It has been a wonderful week in Rome. Tuscany, Sistine chapel, colosseum, ruins, Trevi fountain. All incredible sites and older than anything in the states by hundreds of years. The Romans did everything large, my kind of people. i find myself super energized by this place.
Unlike the Italian countryside we saw on Tuesday, most of the areas we've visited in the city of Rome are full of tourists and the kinds of things that accompany these hot spots in any city - crowds, long lines, cheap trinket gift shops, pan handlers and relentless street vendors. But our enthusiasm challenges us to push past these minor annoyances to see the rich, historic treasures all around us. What I love about it all is the way the old sits solidly in the heart of the new.
In the center of the bustle of city traffic sits the Colosseum. The date carved into the wall reads, Anno VII. Trekking past trendy Italian shops, our feet step on cobble stones more than two thousand years old. Pastel colored scooters zip past us as we stand at the base of huge Roman columns in front of the Pantheon built around 118 A.D. I look at the centuries old marble still standing and think of the much newer brick building in my Atlanta neighborhood, recently reduced to a pile of rubble after comparatively short years of decay.
We wander these streets, looking at the old juxtaposed with the new and wonder how the fruit of our lives will fare. What will crumble? What will last? On the streets of Rome I am sobered and inspired.