Ciao a tutti! I have finally returned to the land of endless pasta, prosciutto, and parmigiano. I had been waiting for this moment all year, and returning was truly unreal. Everything was so familiar that it felt like I had never left. I rekindled my old friendships and walked the streets of the town I used to live. It felt so different to walk by the apartment I lived in for 4 months or to sleep at the house of the family I tutored once a week and to have breakfast in the kitchen of someone I missed so dearly. It was such a refreshing feeling to have the plane land and to walk off and hear Italian. To see a familiar face right when I arrived. This familiar face helped me get on my train which then took me to the metro which then allowed me to walk to Carla, Sara and Matteo’s house.
From here I went to visit the Arcadia office to see some my favorite people. We had some lunch together and in my jetlagged heat exhaustion they let me take a nap in the office. I remember how comfortable I felt in that office and it was the same feeling again. No feeling could compare to how it felt to see Alberto again. I was nervous and unsure of what to expect. To see someone I was so close with an entire year later after speaking to each other every day since the day I left Italy last July. I was now back where I felt most at home and in the arms of someone I deeply cared about. I immediately started crying. Which was unusual for someone who does not react well under nervousness and exhaustion.
It felt like coming home after a long trip. The comfort and familiar smells and sounds and feelings of being in a place so natural and normal. I always loved that feeling, it was one I could never quite describe well. After coming home to my house in west chester after being gone for a week or more, it was a feeling of relief and nostalgia and that is the only way I can explain how it feels to see someone you love again after so many months. I think for the next 5 hours we kept reality checking to see if what was happening was real and it continued throughout my 4 days in Rome. I really did not imagine it would be like this. To return to the place I love most and find around every step and street corner something familiar. I fall more in love with this city every minute that passes. My first day back in Rome I walked the streets of Trastevere and Piazza Navona and Campo Dei Fiori. I was able to get a spritz (which I had been missing dearly)and was able to openly carry it around. We sat at the fountain, had an aperitivo, and then swing danced through my jet-lagged exhaustion in San Lorenzo.
I spent most of the next day alone walking around the center of the city, going back to all of the places that I love and missed. Everything is still as beautiful and grand as the first second and third times I’ve seen all of these places. The strangest part for me was to be alone in my favorite city and not have someone that I could meet up with for lunch. Most of my Roman friends were working or studying for the July session of exams and of course, I didn’t have all of my wonderful American friends around like I did last year. However, I spent a beautiful day in the city (and the summer Roman heat) and ate a pasta carbonara in Monti area. That night I had dinner with the family I tutored in English last year. It was nice to spend time with the kids again and share music and stories. After dinner I had the chance to experience Gay Village which is a really cool place in the summer for dancing and drinking and live performances. It was truly a wonderful day in my city.
The next day I met with my wonderful friends Jeannette and Francesca for an aperitivo. It was good company, arosticini, and vino. Most of my last day was spent rekindling a fire in a past relationship and rewriting a new chapter of an old story. The end of the night was spent cooking and eating and then getting drinks and meeting friends in trastevere. I was incredibly sad to leave Roma again, my city and I are always in pausa. I know that I will always find my way back there. I know that I will always find my way back home.