• Laura

Rome Makes the List (Week 4 Recap - Oct 22, 2018)

Updated: Nov 28, 2018



Well we have hit the tipping point -- we’ve been in Rome for more time than we have left in Rome. It’s weird to have this feeling of our time in a place coming to an end when we’re at the beginning of such a long journey. I was just also realizing that if you listed the top ten cities I’ve spent time in, Rome would now be in the top ten.


If you’re curious, the top six are the cities I’ve lived in for at least six months and up to 20yrs: New York, NY; San Francisco, CA: Palo Alto/Stanford, CA (not sure if you can count living on campus as living in a city, but...); Cambridge, MA (same issue); Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC. Then there’s the places I studied abroad - Alicante, Spain for a summer in college and Hamburg, Germany for a semester in law school. Before this fall I would have probably put London 10th because I’ve visited a lot, but now Rome’s definitely in the top 10. And since Alicante was in 2002 and Hamburg in 2009 I don’t feel very familiar with those places anymore. Over the years I definitely have been tallying the countries I’ve been to (40 as of now) but I hadn’t really thought about stack ranking the places I’ve spent the most time until now.


Anyway, this week we had Mike’s brother and his family visiting us. They had never been to Rome, so they got tickets to the Vatican and the Colosseum. We thought it over and decided to continue to opt out of those tourist top spots, having been to both before. Something that we all wanted to do that hadn’t made it onto our list in our last visit to Rome was the Villa Borghese gallery and museum, though, so we got tickets to that. The tickets sell out about a week in advance during off season and we had issues trying to figure out what might work best between a two nap kid (ours) and a one nap kid (theirs). Ultimately we got tickets for 1pm and crossed our fingers and it worked out alright, we napped WP in the carrier on the bus over.


The museum was awesome. The Bernini statues (all these super intense figures that look like they are in motion despite being carved from marble slabs) were incredible. There was a truly odd Picasso exhibit going on where they had these Picasso statues all over the museum “in dialogue” with the much older, more traditional art that is always on display. Sometimes it was comical (the first one we saw I thought was a joke for Halloween) but sometimes it was interesting, and there are some amazing Picasso statues that they had on loan that I’d only seen in pictures before.


We of course went back to a couple of our favorite local restaurants to bring our guests, Il Grottino for pizza and Antico Forno di Testaccio for meat dishes. We did go back to Roma Sparita for the cacio e pepe but the same waiter that made WP cry the first time we went did it again so I think we’re done with that place.


Overall I’m kind of amazed by how little we “accomplish” in a given week. We eat, WP naps. We go to the grocery store or the farmacia to buy the one or two things we realize we need. We visit the playground. We go to a church or look at a ruin if it’s convenient. Oh and I’m working of course! I mentioned last week that I accepted a part time gig as New Media Ventures’ entrepreneur-in-residence, supporting their amazing portfolio of progressive startups trying to address the most urgent challenges facing our democracy. I was kind of torn about having a continued tie to our democracy at the moment to be honest, since escape was on our minds when we decided to take this year abroad, but ultimately it feels good to feel like while I’ve created some physical boundaries I’m still contributing to the fight.

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We had great jobs and promising Silicon Valley careers. A rent controlled apartment in one of the most expensive cities in the world. A newborn daughter. And yet we walked away from it all (not the newborn). Now we're traveling the world for a year to try to reconnect with what makes each of us happy. You might say we're really going-pher it. Where will we pop up next? 

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