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Another Reason to Love Rome

5 Jul

Overheard this morning as I walked down the cobblestone street of Via della Lungaretta.

Scene: Waiter outside watering plants in front of the restaurant. Totally drenching the street with a spray of water. An elderly lady walks by approaching the water.

Waiter: “Scusi signora, prego.” Sorry ma’am, go ahead.
Lady: “No, perchè non volevo, insomma…” Something equivalent to like “oops don’t want to interrupt what you’re doing”
Waiter: “Non si preoccupi, signora.” Don’t worry about it.
Lady, as she walks past: “No, mi preoccupo, mi preoccupo” No, because I worry, I worry.
Waiter: “A signò, lei non deve preoccuparsi! La vita è bella! Non si deve preoccupà!” Really, you shouldn’t worry! Life is beautiful! Don’t worry!

I started to laugh out loud. What a lovely way to wake up on a Saturday morning as I walked past. This city has so much pent-up aggression that a little dose of kindness is always welcome.

Somehow, among more than 3 million people, there remains a sense of community in my little neck of the woods. What a relief!

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10 Responses to “Another Reason to Love Rome”

  1. Miss Expatria July 5, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    I love this. LOVE IT! Little scenes that play out like that, where many times you are the only witness, make me teary. Your post made me teary. I love Rome with all my heart.

  2. Janavi July 5, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    Very sweet interlude!

  3. erin July 5, 2008 at 2:41 pm #

    Yay! Thanks Shelley for giving such a simple, yet beautiful snapshot. It’s great to read positivity 🙂

  4. Annika July 5, 2008 at 3:34 pm #

    Oh that’s so heartwarming!

  5. Chiara July 5, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    This is awesome Shelley–I am going to Italy to visit my boyfriend next week and am basically terrified about meeting his family and subjecting them to my butchery of their language; I’ve just read basically your entire blog and am very happy to have ended up with this reminder di non preoccuparmi! Grazie mille!

  6. Jeni July 5, 2008 at 6:38 pm #

    Oh that is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing that and reminding us of the beauty of the Italians and their culture.

  7. nyc/caribbean ragazza July 5, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    That is so sweet. An older lady, one of the vendors in Campo de Fiori said “buono giornata tesoro” (have a nice day treasure” after I bought some grapes. Made my day.

  8. Pollyvousfrancais July 6, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    Wonderful vignette of life in Rome! I was just there for a week and loved it. Wish I’d read your blog before going, but I’ll be back.

    I try to capture the same flavor of life in Paris on my blog that you do in Rome.

    Thanks– and I’ll be back to read your blog regularly.

  9. George@CulinaryTravelso July 19, 2008 at 7:47 pm #

    How could anyone not love Roma? Now you’ve made me long to return and soon 😉

  10. Elizabeth Engle July 20, 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    I love this site — takes me back to the long ago when I lived and worked in Rome for over two years. (Bear with me, my Italian is very rusty.) One day an American in my office left his car on the street with its windows open because the day was very hot. A little boy saw him do this and said “Scusi, signore, ma e meglio chiudere la machina con chiave.” (“Excuse me, sir, but it is better to lock the car with a key.” “Non e necessario,” answered my friend, “Tutti romani sono santi.” (“It’s not necessary. All Romans are saints.” Whereupon the little wise guy came back with, “Si, si, signore, ha ragione, ma tutti romani non sono romani!” (“Yes, sir, you are right. But not all Romans are Romans!”)

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