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esempi di architettura

Esempi di Valore
3

Direttore
Olimpia Niglio
Kyoto University, Japan

Comitato scientifico
Taisuke Kuroda
Kanto Gakuin University, Yokohama, Japan

Rubn Hernndez Molina


Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogot, Colombia

Alberto Parducci
Universit degli Studi di Perugia

Enzo Siviero
Universit Iuav di Venezia, Venezia

Alberto Sposito
Universit degli Studi di Palermo

Comitato di redazione
Giuseppe De Giovanni
Universit degli Studi di Palermo

Marzia Marandola
Sapienza Universit di Roma

Alessio Pipinato
Universit degli Studi di Padova

Bruno Pelucca
Universit degli Studi di Firenze

Chiara Visentin
Universit degli Studi di Pisa, Campus Lucca

esempi di architettura
La collana editoriale Esempi di Architettura nasce per divulgare
pubblicazioni scientifiche edite dal mondo universitario e dai centri di ricerca, che focalizzino lattenzione sulla lettura critica dei
progett i. Si vuole cos creare un luogo per un dibattito culturale
su argomenti interdisciplinari con la finalit di approfondire tematiche attinenti a differenti ambiti di studio che vadano dalla
storia, al restauro, alla progettazione architettonica e strutturale,
allanalisi tecnologica, al paesaggio e alla citt.
Le finalit scientifiche e culturali del progetto EDA trovano le ragioni
nel pensiero di Werner Heisenberg Premio Nobel per la Fisica nel 1932.
probabilmente vero, in linea di massima, che nella storia del
pensiero umano gli sviluppi pi fruttuosi si verificano spesso nei
punti dinterferenza tra diverse linee di pensiero. Queste linee
possono avere le loro radici in parti assolutamente diverse della
cultura umana, in diversi tempi ed in ambienti culturali diversi o di
diverse tradizioni religiose; perci, se esse veramente si incontrano,
cio, se vengono a trovarsi in rapporti sufficientemente stretti da
dare origine ad uneffettiva interazione, si pu allora sperare che
possano seguire nuovi ed interessanti sviluppi.

Esempi di Valore
Ogni concetto di valore pone le basi per aprire un dialogo costruttivo e di confronto tra esperienze ed approcci metodologici diversificati in relazione ai principi culturali riguardanti la conservazione del patrimonio e quindi della sua trasmissione come dono per le
generazioni future. Questo enunciato costituisce limpegno scientifico e divulgativo della collana Esempi di Valore. La consapevolezza dei contenuti di questo enunciato consente di analizzare con
maggiore oggettivit le dinamiche che caratterizzano i differenti
approcci teorici e metodologici che si possono riscontrare non solo
tra diverse realt geografiche, ma anche allinterno di uno stesso
Paese tra contesti socio-culturali diversificati. La conoscenza della
diversit diventa quindi la risorsa principale e fondamentale per il
rispetto e la conservazione della stessa diversit.

Mira Budafoki

Rome as we roll it

Copyright MMXIV
ARACNEeditrice S.r.l.
www.aracneeditrice.it
info@aracneeditrice.it
via Raffaele Garofalo, 133/AB
00173 Roma
(06) 93781065
ISBN 9788854872417
I diritti di traduzione, di memorizzazione elettronica,
di riproduzione e di adattamento anche parziale,
con qualsiasi mezzo, sono riservati per tutti i Paesi.
Non sono assolutamente consentite le fotocopie
senza il permesso scritto dellEditore.
I edizione: giugno 2014

This book has many ingredients: all the beauty and inspiration
of the Eternal City, the adventures I could experience,
but above all it contains the spirit of the people
who were my pillars to build my bridge on it.
Special thanks for all the people,
who gave me endless professional,
mental and spiritual support, especially:
Gian Maria Fara (President of Eurispes)
Elena Camilli
my beloved Mom
Anna Kormos
Nra Kbel
Anna Palojtay
Lorenzo Gentile
Valeria Cocco
Marco Galassi
and Adriano dAmici

Contents

Chapter I
Benvenuti a Roma. Benvenuti in a dream
The way from Ciampino

Chapter II
Home where heart is
Monte Mario

Chapter III
Downtown girl style
Centro storico

Chapter IV
Roman edition of the Brave New World
EUR

Chapter V
Behind the scenes
Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

