.  Then there was the older Italian woman who walked me IN THE RAIN 4 blocks to my hotel when I was lost.  I would asked her things in English and point to my hotel address and she would answer me in Italian as if we were having a conversation.  She wasnt getting frustrated like so many others have with me when I respond in English or say I dont understand.  She was matter of fact saying what she wanted to say as if I understood.  And whats more I did.  I mean not literally, but magically I knew she was taking care of me. I double kissed her cheeks when we parted.


Deeper things:  I have seen a lot of amazing things in a very short period of time.  Michelangelos Sistine and Vatican Dome and Pieta.  Carravaggios Conversion of St Paul.  Berninis Apollo and Daphne.  The crucifix site of St Peter and his tomb.  My 2nd and 3rd Boticellis.  Titians Sacred and Profane Love.  Many more things indeed.  I have wondered at which point does the enlightment of my mind come after all of this.  When do I see something and really, I mean REALLY, feel like I am seeing it?  I rush into the rooms to greet my friends and my Self is ready, saying Oh. My. Gosh. Here it is.  Not in a book.  Not on your computer.  You are RIGHT in front of da Vincis Virgin of the Rocks.  My Mind says Wow thats pretty cool, but man your knees hurt.  Self:  OK not now, I am busy with eternity, please stop reminding me.  Mind: wow thats too bad because I cant stop thinking about how pizza sounds really good right now.  Self:  you have been waiting for this moment, and Raphael is getting bummed at you for telling me these things, please calm down.  Mind:  calm what?  What does that mean?  Youve never been calm.  Lets move on, you have too much to see and these tourists are driving you mad anyway.  Self:  10 more seconds please, me and Rubens arent done here.  I mean, I dont REALLY know when the etheral mystical energy is fully exhanged but as long as you keep chatting in my head I am clearly not finished with this piece of art.  Mind:  Seriously my feet hurt, too.  Self:  Wow.  OK.  Well Chagal, Im going to have to move on now...and trust that the moment we just had is sealed with Divinity, not rational thoughts of time, space, or forms of medium.  I know that whether Im standing in front of you physically or seeing you in a book or imagining you in my mind, I am with you and we are looking at the same thing together always...Truth. 


I have thoughts but I am not my thoughts.  I have feelings but I am not my feelings.  I have a body but I am not my body.  I am something deeper and much more stable. 


Looking for this sense of openess and sensibility as I scavenge more Earth shattering art here in Florence,

Lori :)

More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkfloyri/sets/72157623804594979/
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