I’ve been day-dreaming about Rome, my favourite city. I’m standing at the top of the Spanish Steps, looking down towards the Via Con Doti, I always like to start my day there, the whole city laid out before me…. Living history.
I’d been looking through the photos, and that always gets to me, the places and memories come back in a flash. People I met… and not forgetting the people I was with. So many visits, three wives and three different lives. Forty years….. I know it better than London.
First time was in the seventies, a young man in my early twenties. Bold, brash and totally lost. A crowd from the Karate Club, lads on tour; a short city break. I wanted to re-enact the Bruce Lee fight in the Coliseum; the one he had with Chuck Norris. It was a dream, but I had that moment; my friend and I just went for it….. Pure magic. Standing quietly afterwards, thinking of all that’s taken place there; it took my breath away.
Photos at Trevi Fountain, coins over the shoulder, followed by a walk through the streets. By the time we found the Spanish steps I was sold. I knew the coins were working, I could feel the electricity. I loved everything about it, the streets, the people; the food and the wine.
We never did get to the Vatican, left for another trip. We did see St. Peters, I was blown away by the size and the magnificence of it; feeling the power the Catholic Church has over its people. I felt a shudder pass through me.
Standing on the Via Apia, walking in the footsteps of the Caesars; I knew I had to go back. I wasn’t a history buff, I just loved the atmosphere. The street cafés were new to us, the food and wine were something new as well; back in the West Country all we had were burger vans. Nothing would ever be the same again.
After Rome there were many more places, but Rome will always be special, the good thing is….Nothing’s changed.