Monday, September 10, 2012
Reflections on Rome
Today was our last day in Rome. I have been here for 10 days now and it has felt like forever! I am really excited to go to Florence tomorrow and finally meet the place I will call "home" for the next 3 months. But before I go to Florence, here are few of my final reflections from Rome...
At first I was completely overwhelmed by Rome because of its size, amount of history, chaotic atmosphere, and the language difference (Also, its dirty). Now... I'm still overwhelmed by Rome! But in these last few days I have warmed up to it.
Here are how my senses have perceived Rome:
The sounds of Rome include: people shouting (in many different languages), waiters trying to get you to eat at their pizzeria, men trying to peddle you touristy souvenirs, people insisting that their tour of the Vatican is best, vespas whizzing by and taxi drivers honking at idling pedestrians. It is just as chaotic as it sounds, plus some. With all the noise that comes from outside at every hour of the night I'm surprised I sleep as soundly as I do!
When my ears can't handle the noise, I focus on what I'm seeing, which is just as overwhelming. Everything is so beautiful! Beautiful architecture, fountains, masterpieces of art in every church, newly married couples in St. Peter's square, cute Italian children running around, extreme wealth and extreme poverty, colorful gelato shops that tempt the hungry tourist.
Tastes of Rome have been interesting. I have had some of the best gelato! (My favorite is tiramisu and pistachio. I still have a lot of flavors to try though!) Lots of good pasta, fresh tomatoes, tons of cheese of every variety. The pizza has been amazing, and I can't forget the wine!
Besides the sights, sounds, and tastes, the smell has been interesting as well. BC students know what I mean when I say that Atchison has its own familiar stench. Well, I have found Rome does too! I have no need to miss Atchi-stench now! I won't fully describe the smell to you for fear of making you loose your lunch (have you even had lunch yet?), but let's say its a mix of cigarette smoke, dog poo, and the sewer. Compared to Rome, Atchison has it good! Imagine thousands of years of smells all in one city! Nasty!
Apart from the senses, here is my reflection on the spirituality of Rome. The Catholic influence is so visible here. On almost every corner there is a picture or statue of Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord. Our tour guide on Monday told us that a large percent of Rome is Catholic, but of that number, a small percentage actually practices their faith. It seems crazy to me that in a city where the faith has such deep roots, there are so few that practice the faith wholeheartedly.
It seems like human nature that when we have something good so available in everyday life we seem to take it for granted. We reject it because we think there is something greater, and we miss out on a lot of truth. My time here has reminded me that you can never be "too faithful" or "too Catholic." We can always grow in our faith, whatever religion.
Rome is a beautiful and stimulating city. There is so much to see and it would take a lifetime to see it all. Hopefully one day I will be blessed to visit again. I have enjoyed my 10 days here, but the adventure has to continue! I'm excited to see what Florence has in store.
Stay tuned! Pictures from Rome and Florence to come. (Internet is too slow now)