“Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live.” – Audrey Hepburn/Princess Ann
I’ve posted so many photos of my getaway trip to Rome but the photos do not fully encompass the joy of it all.
This was truly a Roman Holiday experience. And, like Princess Ann, it was an escape. An opportunity to seek the joy from the lives of others away from the monotony of my own.
I’ve toured many museums and historic landmarks but nothing like Rome. Although it IS a tourist HELL and you need to buy tickets in advance to see the most popular sites (i.e. Colosseum, Vatican, Sistine Chapel, etc.), my exclusive tour of the city and countryside was just as breathtaking.
I’ve seen many beaches but nothing as evocative as the small resort by the Tyrrhenian sea featuring a medieval castle, Castello di Santa Severa. Dinner parties are my forte but the gathering hosted by Rossella and Marco in their beautifully rustic villa in Caprarola would make Martha Stewart humble to sit down and enjoy being a guest. And, don’t get me started about the three-hour hike of the ancient forest grounds of Estrucans in Bomarzo and our climb to its sacrificial pyramid (to date, vestal virgins need not apply).
The climax of the trip was the visit to Civita di Bagnoregio (74 miles away from Rome) in Viterbo. Not because it is deemed a “dying town” that is due to fall off a cliff amidst the continuous erosion. No. Not that. It was the scene after our trek across the 300-meter footbridge with sun scorching and hundreds of photo opps taken, the universe decided to bless us with a 30-minute hailstorm. BUT here’s the kicker! Bruised by hail, and hair and underwear drenched (medievals didn’t give a crap about awnings), Miss Universe crowned the experience with a full on rainbow. SHUT! UP!
There is so much to tell and I would LOVE to invite anyone interested for coffee to exchange photos and details, particularly about the morons who sit and picnic on the Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti (Spanish Steps) anytime.
But this is merely a love letter to the cast of characters who created my Roman Holiday:
Paola…a mysterious beauty and new age musical composer (sonoratmosfere.it) with a big heart, eyes that dazzle and a haunting, remarkable singing voice. A shining example for dance, love transformation and romance!
Patrizia…she is the Italian version of myself! An eye for beauty, fashion, heels and wedges (withstanding the pain) with a beautiful soul who restores art for a living. She was our project leader keeping us all in line making sure we were all satisfied with fun, food and amusement. Did I mention she’s drop dead gorgeous?
Tiziano…he added humor, strength, knowledge of Roman history to this experience, and should be praised for his patience in taking a million photos for us girls! A true gentleman in the website media biz who could steal anyone’s heart with his laughter and smile.
Massimo…speaking of laughter and smile, he is definitely the baritone and soprano soundtrack (including a duet with Paola and DJ Patrizia Borgna), of the trip. He drove our crew around the city for a night tour of historic landmarks and sang for us all to keep the party going. Another kind, and beautiful gentleman, who works in television, and a heart stopper for all romantics!
Marco…also in the art biz, he was the Alpha and Omega of this trip! Along with a few others, he greeted me with a warm hug and smile (that can also melt hearts) upon my arrival at the airport before leaving to fly to Dusseldorf to see his daughter. And, at the trip’s end, he provided the ultimate Roman Holiday experience…the motorino/Vespa ride in the city!
Other supporting cast members included another Paola (also a drop dead beauty and artist), Fabio (a true rockstar), Davide (our hike leader and instructor) Monica and Lucio (best couple ever), and Rossella and the other Marco (great dinner hosts). These folks, who didn’t know me from Adam and spoke very little English (with the exception of Lucio), were all loving and welcoming spirits that made all the excursions memorable.
And…finally, Elena. If I began this article with her, there would be no article. Just silly tears on a laptop. (Give me a minute…) An amalgam of all the true love from my friends, family, and past loves of my life. I only feel special in her presence because she makes it so. It’s definitely a positive connection that originated from a misapprehension and I’d give anything to have what seems to come naturally from her hopeful, confident spirit. It was her intuition that provided the story, script, cast, and cinematography of this fantasy come true and, as the director, she created another straordinaria produzione italiana — much like her art. (www.artenima.com)
Before we start crowning a halo and adding wings to the back of this fiery-haired beauty, let me tell you, she is not perfect. We often have to make sure she eats, tones down the number of photo opps, wears pantaloni when hiking (she only wears skirts) and keeps her voice down when we are all too excited. EVVIVA! CUCCI CUCCI CU! She’s human like the rest of us but was blessed with a creative soul that shows in her art and heart. It shows from her family, friends, and special connections that surround her.
I am proud to be a cast member in her sacred chain. A chain that empowers most to pay it forward with self love, self worth and transformation. Bella, I learned so much from your love of art, historic architecture, and the complexity of the human spirit! Grazie Sant’ Elena! Grazie Michel! Grazie to my Roman Holiday cast, and all the gelati, branzini, proseccos, and mounds of pasta! But, most of all, Grazie and tanto amore to the city of Rome.
(P.S. This Roman Holiday crew should be considered for a reality show similar to ‘Queer Eye’, inviting lost American souls to experience the beauty of art, culture and personal transformation within the charismatic city of Rome.)