The Youngest Thing in Rome

Rome was my final destination in Europe. My plane to Nepal departed from Aeroporto Internazionale Leonardo da Vinci di Fiumicino on Sunday, November 25. I took a train from Pisa to Rome on a Wednesday, allowing myself about four days to explore the endless marvels of some of our most iconic ancient civilizations.

I arrived to Rome feeling excited, but anxious. The air was heavy, thick with a breezeless humidity, palm trees standing erect and motionless in the warm evening. I felt I was still overcoming some of the internal struggle I faced in Pisa. After dropping my pack at a hostel, I pulled on my boots, pocketed a city map, and walked out into the night, hoping to find some clarity and rekindle my enthusiasm for indefinite solo traveling.

Walking through a serene Roman park.

Walking through a serene and empty Roman park.

I took off in the general direction of the Coliseum, not knowing if or when I’d come to it. I walked through vast parks, observed trickling stone fountains, passed pile after pile of red rubble surrounded by high metal fences – ancient ruins at every turn, half without informational signage: history crumbling, unnamed, all around me.

The moon was bright, and I followed its light up a hill, hoping for a view of the city at night. The palm trees and shrubbery thinned, and I suddenly found myself staring down at the unmistakable dark-windowed curve of Colosseo, basked in moonlight.

One of my first views of the Coliseum.

My first view of the Coliseum.

Suddenly breathless, I grinned and gathered myself, inhaling deeply and remembering what I was searching for: this feeling, of seeing myself from above, pinpointing my tiny self in a giant world, a huge universe, just chillin’ by my lonesome in a random corner of the earth, experiencing something brand f’ing new every single moment. Doing nothing but being in Rome. I hopped down the hill towards the massive amphitheater, keeping one eye on the moon and its astonishing three bright halos, brightening up the midnight sky.

The Coliseum area was nearly void of tourists at this hour. I had the imposing structure all to myself. I walked around it a few times, taking in its immense proportions and thinking how crazily hard it must have been to build without modern technology and machinery. Meandering nearby, I examined the detailed carvings on a few stone arches then headed up a hill towards a church, which I circled a few times without finding an entry point, but enjoyed seeing in the quiet Rome night nonetheless. Eventually, I slowly strolled back to my hostel, collapsing into bed and feeling at peace for the first time in over a week.

Here are some more photos:

Moon, stars, old things.

Moon, stars, old things.

Colosseo by night. The place was nearly deserted. Excellent.

Colosseo by night. The place was nearly deserted, which I found to be excellent.

The moon was so bright!

The moon was so bright!

Moon and Arch of Constantine.

The Arch of Constantine, close to Colosseo.

Another post on Roman Adventures coming ASAP!

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