So many things. Moto moto many. But here goes:
- The shoes. 9 out of 10 people wear pure beauty on their feet. Tourists stick out like a sore thumb. A sore thumb in Tevas.
- The food. It's divine. But you probably guessed that.
- The old + new. I don't think it would be easy to live in a city that has an identity defined by ancient history, but they wear it well here. Tonight on my walk home from a different neighborhood I passed through a piazza full of games for the night - ping pong, foosball, basketball, a climbing wall...It was for fun, of course, but it seemed like there was a games parallel. As in, there's a history of public entertainment, but it is no longer quite so bloody as it once was.
- The people we've collected. Maybe we just lucked out, but within 30 minutes at a local's bar near our apartment off Campo de Fiori we met people from all over the globe. We sang songs together, and danced, and pressed cheeks at the end of the night. Granted we lucked out in that we met a few people who worked for the UN and introduced us to a circle of people that was mostly gay and had literally lived in dozens of countries (in crisis, no less), but still. There are a lot of NGOs here, a lot of people who are global citizens more than they belong to any one state.
- The cafe culture. As in Paris, you can sit indefinitely with very little pressure to keep ordering. When you're ready for the check, you ask for it. Simple. I just spent an hour alone at a cafe - at 8 p.m., prime time - drinking wine and reading a magazine, and it was easy peasy. I wasn't crowded, I wasn't rushed, and when I was ready to settle up I did. Boom.
- The light. Just as California light has its own glory and personality, so does the light here. Yesterday the sun was strong and hot; today it was buttery and slanting, and there was a lovely chill in the air.