Monday, September 24, 2007

I don't exactly know what Federico Felini meant when he said that Rome welcomes you when you come and forgets you when you go.

Maybe because it is called the Eternal City and it will continue with or without you. I am sitting here in Germany as Rome continues without me a little numb and a bit disheartened.

Apart from Naples and border towns in Mexico, Rome is the about the dirtiest city I have ever been to. I couldn't believe the lack of respect for a city so rich in history. It is amazing the preservation of all the art and ruins, but it seems ironic coupled with all the trash and graffiti. Ignore the paper bags, dirty diapers, empty boxes and Rome will welcome you with all of it's riches.

I have waited all my life to see the Sistine Chapel, so waiting a couple of hours in the rain with thousands of people didn’t matter too much. However, our tour guide’s English was not so great and she had difficulty coordinating her mouth with the microphone. She hustled our group through all the Vatican galleries to get to the Sistine Chapel before the closing time. Luckily, we were the last group to be crammed in with about 400 hundred other sweaty tourists before they closed the door. The guards were telling everyone to move back and be quiet. I was too afraid to look up. Katherine suggested I bring binoculars. Since I had never used them before, I was having trouble adjusting the focus. Slowly God’s Hand came into view. I moved a little to the left and there was Adam. The lens became foggy and I was loosing focus. John looked at me and said, "oh my God you're crying?!"

I don’t think I saw much more-because I started hyperventilating. I couldn't believe I was actually seeing it with my own eyes, but I had to get out of there and fast. Near the exit, John held my head straight so I would see the Last Judgement. I don’t remember seeing it, but he said I did. The rest of the day-I had trouble formulating words-more trouble than usual. The whole experience was just that-speechless.
I know now I can be the method-actress I always wanted to be. I can cry on cue just thinking of the Sistine Chapel.

Even now in my little German village as Rome continues on without me.........

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yep, I had the same reaction. I wanted to sob like a baby when I entered the hush of the Chapel, but somehow managed to control myself. And with millions of locals and millions of tourists, it's not surprising how loud, dirty and insane Rome is. Old and new transposed right next to each other. I didn't know what to expect when I visited the Vatican and felt robbed that I wasn't prepared for it. I guess that just confirms how stupid or naive I am.
Lurking Lisa