By the time the tour guide pointed out a long, marble staircase at the Vatican made with wide, shallow steps for the Pope to ride his horse upon, I thought about the ancient Roman artifacts of an earlier empire that surrounded us and underlay the modern, and suspected that in the centuries after the fall of Rome and the ensuing Dark Ages, a new, powerful empire in its own right had simply and naturally emerged to replace the old.
We retired to a bench on a busy square while we ate, grateful for a chance to get off our feet and watching traffic and pigeons and pedestrians vie for space and safety as the traffic patterns changed with the lights. Then, after negotiating our way to the proper Metro stop for the hotel, I gave them a quick tutorial on how to reach the Coliseum from there as well. It felt so good to do a little of “the mom stuff” again!
In the early light, I saw Rome in all its modern sprawl and splendor…and magnificent remnants of its ancient splendor as well. I can’t wait to come back to explore it again.