Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The eternal city of tourists

It's been twenty years since I was last in Rome and I've noticed lots of change. The most obvious is the number of backpack toting, water bottle guzzling, running shoe sporting tourists.

We're staying a few blocks from the Coloseum and I was amazed at the number of tourists flocking to its gates. I didn't hear a word of Italian until I ventured further into the Centro.

Back in the 80s I never had to line up for any attraction. Now it makes more sense for me to enjoy the neighbourhoods and not battle the crowds to glimpse St Teresa in Ecstasy, La Boca della Verita, or the Foro -- so sad that there is now a fee.

Despite all this, it's still a fabulous city. I feel my heart belongs in Rome more than any other place. It's not my home but there is a comfort, a familiarity that I can't ignore.

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