My last day in Italy was as pleasant as could be.  Normally, I am a fast walker – – no matter where I go, I hustle.  I pass people right and left, and always look like I have someplace to get to quickly (probably because I’m always running late!).  But in spending my last few hours in Roma, I took a much more leisurely pace.  And it was intoxicating.

I walked all over town…to the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the church of San Ignazio, Piazza Venezia, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, the Forum, Trastavere (and the church of Santa Maria in Trastavere), Campo Di Fiore, Piazza Navona and finally…back up Via Veneto one last time.  By the end of the day, I was exhausted…but ready to get my things packed and ready to go.  I finally got some inspiration behind my camera, and I can only guess it was because I was finally feeling comfortable with the city.  The best part of the day was sitting down and chatting with an Italian street artist who was using chalk to recreate several paintings.  I got some great photographs of him working (after asking if I could in perfect Italian!) and he seemed to be very touched and flattered that I would want to photograph him.  I asked him to write down his address so that I could send him the photographs, but I’m not quite sure that I’ll be able to decipher what he wrote.  After that, I just started shooting away…random people on the streets…people photographing other people…tour guides rambling on while their group members are seemingly bored to tears…street peddlers…street muscians.  By the time the sun was setting, I arrived at the Colosseum and the sun created the most beautiful glow on the ancient arches and columns…with the blue sky behind it, I could not have asked for a more perfect ending to my photographic story of Italy!

I do believe that several people wondered what I was up to, as I walked around most of the day with a giddy smile on my face, just enjoying watching people and seeing the daily life of this most magnificent city.  On my way across Ponte Palatino to Trastavere, I met a older gentleman walking his Dalmation.  He knew about as much English as I know Italian, but we talked for about an hour, trying to understand one another.  I appreciated his patience and diligence with trying to help me learn about his language and his culture, something that many Americans would not be so willing to do for a foreigner (mainly because we are always in such a hurry!).  After slowly walking along the cold Tiber river, he directed me to my destination of the church of Santa Maria in Trastavere, and he likely went home and threw his hands up in the air to his wife about this crazy American woman who thinks she knows any Italian!

As I write this blog entry, I am on the long flight across the Atlantic…anxiously awaiting the moment that I get to see the beautiful faces of my sweet girls.  While waiting for the flight in Frankfurt, Germany…I had the pleasure of meeting Patch Adams (!!!!) and he asked if I threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, as that is something that supposedly will ensure a return trip to Rome.  While I watched hundreds of people toss those coins in over the course of my three stops there over the past week, I did not throw in a coin.  Why?  I’m just not superstitious in that way.  I will be back to Rome…I don’t know when…but I will.  Luck and superstition will not lead me there…but my own willingness and determination.

Well…and the ability to stay within my monthly budget…

Now bring on the turkey!  And stuffing!  And mashed potatoes!

I’m Not Lost! – – The Final Chapter



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