In art, film, literature, song, Rome has been endlessly personified as a city of unbridled passion and beauty. It’s been painted as a promised land for the unfulfilled and depicted as a glorious golden city where true love is just waiting to be discovered.
That is not my Rome.
My Rome wears graffiti like lipstick, its language is the sound of traffic horns, and its love letter is the taste of a cold Peroni. My Rome is indifferent to you.
My Rome is a city you’ll love to hate, but it’s a city you’ll truly love while you sit smoking rolled cigarettes at your favorite bar, when you watch the sun rise after a night of no sleep on the Gianicolo.
The Rome I know is a city with plenty of problems, and it isn’t an easy place to live. It’s not the marble facade of San Pietro, but the crumbling stone of neglected Roman walls.
My Rome, I think, is much more interesting.