Living in Rome
There are days I have enough of living in Rome. There’s a sentiment of apathy in the city that eventually gets you. A subconscious feeling telling you that no matter what you’re trying to do, you won’t succeed, because this is not the kind of place which allows you to expand and flourish. It is a city closed to outsiders, and by outsiders I mean people who don’t belong to the extremely tight network of friends and acquaintances running the city, not necessarily foreigners. Everything in Rome happens through old connections (jobs, property purchase, etc), which have been formed since primary school or through family links. If you’re out of the circle, you’re out of the city. For many of us, it is a difficult reality to admit, as we all came here in pursuit of a dream. Going to live in the Eternal City! And then we wake up…to see a different city, a city where we never thought we would get bored walking up and down via del Corso for the compulsory Saturday afternoon passeggiata. Romans get into town, not necessarily to go shopping, but just for a walk about in the old city centre, and possibly for an ice-cream and a coffee. On some weekends, there can be some special entertainment provided, usually on Piazza del Popolo, which is according to its name, the People’s square. Actually, this weekend will be busy as everything is getting ready for the Day of the Police. It is a special event, taking place every year in May to celebrate the Italian police force. On that weekend, Piazza del Popolo turns into a huge parking place for police cars, trucks, buses, boat, helicopter and so on. Visitors are allowed to get into them, but obviously not go for a ride! It is extremely popular with boys aged between 4 and 8 years old, as with much older boys. They are queuing to get into the blue helicopter or on the blue speed boat. You will have guessed that blue is the colour of the Italian police force. It seems to be a way for the police to attract new recruits. Last year, it was turned into a European event with police cars from different EU countries on display as well. I don’t know yet what will be the theme this weekend. Pictures will probably follow this blog entry!
Still, it is an amazing opportunity to be able to live in Rome, but as Stendhal already pointed out almost two hundred years ago: one has to have a passion for the arts to live in Rome. Then all the roads open up, as the knowledge to be gained is limitless. The more we discover, the more there is to discover. Art is a true refuge for the residents of Rome, but a somewhat passive one. One church takes you to another; one work of art has to be followed up by another one, and so on. I try to share my own personal art discoveries or interest of the moment in this blog.