Chapter VI
The peaceful oasis
Cassia Flaminia

Chapter VII
Islands
Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

Rome as we roll it

Chapter VIII
The spirit of old times
Ostiense, Garbatella, Appia Antica

Chapter IX
Visual effects
Parco degli Acquedotti, Cinecitt, S. Elena

Chapter X
Offthepath adventures
Rebibbia, Monte Sacro, Conca dOro

Chapter XI
Breezes of the sea
Lido Centro, Cristoforo Colombo, Ostia Antica

Chapter XII
Arrivederci Roma
The goulash party and the memorable episodes of the
farewell week

Chapter I

Benvenuti a Roma. Benvenuti in a dream


The way from Ciampino

Im sitting here in my brand new room, at my brand new


desk, Im staring out of my brand new window, and I try to
realize that this is my brand new life. Its a sunset magic now.
The colours of the horizon gives mascara with all the golden
colours of it for the Basilica, and it wears it proudly in the
company of the old pines. I try hard to take a picture of this
moment to save it in my memories to the eternity, to imprint it
completely in my mind. I just repeat my mantra over and over
again: Its really happening. Its true. Im here. Im living it.
Im living my dream now , as these words would make these
silhouettes stronger and everlasting.
I pushed the review button in my mind to watch this fantasy
movie of this part of my life again, and it drives me through my
adolescent ages to the childhood. Id never have supposed that
this time travel will be that long. Accidentally psychoanalysis
happened here: I found my motto and after that I confessed
myself that the roots of this philosophy are tremendously deep
and dense. The beginning is something which is scary like hell
to be faced, especially if you apparel the meaning of these roots
that they are the coded fate. From a long time fumbled in my
soul like an intuition: its more than fake. But today eventually
I was able to define the meaning of these roots more accurately.
They are just instruments to impact on my own fate.
There was a little girl, who lived in her selfmade fairytales.
One day doctors started to measure everything around her

Rome as we roll it

and inside her. Measured her pulse, observed her blood, and
so on. After they got the simple conclusion that she cant walk
they started to measure her life. They played a little gambling
on diagnoses of several diseases and several types of diseases.
Lets take a bid for years. Oh god damn it, we lost! Then we
should try . Ohh we lost it again! Well, then this girl was the
one who took the bid: she raised the stakes insolently high. She
learnt the Into the wild wisdom on by her own, translated
to her own language. The only measure which counts is not
necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong. Firstly, the girl
changed the gambling for Supermario watch out, because
now, in Rome it got even cleaner: this game couldnt be a
simple PC game, it can be only Supermario. Until her life
was about gambling, she was surrounded by the echoes of
the sceptics favorite word. This word was impossible. As
she changed the gambling for Supermario, she started not to
give a shit of impossible. She started to wink on them, say
some incantation, and make them all possible. Then she got
obsessed of this game, and she started to search for impossibles
to change them for extra lives of her own Supermario game.
Years have passed and she turned years old, so she got as a
birthday present a flight voucher to anywhere in Europe for
two. She had a friend, who was always an inspiration for her,
and she was also the inspiration of this friend. They affected
each others dreams and goals, as both of them were journalists
and upcoming writers. They were real motivation for each
other.
On a freezing day of January of , this friend came up
with the idea to choose Rome as a destination. The birthday girl
confirmed the choice for some reason. Rome was unknown for
her. A virgin paradise of impossibles. And that was the main
reason. Romes cobble stones waited for her, to enchant her
wheelchair for an Alfa Romeo, for the fanciest one. The roman
trip has become not just land of pseudoimpossible, but the
land of people, who can see in the shape of the perfect and
shiny reality of the saying that impossible is nothing. She felt in

