Roma. Bella e impossibile. Beautiful and impossible.
I just returned from one of the worst vacations I have ever had. Ok, I am exaggerating a bit, because obviously there were goods things as well about these three days.
It was great to see my friends again, especially to have dinner Tuesday night in Via della Pace, outside in the street surrounded by people in the typical intimate Roman way. It was great to chat and catch up and to have a pizza with rucola, parmigiano, mozzarella e pachino (rocket salad, parmesan and cherry tomatoes).
It was also fabulous to go and see my friend and her new shop with super cool and trendy second hand children's clothes in the just as cool neighborhood Monti. It was amazing to go to her place afterwards, have lunch and see her little son, who just turned one, hang out with Matilde.
But that's where the fun ended.
It was NOT fun to walk around Rome in 40 degrees with a two-years-old in a stroller. (Poor thing, she was so hot and so bored).
It was NOT fun to take the metro (although I was very impressed with the new B1 line) to EUR with a sleeping girl in a stroller, just to find that the elevator was out of order. I carried stroller incl. sleeping girl up four stairs in 40 degrees...
It was NOT fun to go to Piscina delle Rose, because I was convinced there was a baby pool. After paying 18 euro to get in (for just three hours), sun bed and the mandatory horrible swim cap, I realized there was no pool for little girls... We left after one hour.
In general it was NOT fun to take the bus with a stroller. Roman buses are not made for families. You can hardly get out of the doors with the stroller, and when I mumbled something about this city not being very family-friendly, a signora informed me that I was actually not allowed to bring the stroller on the bus, unless it was closed!!! Now I don't know if this is actually true, but it probably is, and that is just insane. I would like to see which mum is capable of handling a closed stroller + at least one child on a Roman bus while at the same time trying to stay alive herself, since Roman bus driving is more or less like riding a roller coaster.
I could go on. About the tourists, the heat, the increased prices and decreased quality in restaurants, I used to love. Yes, this time Rome managed to disappoint me in so many ways.
But then there is this something about this city. Like when you drive to the center in the evening, and the light is nothing less but magical, and you pass by Villa Borghese, and wish you had your camera and the time to just photograph everything. And you cross Tevere and you see Basilica di San Pietro which is gigantic and impressive and so white, lying there almost floating on the river, again in the most amazing evening light.
And then you remember what it is about Rome, that makes it so special. That even though it is "invivibile" as the Italians say (unlivable, I suppose in English), it is simply too beautiful and majestic to hate. It's almost as if it's laughing at you, a bit arrogant. I'm just too damn beautiful, that's why I can behave like this, treat you like this, that's why I can piss you off so many times during the day, because I know you will be back anyway, because you cannot stay away from me.
Because let's face it: No other place in the whole wide word is like Rome. No other city can ever come even near Rome in terms of beauty and soul. This is the eternal city. Impossibile ma bellissima.
Ps: But for the future, Rome, I'm done with you in August. That's for sure!