Hello world!


Welcome to my first blog.  A little scary but I will bravely go where so many have gone before.  I’d love to be a writer, but I lack imagination, creativity and time.  Maybe taking baby steps in the bloggers world will help me get in the habit, who knows.  I’ll start my blog story in ancient Rome … the Rome of Sulla, & Gaius Marius,  Cicero, Mark Antony, Pompey the Great and, my personal favorite, Julius Caesar.

My fascination with ancient Rome began only recently.  Earlier this year I started planning for a trip to Europe with my husband and two teenage children — 14 and 17.  We decided to spend our two weeks in only two cities — Paris and Rome.  I’d always loved Paris, even though I’d only been once, and for only a few days, but I’d never been to Rome.  In anticipation, and wanting to learn something about it, I picked up Colleen MuCullough’s book, Caesar, and my love affair began.  I read each of her books in the series, and they really made the Roman’s come alive for me.  I was so intrigued, in fact, that I’ve been reading all I can get my hands on about the folks from Roma.  I have a special affection for Cicero, since I’m also an attorney, and I admire him for being able to make a name for himself despite being a “new man” from the countryside.  He does seem to have been a little wimpy and had  a great appreciation of his own abilities, sometimes more than was deserved, but he was witty and did care about this country.  Even Caesar, my “main man,” seemed to have a soft spot for Cicero despite Cicero’s speaking out against him and siding with Pompey at the end.  In any event, learning about them and feeling like I “knew” made my trip to Rome that much more interesting, and in the end I have to say that — although this feels disloyal to Paris which I also loved — I feel more deeply in love with Rome, and with Italy, than any other place in  Europe.  We stayed in an apartment built by my landlord’s family in the 1400s, and it was the center of the old city, within walking distance of almost everything.  It was a little hike up 5 flights of stairs to reach the apartment but there was a tiny elevator to use if we needed it, and once you got to our apartment we had the advantage of having a rooftop terrace overlooking the City.  Our little kitchen was more than sufficient for the minimal cooking we did — dinner one night with ingredients from the nearby grocery store, lots of wine, of course, and breakfast every day.  There was a washer and dryer in the kitchen as well, and two bedrooms, two baths and a nice living room.  All the comforts of home, but in Rome.  We were only steps from the Ghetto, with its interesting stores and history, and also only a few minutes’ walk from Largo Argentino which, I learned after the first day, is where Caesar was killed.  It was one of the areas with the closest ties to Caesar — much of what you can see in Rome is from later in the empire, the time of Augustus, or Trajan, or Hadrian, or others.  As a history buff in my previous trip to Europe I’d been fascinated by medieval castles… now, when I saw a medieval building on the Palentine Hill, I just got pissed off that it was covering up something from an earlier era — I wanted to stick with 100 BC-1 BC, not way into the middle ages!  It’s ironic, how in the US we travel to civil war battlegrounds and it seems like so long ago … and Revolutionary sites in Boston, etc. seem even more ancient.  And that’s only the 1700s, hardly a blink of an eye in the past.  I love thinking about how as much as we think things have changed, we’re still the same inside.  Love, hate, wars, peace, jealousy, hope, desire, ego, revenge — 2000 years ago and probably 20,000 years ago, still the same, just in different clothing.  Of course they were writing on wax tablets and not a blog, but still the same basic idea.

So this blogging thing may not be so interesting to you, but I think I’m going to enjoy “talking” about my trip this summer, and then telling you about my return trip to Rome and the Amalfi coast this October, with visits to Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples, Capri, Ravello and the other wonderful towns in Campania, so if you love Italy, too, then come along for the ride!

!

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Comments

  1. Really nice and well written blog. whoever told you that you aren’t creative is out of their minds…i want more!

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