. The way from Ciampino

her veins that this is the place where you can live your dreams,
where you can be Supermario, who jumps level by level easily. Here is the place that nobody lies or promises anything
in connection with perfection. But the charm of the carefree
imperfection makes you adore this city. Her friend planted the
flea in her ear about a book. A book about the perfect combination of her four wheels, the possibleimpossibles and Rome.
On that day she carved in stone, Rome is really worth to write
a book by her.
This girl was me, who is still staring at the view from her
Roman room, which has already turned into the calm blackness
of magic, and now Im writing that book. I have everything here,
what a writer needs. Mystic forest, emotions, challenges, hills and
valleys literally and nonliterally, friends with so complex souls,
which suits perfectly for my main characters. No surprise, that my
new, adultfairytale is moving forward, because these great people
make it move. Does make it move? Make it turn to upside down
until I feel dizzy because of happiness. But the way was so long
from that unforgettable first trip to this paused moment as Im
writing these words that I cant attempt to damage the glamour
of this process filtered by time. I want to be intense and fresh,
and on that way the pivotal moments will break out simultaneous
from my memories and in my story. This fact stimulates me to
choose a straighter, more followable, and less long way to my
dreams, directly from the familiar Ciampino airport.
But this way would not have been that graceful and eventful
in the same time, unless Leonardo was waving to us at the
entrance of the airport. As he approached he seemed even
taller, than last time I saw him. He gave us two kisses and a
big hug. I couldnt wish more but have him in our company
on my very first moments of my Roman life, or as he called
this kind of magical period of life: my Roman chapter. These
tiny movements made the empty and dark parking zone more
familiar and homier.
Before we arrived he promised me to rent a car because
of that simple reason to take us to his home and host us for

Rome as we roll it

one night. He did this favor because we couldnt move in to


our new home in the middle of the night. And here you go,
he has really done it. If there is a range one to ten of the
cheeky generosity, he got the very top of the ten. My poor
mind, which was programmed in Hungary, started to generate
a system error, the alarm sign was flashing in my brain, because
it couldnt keep it up and react to gratefulness on the same
level. In our culture it isnt a common thing to give without the
expectation of a future compensation. Leon and Anna crammed
in the luggages and my wheelchair in the cute boxlike Fiat,
which was ours for some hours. This triumvirate guarded pure
love in that car, at that night. We were people, who stayed
in interplay altogether, and I felt in that moment that we all
know something about freedom, and this knowledge made
us move further and further. So far that eventually we found
ourselves on a special sightseeing tour in the downtown. We
were sneaking into the narrow, romantic streets of San Lorenzo,
we checked some hotspot of the most random things in Rome
from Leons list. A railway bridge, which was built on ruins, a
five star hotel in a historical building, and some other cuteness,
weirdness or randomness. Weve seen some monuments in
the glory of the night lights. At last, but not least the Colosseo
loomed over us, as we reached the neighborhood of Leonardos
cozy nook.
As we got out of the car, I still could smell the scents of the
summer: salt and olive perfume in the vaporous air. After the
seconds of perfection right arrived the first obstacle in a form
of a large berm. It was a real routine round after three Roman
vacations, so I wasnt scared at all. However, I should have
had the suspicion that its just a warm up. The first level was
seven steps going up, and after that we had to aim to the cellar.
Leonardo told me before that he has a Supermario Mushroom
Tshirt, which will obviously solve this case. And here we are.
After we climbed that mountain, and conquered that depth,
finally I could give a proud name of my virtual game with
the extra life signs. He was one of my existing Supermario,

. The way from Ciampino

because here in Rome there are some. The other superhero of


the tournament of the stairs was Anna. But she is not just the
superhero of Rome, but the really human, really ferial hero of
my life, I can be anywhere in the world. She is the person of my
life, who I can count on always regardless the circumstances.
So, its not an average friendship. There are some people, who
are the corner stones of my life, and she is one very important
of them. Its also not accidental that now she is with me, when
I collect some newancient Roman corner stones.
After this attraction to teletransport me, my chair and the
tons of luggages downstairs, we hid in the defense of Leons
luring room. It was fulfilled with life, memories, and well,
those chapters, which we talked about in the car. He drove
back our savior Fiat, and then walked to his home more or
less kilometers. As we waited for him the room, the autogenously Hungarian mentality cracked out of our personality.
We started to worry about this poor guy. In Hungary we all
love worrying. Some people use worrying as a real lifestyle, it
can be everything based on it. Even love or cheerful moments,
because they have the point of view that itll pass away. Thats
what bid our nation to the ground and make it stiff. Only without worrying can we use our invisible wings. These wings are
especially needed in my case. As I fly with them, I can make
my impossibles small and insignificant. So, we worried about
him reflexively, because he could be extremely tired due to
all this trial. And there came the antithesis of our pessimistic
aspect. After an hour someone whistled outside of the building,
around the door. I could have bet on that itll be Leon, so does
Anna, and we were true. Soon he opened the door without
any free hands, because they were full of pizza and suppl. We
made an awesome night picnic on the mattress in an individual
way. When our belly felt fine too, then we fell asleep.
This time I didnt have any nightmare, as it used to happen at home in the tensity of the last few weeks. I remember
clearly about my creepy dream in connection of our imaginary
Roman street and house. It was a grey and foggy twilight and

