Roma (from ‘The Europe Collection’)

I’m Audrey Hepburn.
It’s a Roman Holiday.
Gregory Peck’s missing, but there are enough Giovanni’s and Giorgio’s around to satisfy that craving if the moment arrives.

Cannelloni, Ravioli.
It’s nice the names are the same in English.
I was worried I’d be confused, and get stuck ordering a salad so I wouldn’t look like another idiot tourist asking for a translation.

An accordion player stands on the cobblestone.
What a sinfully delightful stereotype.
I swing dance my friend gleefully, and think that life couldn’t possibly get any better than this moment.

The Forum and the Coliseum.
Relics of the past are now my present.
Bring a sun umbrella and wear comfortable shoes, because the tour guide will take you through a thousand years of Italian history without breaking a sweat.

It’s worth it, though.
You beat the lines everyone else spends hours in.
Past the Titus Arch, through the entrance, up the worn staircase and into the theatre that doubled as a warrior’s tomb.

How many died?
How many survived?
That and a plethora of other unanswerable questions plague my mind as I wander through one of the most famous structures in the world.

The street outside is crowded.
The taxi drivers are insane.
The family who decided to rent segways will probably die, but I smile at them and keep my comments to myself. Dad’s an idiot, kids.

The Vatican is crowded.
A gawker’s paradise.
I feel out of place and under-dressed in St. Peter’s with so many priests and nuns in robes and habits paying their respects.

The crypts are below.
They’re blessedly quiet.
Hopefully someone will decide to visit me hundreds of years after I’m gone. I won’t hold my breath, but a girl can dream.

So many tears
for men they’ve never met.
I don’t get it, but I won’t ask questions; I don’t think that’s appropriate in the Vatican, and the Swiss Guard look pretty serious.

Night time is party time.
Pull out that cocktail dress.
I think it’s wrong to drink and dance in such a historical and religious city, but I push the feelings aside as I grasp the stripper pole.

Morning comes early.
I wake up in Florence.
Yawning, I pull out the worn, weather beaten notebook that has become both diary and confessional, and recount the sights and sounds of my Roman Holiday.

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About Amanda Hope

Communications professional. Book lover. History nerd. Runner. Tea drinker. Musician. Proud 'Pegger.
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