Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Roman Holiday on Salon.com

The Modern Traveler always enjoys reading other people's impressions of the Eternal City. An article on Salon.com in July summed up much of the Modern Traveler's own feelings about Rome. Ever more crowded, ever more stimulating, it's easy to be overwhelmed when you are there and forget that everything you are seeing is extraordinary. But the author of the article, Gary Kamiya, captures the best of what is Roman when he writes: "Our last night in Rome, we wandered at dusk through the Ghetto. A coolness had fallen on the city and the shadows lingered on the piazzas. Passing the Portal of Octavian, we came to the end of a dead-end street. Below, in the shadow of the Theater of Marcellus, a pianist was playing Chopin. A few listeners were sitting on a railing; a woman was painting. Ahead of us rose up the three illuminated columns of the Temple of Apollo, built in 20 B.C., when the Roman republic, the glory of the world, had just fallen. The past touched us, a brief blast of trumpets and light, then receded into the gathering darkness, leaving only a faint echo, like the sound of the sea. It was one of a thousand corners in this unknowable city. We looked around to remember this fleeting and eternal moment. And then we walked on."

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