Rome as we roll it

the wind had an overwhelming power, our narrow street was


margined with leafless oaks and willow trees. They stood next
to each other so densely that they didnt let in any light from
the sky. The house was similar to a typical tenement house in
Budapest: dark, huge, and a little bit rundown. Inside the house
was a jarring elevator, which stopped with more or less half
meter difference in level. From the right side of the elevator a
ramshackle wood ramp was opened, which helped me to let
in. The flat was almost the same as my old one, which I shared
last year with university friends and some notsoclose friends
in the downtown of Budapest: it had gigantic height, spacious
rooms and old parquet on the floor. The only difference was
the fact that there were televisions in every room. This idea
maybe has come in my mind because Ive heard before that
watching TV is a kind of strange and pointless cult in Italy. Well,
from now I can say: this gossip can be true. However the TV
part is not so far from the reality, the other circumstances of my
nightmare were actually the opposite, what we experienced on
that sunny Wednesday when we occupied our new area and
new home.
On that obviously blessed morning I opened my eyes as
Leons alarm started to ring. He made an exhausted groan,
so I asked him cheerfully: Do you need a pillow attack? ,
the prelude of this causeless question was that he told us to
wake him up with a pillow if he would be totally out of service
after this night in the morning. He went out from the room,
but we couldnt be sure when hell return as he hasnt said
anything. Due to this shy uncertainty, Anna tried to perform a
tour de force attraction of dressing me up under the quilt. She
was amazingly successful. After a while Leon came in with
the very Italian (however originally he is rather Argentinian,
nevermind!), more than cute offer: Coffee or cappuccino? ,
after my other three trips in Rome I learnt that they call coffee
is absolutely not the same as we call it in Hungary. At home
it means a long coffee with some milk and sugar. Well, here
its a killer strong espresso. So, to be soft and feminine now I

. The way from Ciampino

voted for the cappuccino, although I would not have supposed


that itll taste like a heavenly manna. In the company of the
cappuccino and home baked cinnamon cakes, we spent our
first perfect breakfast in Rome. We tasted the Dolce Vita, but it
couldnt last so long, because we had to win the same fight to
upstairs, what we did last night to downstairs. Of course, they
made it. People around me (especially my priceless friends)
have a superhuman strength. Im always very proud of them
when we have to face this kind of situations in life. They make
feel sure over and over again that the ability to do something
is decided by mind. These situations teach and encourage me
about all the little things I do in my life. After the stairs climbing
Leon ran back for some stuff and as he returned he looked
unbelievably funnily for me in the twentysix Celsius degrees.
Ok, it was just twentytwo in the morning, to be exact. He
wore a wintercoat and a redblack lined elf hat. As we stayed
next to each other surrounded by giant luggages we could look
absolutely contrasting. I felt myself as we would play the main
roles of a burlesque movie.
We said ciao in the shadow of the Colosseo. From that
moment together with Anna we played the second act of the
superhuman show. We drew a half circle following the line of
the ancient walls as we were kicking, pulling, tossing, pushing
our disobedient baggages. That was the awkward point when
you feel so lost and freaked out that there is no other chance
just to make a comedy out of this annoying scene of your life.
So, we decided that well give names to our baggages, because
maybe theyll become that way more wellbehaved. Annas
bigger luggage was originally named already before we have
departed. His name is Angello, with double l letter, doesnt
matter that it is right or not. In the sunrise of the historical
Rome my larger baggage got Pamela like a name. It was really meaningful: we thought that we need a girl for Angello,
and this one had really big boobs, so it couldnt be called just
Pamela, Pamela Anderson. The little one was the fruit of their
burning love, so we named him: Bambino. And there was a

