That first week was a dizzying week of new discoveries, new friends, and a rare case of the event being greater than the anticipation!
What a city! My tiny little room overlooks the Tiber and, once the leaves fall from the trees in front of my window, I will be able to see St. Peters in the distance and the Castel Sant’Angelo right across.
Every morning, I go across the bridge with the Bernini Angels and walk in a little park immediately behind the Castel. Folks walk their dogs there, young people–probably travellers–are in their sleeping bags on the grass, and a few locals run around the paths. I go up and down the steps–I like to think of it as an ancient stairmaster.
The greatest challenge for me this week has been trying to figure out how to make a phonecall. Not surprisingly, the most mundane is the most difficult! I now understand why 20 million Italians have cell phones. Make that 20 million and ONE now.
My school is located very near the Campo dei Fiori, which holds one of Rome’s finest and most well known farmers’ market. It is one of the few squares in the citta that does not have a church. Most likely because it was once the site of executions during the Inquisition.
I study Italian every morning for three hours. My class of 7 includes me, an American man who directs opera in both the U.S. and internationally, a German woman who speaks in a a whisper most of the time, an adorable Swiss guy, a Dane, an Israeli, and a Japanese man who speaks virtually no English so most of us have to communicate with him in Italian, what little we know.
On my 1st day in Rome, the tale of a man and his salami
I was walking around my new neighborhood and I stopped for a hunk of focaccia at a little store, un negozio. It was there that I had my first one-on-one experience with an Italian man.
It all started when the man behind the counter saw my camera. He called out “macchina fotografica, macchina fotografica” and asked me to take his picture. I started to focus when he motioned for me to come behind the counter, and he ordered the other counterman to snap the photo.
Meanwhile, he posed the two of us behind the salami e formaggio, grabbing my arm and wrapping it tightly around his neck. It is then that I feel his hand slipping higher and higher up my side. When I protested, he uttered some words in Italian that I did not understand, picked up a piece of salami, grabbed my breast, smiled and his buddy took the picture. Ah, Roma.
My First Un Po P.O.V. Just some point-of-view observations I liked to call a little p.o.v.
NUNS AND ITALIAN MEN
Before I came here, I was told that when a covey of nuns passes by a group of Italian men, the men grab their balls. I haven’t seen that yet, although I have seen giggling groups of Sisters and, of course, Italian men grabbing their balls.
Both sexes here in Rome wear very tight clothes to show off, well, you get the theme. Men/husbands/boyfriends make no secret of their blatant ogling. Grande ogle. Molti ogle. Ogle-issimo.
LA MODA OF MIDRIFFS
Not unlike the women in the States, the women of Rome love this midriff look. But, as we know, not everyone can carry that look. Here, some girls even cut off their waist bands to make them fall even lower. Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi.
LADY LIBERTY QUI?
What more is there to say really? While walking into the Piazza Navona, a most famous square in Rome, what should I spot but this Statue of Liberty!? Ah, Roma.