The sun was moving west across the sky as Ron and I headed east. Nine hours in an enormous Alitalia jet shooting across the Atlantic is the price we are willing to pay to realize our dream. Between cat naps, I keep raising the shades of my window seat to see only black at 550 miles per hour.
We are literally flyng through time...to our reunion with the sun in the red horizon of a crisp, clear Italian morning.
Delighted to see the lush green of spring, it blankets the rolling hills and landscaped vineyards surrounding Roma.
Our shuttle driver (OMG...they dress in suits like fashion models here) maneuvers his Mercedes toward the city at 110 kph. I marvel at the precision and borderline hysteria of the "lanes are optional" chaos that is Roman traffic.
But it is the stunning contrast of this cosmopolitan center with the mind-boggling edifices to ancient (before Christ) architecture that takes our breath away. This is where the word MAXIMUS was born, and it aptly descibes the grandeur we are witnessing.
After a few hours sleep to reset our body clocks to Roman time, we feast on traditional fare at a corner cafe; cabriese, pasta with red wine, then tiramasu with cappucino.
Walking to the most famous fountain in the world, Fontana di Trevi, we sit in the cool, clear evening and people-watch. Beautiful Italian women in tall leather boots and fashionable scarves smile for pictures, A man kneels to propose to his girlfriend. People throw coins (right hand over left shoulder) kissed with wishes into the crystal waters as the marble gods look on.
I can't stop smiling...we are here.