Rome as we roll it

last lost one on my back, who was totally forgotten. We waited


for our next savior in front of the entrance of the metro station.
Pier arrived on time, so after all this suffering we felt that
we are on our way now. Pier is another warmhearted, superhelpful guy from CouchSurfing. Sometimes I had a feeling
that this is the bright side of the World Wide Web, this is the
paradise of the social networks, where every citizen is made
by inner beauty. Of course this statement isnt equal with the
pure reality, but I always had luck with this system. Pier hosted
me in April. Id happily dress him in the hat of Leon, because
he looked like a live elf: short, thin, smiley, and he has so starry
eyes like a figure in a cartoon motion. As the phrase tells: he is
like the pepper, small but strong. He pulled our baggages across
the city, he guarded them on the metro and on the railway, and
finally we arrived at Gemelli. This was our station. We met
Elena in the parking zone. She is the one, who searched the flat
persistently, while I was waiting impatiently at home. Moreover,
she gave us endless useful advices. Our fantastic group was expanded with one more person, so finally we could manage the
luggage case smoothly. There was a house with cute balconies
full of plants and flowers. That was ours. We entered the main
gate, and we walked on a whole street inside the garden, and
eventually we reached the entrance of our building. It wasnt
creepy at all, nor the elevator and nor the ramp. Everything
suited to me. In the door of the flat Roberto greeted us. He is
the son of the landlord, and he lives here, however he works a
lot and he doesnt spend too much time at home.
Pier and Elena said goodbye, after they also had roamed
around the apartment. Elena wished good luck with an Italian
saying: In bocca al lupo! , it means In the mouth of the
wolf! . Well, Ive known this before. It was not the first time
when I heard it. I was dreaming together with a friend of mine,
Rza and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, Doma is a wellknown
pianist in the profession, and he is a real globetrotter. He discovered the cold East, and The American Dream, too, as he
attended a lot of international piano contests. As we talked

. The way from Ciampino

about bella Italia next to good glass of wine on the top of one
of the hills of Buda, he mentioned that Italian piano players
wished him luck several times that way. It was caress to my
heart to hear it again, here in the existing context.
We closed the door behind them. I inhaled deeply the humid, rain perfumed air, and I felt that in this eventually the
moment I arrived in my own life.

Chapter II

Home where heart is


Monte Mario

We made a little tour in the flat, tried to get lost in the


labyrinth of pastelcolored walls, and cute white doors. It
looked like a real dream. I was dazzling from one place to the
other in this sweet dollhouse. Actually, my room reminded
me a bit more to a dollhouse, than I felt myself as a dollhouse
owner. Its a bit too pink for me, but my autumnal jewelries
on the bedside, and my rebellious Woodstockevoking Patti
Smith book definitely will make it homey. As we stepped
into the living room, I had to change my stereotypes about
the quality of an average flat share. Maybe that was the point,
when I had to accept that its CentralEurope, and Budapest
is everywhere, but not in this area geographically more or
less we come also from CentralEurope, but regarding the
mentality we are rather east. This was the fact, what I denied
stubbornly until we checkedin in our new apartment. The
hall was enormous and tremendously bright. It made me
feel that Yeah, its a perfect place to write Under the Roman
Sun . I already imagined the people around the long table,
who became the pillars of my life here in the twinkle. And
it hasnt taken so long to have them as our guests. But dont
run forward, before I take you to the fifth floor Eden garden
from our living room. The walls of the house are hugged by
a widestretching terrace. I could see from here the tickly
lining pines, after the fresh green meadow spiced with some
lonelier trees, and then the upcoming feast to the eye is noth

