Rediscovering Rome With Childlike Wonder & Innocence

August 30, 2011

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”
— Rachel Carson

This summer I had the privilege of visiting my beloved Italy in the company of my little niece and nephew. It was their first experience travelling abroad, or boarding a plane for that matter, that’s probably why my niece asked me if I was driving the plane and if so, could she sit in the front with me? Or why my nephew asked if I could bring him to the Colosseum to watch the gladiators fight the lions?

Oh the joys of being so young and innocent; to never be afraid to say what’s on your mind or do what your heart desires, that precious time when you can simply be who and what you want without fear of being ridiculed or punished.

Our journey began in the Eternal City of Rome. Once the caput mundi (capital of the world), Rome is a place so steeped in history and architectural heirlooms that one cannot help but fall in love with it. No other city in the world is quite like it. Sharing this experience with my niece and nephew was simply wonderful. Their observations of Rome had me smiling and laughing all the time and I must confess that their kind heartedness brought tears to eyes on more than one occasion. So I decided what better way to tell you about my holiday than to share some of their experiences and thoughts with you.  

·       They believed people threw coins into the fountains so children could take them to buy ice cream.      
·       When I explained that the people threw coins and made wishes, they threw theirs into the Trevi Fountain and stood there waiting for their wish to come true.  

·       My nephew refused to place his hand in the ’Mouth of Truth’ because he believed it would be bitten off.
·       My niece danced gloriously unabashed in the middle of a Roman Piazza to the delight of a local musician as onlookers ate dinner.

·       They entered St Peter’s Basilica and went looking for Jesus because this is his home and they wanted to say hello to him (in person).

·       My nephew followed me into an exclusive boutique on Via Condotti and held out 5 Euros so he could buy me something special.
·       They sat on the Spanish Steps and looked down into the over populated streets and asked why no one in Rome works.

·       My niece would walk by outdoor cafes and take bread from the baskets because she believed the bread was put there to share with people who are hungry.

·       They stopped to have a ‘free drink’ at every fountain.
·       They stared in awe at the Sistine Chapel and asked if Jesus made Michelangelo a giant so he could paint that high.
·       We visited Roman Castles and my nephew asked if he could buy me one with his Canadian Tire money.
·       My nephew held my hand as we looked out over all of Rome from the historic hill town of Frascati and when I said it was so beautiful that my heart hurt, he turned to me and said, "I don’t want your heart to hurt Zia!"
·       My niece sat on my lap eating ice cream while watching an outdoor puppet show afraid the puppets were ‘real’ people.
·       My nephew thought SMART cars were made so that he could drive them.
·       My niece hid in her stroller when mimes grabbed our friend’s leg while performing in front of the Pantheon.  

·       My niece saw her first bidet in a bathroom and joyously yelled, “Zia, they have a sink just for me!”
·       They wondered why toilets in Rome didn’t have seat covers, so every time they found a bathroom that had one, they ran out yelling, “Zia, this one has a cover!”
·       They marveled at our rich Italian history and asked, “Can we live here too?”
They absolutely enjoyed their time in Rome, but after a few days of the hustle and bustle they were anxious to visit Calabria and see the ocean for the very first time, as well as meet their family. So a few days later we boarded our vehicles, said goodbye to Rome, and headed down to sunny Calabria!
I thought their observations of Rome were entertaining, but I had no idea what their observations of Calabria would be… Stay tuned for more.
Much Love,

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