Back in 1994, Your Survival Guy, a recent Babson College graduate, decided to put his diploma to work, and hopped on a plane to Greece to spend some time with a fraternity brother who summered on one of the Greek Isles.
“When else are you going to get an opportunity to do this again?” my dad said.
And with that, I coordinated with my high school friend, a recent Duke grad, to meet up in Rome and tour Western Europe for a month or so. “Meet you in Rome,” I said. “I’ll figure out how to get there from Athens,” I said. This was not a quick boat ride to Martha’s Vineyard. Your Survival Guy gained a new appreciation for planes, trains, and a long ferry boat ride.
And so here Your Survival Guy is today, awake at 4 am (again), after another couple weeks in Paris with a week in Rome on the front end. And I’m here to report, after all these years later, that not much has changed with ancient Rome. The ruins are still there. And they’re incredible. The city is buzzing with tourists, both young and old, walking through a livable (sort of) museum, avoiding cars that might run you over if you let them. As our travel advisor suggested, pack your patience.
On one of our private tours, the guide said, “One of the challenges of living here, in Rome, is everything is in the past. We live in the past. Where you’re from it’s about the future.” That struck me. It’s hard when so much is dictated to preserve the past, the future, an afterthought. But living in Rome under the Caesars was quite amazing, so I’m told, compared to the rest of the world at that time in history.
Rome is Rome.
Afterward, enjoying an ice cold Aperol spritz back at Le Jardin at Hotel de Russie, we happened to be seated next to one of the stars from the Fast and the Furious films (no, he didn’t recognize me) there for the premiere in Rome. It’s a place to be seen. It still draws attention. Lucky you if you’re going.
Action Line: I can’t believe I don’t have a pizza review for you, but I’ll have plenty to offer in Your Survival Guy’s best insider’s guide to Rome coming next week. You won’t want to miss it. Grazie Mille.
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30 Years Later
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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