Rome as we roll it

ing else but the coupen of the San Pietro, which I mentioned
before.
After the quick inner tour, we made the decision that despite
the exhaustion caused by thrills and toting, well do a nice
outer tour, too. It was early afternoon and there was burning
sunshine, and the lukewarm wind was blowing softly. It caught
as a surprise, because we wouldnt except that hot weather,
even if we should have been convinced in the morning. We
wanted to make a small picnic in the natural reservation in our
neighborhood, so we headed the first and only supermercato
in the area. To tell the truth, the bell did not even hit two
oclock, so it was daring assumption that well find it opened.
We absolutely forgot about the mediterrean lifestyle, as in the
center the siesta time is almost extinct. Ive been cruised in
the city, hitting cafs and trattorias variety of hours of the day,
and Ive never bumped into a closed one at lunchtime. Well,
I had to accept that in the suburbs live the people of reality
and of the everyday life. And an average life here doesnt mean
that it isnt traditional. Moreover, in Italy the more ordinary
you are the more traditional ways you act. So, our first picked
crosshair hasnt welcomed us for the first try, but as its in the
saying: for the good things, you have to suffer at least in
Hungary. But now, as Im wondering about the etymology of
this sentence, Im almost sure that in this country there is no
wisdom in connection with suffering.
Although the shutters were lowered down, there was no
sign, which would have informed us that there is siesta, nor
about what time itll open. So, I spun around my own axis in
the hope that Ill find a victim, who could help us. My glance
was stuck on a heap of men, who were sitting in an outdoor
bar, sipping their umpteen coffee of the day, and discussing the
political actualities, like what happened today with Berlusconi.
This bar was at the left side of the supermarket, so I supposed
that they could be competent in this question, and I was more
or less right. They enlightened us that the siesta time lasts until
around p.m. It meant that we were the owners of infinite

. Monte Mario

time, so we searched for some useful or entertaining activities


around. On our way to the supermarket Anna was eyeing with
a tiny flower shop at the corner of a bluffy street. Its garden
was full of wild climbing plants. As we were hurrying to buy
food, we missed the inviting green store, but the situation
has changed. Now we could take our time to breathe in the
refreshing spring fragrance of the flowers. For this visit, we
were just looking around, but decision was already made: well
bring a cute jewel for our rooms from here.
We were starving, therefore we were flying to the direction
of the seductive smells of fresh food, which has driven us to
Caf Van Gogh. Its located at the cross of the main avenue of
this district, called Via Pineta Sacchetti and our street, which is
Via Vittorio Montiglio. It looked like a usual roman bar, which
you can find in every second block here, literally, doesnt matter
that its downtown or suburb. The terrace was hidden under
a mediterrean styled trellis, which was a bermlevel downer,
than the pavement. The piquancy of the berm was so typically
Roman: it was not just alto, which means high, but it was
sloping, too. Anna is already expert in this kind of obstacles, but
an old man came to us to give a hand. He was extremely elegant.
I could image him in a Burberry campaign (my association
came from the fact that he really wore a Burberry scarf ), as the
Cuban cigar was hanging out of his mouth. He rasped, and the
dense smoke was swaying around us: Posso dare una mano? .
S, s! Grazie , I replied. First time that way, because I knew
that here the help doesnt come because of a social habit, it
comes honestly from heart, so I shouldnt be shy, or feel some
stupid unexplainable shame. I just had to open my door for
it, and welcome. So I said yes, and I felt happy: I already got a
common story of a probably wise Italian man, and it has worth.
I saved the moment.
I remember of Leonardos words from June. He talked a
lot about his life here, in Rome. He mentioned a scene of the
days when for some reason he felt really lost and lonely here.
He missed his family, and they lived very far, in Argentina. He

Rome as we roll it

was really depressed, so he determined that he should treat this


feelings somehow, and the way he found was nothing else just
to adopt a random grandpa. And he made it. One day he was
sitting on the bus, and he saw a very old gentleman around ,
and he accosted him, and they chatted about several topics of
the world. As Leon reached his destination, he said goodbye
and asked that firsttimefunny but really serious question:
Would you be my adopted grandpa? . The man said yes, and
they met up for discussing their lives, over and over again.
I loved that story, because it was something pure, straight
and honest. As this old smoker helped us, without any ulterior
motivation, it reminded me about the cause of the adopted
grandpa. So, he fished me down from sophisticated berm, I
smiled on him, and we changed a grateful glance. Anna and
I occupied a lovely table close to the entrance. The waiters
used to speak English in the city, so I waited patiently that hell
answer to my long English monologue. I was wrong, but he
started to talk to me cheerfully Italian. It wasnt the last time
when things like that will happen to me during my sojourn.
However, it made our communication a bit more complicated,
but in the same time more alternative and more entertaining,
too, so I enjoyed this situation on the highest level. I tried to
filter some beautiful sounding words out of his speech, and
put the puzzle together. Finally, we did a good job, because
somehow we were able to understand each other, although
Im almost sure that the pointing and the gesticulation helped
the most. I ordered a pizza with salami, and Anna asked for a
salmon salad, which she checked out before at the neighbor
table, and it looked hilariously delicious. The agile waiter arrived soon with my pizza, which wore a sandwich costume,
because it tasted and looked more like a roasted toast bread
with salami, than a pizza, so I was a little bit disappointed. Soon
Anna got her magic salad mix, which was a heavenly meal in
exchange for my bad choice. She put some between my two
roasted pizza, so both of us could enjoy the taste of it. After
our stomach felt better, I did my ordinary Italian sance, and

