It has been almost a month since I left Italy and my time with Rosa, and I have had a chance to reflect on those experiences. Of course, I will be returning to Italy and to her later this year, but I will leave that for later. While it is not the first time I have lived overseas, as I lived in France at age 12 for a year, this was different and 2 ½ months in Rome, as an adult, living Roma, going to the markets, walking the neighborhoods, traveling the metro and the busses, and experiencing life as a Roman, not a tourist was certainly eye opening. In fact, I spent more time away from the historic center than in the local neighborhoods exploring the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, some good, some bad, but always feeling a part of this amazing city and country. I felt good and never uncomfortable, well maybe the first time on the metro and even traveling the wrong direction, once or twice. Immersing yourself in a totally different culture is the only way to do it. Meeting people and returning to places time and time again in the city, allowed me to become “friends” with the locals and yes, Romans are very friendly people. My Italian vocabulary increased and memorizing enough phrases, allowed me to communicate, but the grammar is still lacking. I did try and it was appreciated. I may never become fluent, but it was an experience and will continue to learn more and more.
Of course, the other part of this time in Rome, was living with Rosa. It was to test our relationship as we continue to grow, and we did it. She is an amazing lady and someone with whom I want to spend my life, having both a personal and professional relationship. We did the everyday things together in Rome and outside when we did weekends away. Whenever I have clients coming to Rome, she is my guide of choice. She is amazingly passionate about what she does, her city and the life she lives in Rome. She is of course, knowledgeable about her hometown, and brings a style to how she shares that knowledge and the experiences you can have. Having met her some 32 months ago, just before Covid. What she and I have been through has strengthened our friendship and our relationship, be it from across the pond or across the breakfast table. I am excited to share with you, an interview with her, we did together, before I left Rome last month and her thoughts and feelings about her city and country!!!