When in Rome…
In late June, I spent eight days in Italy, specifically Rome and Tuscany. For years, I had admired both places from afar. As a history buff, I longed to visit Rome to see the Colosseum, The Vatican, The Sistine Chapel, and to get an idea of how the Roman Empire shaped our world. Exploring Tuscany, especially Montepulciano and Montalcino, was one of the most exhilarating experiences ever, from the rolling hills, the unbelievable wine, and delectable food. I never expected to return home and have this trip change my life.
My family’s history begins in Sicily, but being in Rome (or Roma) was a moving experience. Seeing St. Peter’s Basilica and the Holy City (regardless of religion) is something one can’t explain. There is absolutely nothing like it. Then, there’s the food. Oh, the food. The grilled calamari was incredible; the pasta was freshly made. You like coffee? You’ll love the espresso and cappuccino much better.
What I learned from those eight days is that my life is good, but it could be so much better and so much more fulfilling. What do I mean? I have four things that I’d like to share with you and help you have UN’ottima vita (Italian for “an excellent life”).
- Technology is great, but… I didn’t experience one person in Rome walking through the streets with their head buried in an iPhone or BlackBerry. They were enjoying what was going on around them. I used my phone only to take photos while traveling around Rome and Tuscany. Lesson number one: Don’t live through your phone, live with your heart and soul.
- Go off the path- When we arrived in Rome, we had no idea where the good places to eat were. My wife and I walked around and found a great little cappuccino and gelato bar, called Mondo Gelo Dolce. It was one of the most happening places in the Roman “suburb” of Lazio. When we were in downtown Rome, we ate in little restaurants, not in big places. We enjoyed our time more because we didn’t go with the norms.
- Enjoy your life and work- One of the things that really struck me were the smiles on all the people we came across. The waiters enjoyed talking to you, the owners came out to chat. We had three tour guides and each LOVED what they did. It wasn’t faked. They displayed passion for their work and the life they were leading. If you don’t enjoy what you do, why are you doing it?
- Embrace the Past, Grasp the Future- Rome has so much history. From Caesar to Nero, the streets are filled with something epic. It’s that history that helps to shape what we do today. By understanding the path our ancestors laid out for us, you will be able to take hold of the future… your future!
One last point. As we were about to exit St. Peter’s Basilica, I snapped this photo:
The sun coming through the basilica shone down on everyone. It got me thinking… if you aren’t taking time to open our eyes to the great things that are around you, what are you really doing then?
Posted on July 9, 2013, in Inspiration and tagged Colosseum, do as the Romans do, food, Italia, Italian food at its best, Italy, Julius Caesar, Montepulciano and Montalcino, Nero fiddles, Roman Holiday, Rome, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, The Holy City, The Vatican, Tuscany, When in Rome. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.