T'amerò, Sembra un sogno, Rivederti
After 17 Augusts the time to say arrivederci to my beloved home has finally come. It has taken months to slowly untangle ourselves from the intricate beautiful jumble of our life in Rome. It was a gift, sometimes a difficult gift, to have those weeks that became months stuck in Rome while we waited for our permesso di soggiorno. We are still living in the in-between, but we are slowly working our way forward through the bureaucracy to become Venetians. We have a Venzia Unica Card and keys and we (almost) have a Venetian address and internet!
When I first moved to Rome it was just another place my husband’s job with the United Nations brought us. I never planned on staying in Italy. You know what they say about plans.
Rome is a demanding wonder, bestowing an extraordinary backdrop to ordinary life. The Campidoglio is where my car broke down. The Imperial forums were my backyard. I walked past the Colosseum on my way to the grocery store. I suppose one could become inured to all of that excessive chaotic beauty. That did not happen to me.
Like any love affair mine with Rome had its rough moments. I have cried at the post office and been stranded by transport strikes. The crowds and July heat are truly miserable. I often assert that Rome is like a bad boyfriend. One that treats you with casual indifference but one you always forgive, unable to resist the charms. I am not sure that is the right analogy. Maybe Rome is more like a difficult relative. One that stings with the truth but also remembers what your favorite snack is and always has it in the house when you visit.
I said my teary goodbyes to our sweet neighbors. To the ones next door who threw raucous parties that lasted until dawn and always came with an invitation and a bottle of wine for our patience. To the girls downstairs who I watched grow up with their terrific taste in music and lively lunches and rhythmic plinks of their ping pong games. To their dog Michael who barked when I would go outside on the balcony, part greeting, part protecting his people. To the dry cleaner who collected my packages. To the fishmonger who called me cara and the pasta maker who would leave me messages on WhatsApp in such a thick Roman accent that I had to listen to them over and over and over again to understand. To my pal who I had countless coffees in the piazza with. I will miss my Monti life for the rest of my days.
And now off we go on this new adventure in this new place where we will have new neighbors and pasta makers, and coffee pals. I hope you come along with me. And I hope that Rome will always offer me plates of amatriciana and pizza mortadella and drinks in the piazza when I come back to visit.
Arrivederci: An expression of greeting between people who separate with the certainty or hope of seeing each other again; sometimes also as a wish to those who walk away for a long time.