. Monte Mario

I was drinking my awaking caffellatte, while Anna visited the


florist man, and made an extremely ingenious deal with a cute
peachcolored flower, which was very similar to an orchid, but
it was far cheaper. It was so nice that she put me in the mood
to buy another one, for my room, however I didnt plan to
spend my money to any useless things. When I promised myself this, I forgot about the fact that if you live in Rome, your
mind will change, and youll become supersensitive for the
beauty, youll be thirsty for it. Beauty will be the nucleus of
your new world, because in the Eternal City, beauty is everywhere around you, and in this context youll understand how
essential it is to be happy. Maybe thats the reason of Hungarian
peoples chronic unhappiness. We dont surround ourselves
with enough beauties. As we did our second round to head the
supermarket, I also bought a lowbudget orchidcopy, but in
my case it was white, and a mint bush together with Anna to
make some killer strong mojitos when well be in a party frame.
We believed that we wasted a lot of time to buy plants. It was
true, but it wasnt still enough. Because here comes another ascertainment about the inhabitants of the sunny South Europe:
they dont care too much about the time, even if something is
originally official. Now I attacked other passers with my silly
question, with my still very poor and erratic italian: Che ora il
supermercato apre? It means literally What time the supermarket open? I had no idea about the correct word order or
the future tense, so I just put together the easiest appropriate
words in simple tense. Actually, as I experienced, Italian people
are always very enthusiastic if someone tries to use their own
language. They are proud then, and theyll do their best even
more helpful way, however I dont know how it is possible to
increase the basic level of their kindness. This man told us that
itll open just around half past four, so we won one more half
an hour to discover the neighborhood.
We sneaked into declivous strait streets. We peeked through
every railing to stare the movie of roman families, couples,
and groups of people, living together. Due to the weather

Rome as we roll it

was perfect, every window was opened, laud conversations


quilted with carefree laughters were echoed out from the
houses. Most of the gardens were tarnished with grapes or
figs. I can imagine how they are having their lunch or dinner,
and they just simply reach out and tear some fresh fruits. It
could be priceless. We passed next to a kindergarten, which
stays on one of the hills of this area. The children were so
noisy that we couldnt hear each other from their cute lisping Italian fiddlefaddle. We rolled down from the top of the
hill. It was difficult to make my wheelchair obey the brakes.
Maybe it just picked up the pace of the cars from here. I didnt
mind, because I felt pretty equal in Rome with the other cars.
I mean, Ive never had to be afraid that theyll hit me or something, because Italians drive on a crazy speed, but dynamically,
which means they are attentive and they have good reflexes.
So I used to feel more insecure on the roads of Budapest. And
I havent mentioned yet that most of the cars have the same
size like my wheelchair. Every second car is an oldtimer Fiat
Cinquecento, or a Smart. We continued our roaming on the
valleyside, which was fortunately less challenging on wheels,
than the rollercoaster trip on the mountain alley ways before.
We found a pasta bar with very reasonable prices, so we were
wondering about that one day well check it out. After this
discovery we took a sharp turn behind the Gemelli station,
and after a few minutes of walking we found the Sacra Cuoro
Cattolic Universit, which is the university of our flatmate,
as it turned out later. It was incalculably huge with many
buildings, but I couldnt identify the style of the buildings
with any religious institute, especially not in Rome, where
the religion is an important part of the life. It was a bit bleak
and emotionless for me, however its main building looked
pretty historical and it was very stunning. We found endless
copy shops, one after the other. Anna was overwhelmingly
enthusiastic about these ones. I didnt know what she wanted
to copy, but for sure she had some plans, which was still secret,
even for me.

