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Welcome to Italy. The streets and buildings are exactly as advertised. Concise as any movie ever portrayed or as character-ridden as any book ever told. It’s hard to walk anywhere without seeing remnants from the past whether it be a classical monument, dedicated piazza or street name. And, even today many of the manhole covers are still stamped with the archaic SPQR (Senatus Populus Quae Romanus or the senate and people of Rome) in tribute to their forefathers.
Not all aspects of the journey proved this predictable however. Many of my preconceptions concerning this destination turned out to be greatly flawed. In hindsight though, these minute discoveries were the most exhilarating of the adventure.
For instance, in Italy, not only is it romA, but it is not romE. While in Tuscany I was asking some guy how to get to Rome (dove Rome?) and he had no clue what I was talking about. So there we are, both eyeing each other suspiciously until I had the wherewithal to say “dove romA?” and he replied “ahhhh romA, si!”. While I was feeling a bit incredulous (rome, roma big difference) I took a moment to consider if someone in very broken English asked me in Saint Louis “where Kansas Town?” it may take me a moment to figure out what they were fishing for. Oh yeah, and by the way, Florence is Firenze.
Now for any who may be mentally belittling this cultural discovery, bear with my adolescent perception of the world outside of my home. I am not a well traveled soul, so join me in my small steps.
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