Current Location: Rome, Italy
I look around this city and I can truly see how someone can live the sweet life. Every corner seems to boast both culture and modernity as the various stalls dotting side streets, where merchants display goods that range from food to calendars showcasing priests (yup those actually exist), eventually give way to bus stops and train stations. In addition to this, Italians are noticeably (at least for myself) less frantic than Americans as they take time from their undoubtedly busy schedules to leisurely sip coffee in a café, take a siesta (for some at least) in the middle of the day, or even catch up with friends during a late dinner (sometimes 9pm or later).
I had the opportunity to experience a piece of this life and it wasn't hard to get used to it. I'd get up, go to class, have lunch, explore the city, and then have dinner. My friends and I even coined the term "3P's" to describe our (many) adventures that involved food ... pizza, pasta, paninis. If you've ever been to Rome, you know what I'm talking about! The streets are lined with stalls and restaurants selling the 3P's and I'm sure you'd be hard pressed to not eat one of them a few times a week.
The 3P's, though, were not the only things that we found ourselves going back to constantly. We all had a fascination with seeing the Colosseum and I think that is due to the fact that it is easily recognizable and well known as one of the symbols of Rome. It's hard to believe that a structure so gargantuan has survived for thousands of years and that, for the most part, everything is still intact. The whole is truly a testament to the accomplishments and the advancements of all not only the Romans, but all ancient civilizations as well.
Just walking around the Colosseum can give you a feeling of what an enormous undertaking it must have been to build the structure. Imagine what it would have been like to plan on making something that had archways and seating for thousands of spectators, a large stage, and underground labyrinths that held "competitors." Now, imagine doing that without cranes, bull dozers, and any other modern-day construction equipment. Crazy huh?
I really wish the opportunity was there to the higher levels of the Colosseum or to descend into the maze under what one was the arena's stage. How cool would that be to see the entire structure from a vantage point that no one has seen in years? Who knows, maybe the next time I visit Rome that will be possible. But until then, I'll happily appreciate one of the (new) Seven Wonders of the World.