. Monte Mario

After our long walk, we found the supermarket finally


opened. Victory! Half of the supermarket was actually a frutteria, which is a greengrocery. We started with the other
part, because firstly we wanted to buy the goods, which are
needed everyday, like the detergents. Most of the labels were
totally unknown for us, although we found some familiar logos, too, like Coccolino, which was eventually my favourite
at home. The prices of these products were acceptable comparing to the prices of Hungary. We reached the foods. The
selection was totally different like home. We found in tons of
stuffs on a low price on the shelves, which are luxury goods
in Budapest, like tuna, Mulino Bianco cakes, olive oil, handmade pasta, and so on. But some basic drinks or foods as a
simple orange juice or the frozen goods were twice or thrice
more expensive, than in Hungary. We also found cheese
counter and meat counter, where indescribably toothsome
wares were placed, but if somebody wants to buy fresh mozzarella or freshbaked bread, than a hefty price will be payed.
As we saw the supply we made the decision: we will eat like
a real roman, for this week for sure. We edited in mind our
weekly menu, which was the following: penne pomodoro
pretty cheap, and cheekily easy to cook it; penne with tuna
(it became a huge favorite), rice with eggs and mozzarella,
salad with fresh and crunchy ruccola, and tomatoes aged
by the Tuscan sun; and finally penne with fruits of the sea.
For breakfast we bought some chocolate chips cake for the
coffee. I guess for this first main shopping we left their daily
income there. The owner of the supermarket was extremely
friendly, so he offered that one of his employees will take our
six huge packages to home, even if they had no idea, where is
our home. It could be at the other side of the city, too, I think
they would make it happily in that case either. He asked us
with snaring Italian: un ragazzo potrebbe accompagnarti,
ok? In this case, Annas pride was bigger, than the reception
of giving, so she said no and carried home the heavy bags
with her superpower.

Rome as we roll it

At home we met our flatmates, Marisa and Linda. One


of them was an alwayssmiling, perky girl with starry deep
brown eyes and curly black hair. She looked like an innocent
adolescent, however she already has turned years old. She
talked a lot, but only in Italian, because she had problem even
with pronouncing the bathroom. The other girl was a bit
serious, she spoke a bit better English, so she told us that she is
working in the nearest hospital in the technological department
of the cardiology. She also talked a bit about Marisa, while she
was staying next to Linda, and listened to her attentively. We
were enlightened that Marisa does her PhD at the catholic
university, what weve seen before, and she is from Naples,
moreover shell get married there next September. What a
romantic Italian story, I was already melted. The living room
was full of life in the night time. The sounds from the TV were
dinging in an irresistible Italian way. The girls were hanging
around there, while we were making our undeniably local
dinner. For the first day we made penne with fruits of the
sea. However, we could just babble few Italian words, like
the babies, who have just started to learn how to speak, and
they could speak even less English, we talked all night long
about everyday topics and more highbrow ones. Linda talked
to me intentionally Italian, and I answered intentionally English,
because we agreed that we try to exchange our language skills.
On this evening I learnt what zanzaro, aqua calda, and stanca
means.
Next day we wanted to conquer the other side of the mountain. We heard that there is a famous observatory and a unique
church. We noticed on our daily whattodo list these monuments, but we couldnt depart from our house, because I
had an appointment before, at the gorgeous Piazza del Popolo.
Although it was pretty far away from our final destination, I
found a bus before which should have been accessible for me,
too. Daily life has already taught me that the public transport
here is more than chaotic and unexpectable. I think only this
nation can have enough chilled nerves to bear this day by day.

. Monte Mario

If a bus is theoretically wheelchair accessible, it means that


we have very a few chance to be lifted up by a perfect mix
of tourists, locals and immigrants, under the glory of diversity and convergence. Worse case, this manual solution is also
impossible because they put a random rod or handle in the
middle of the way, where I could get on to this ATAC spaceship.
I asked a woman for approval, who was waiting with us in
the station. She told me in a very absentminded way: quattrocentronoventacinque. It took for a while to convert with this
neverending wordpile in my brain, but finally I decoded the
signs: I was right, our bus will be the number . We were
rattling in the company of dozens of constantly chatting happy
citizens roughly minutes. Other fun fact in connection with
the habits and skills of bus drivers: they are totally unable to
park like somebody who really has got his driving license. They
are parking mostly one meter away from the sidewalk, and the
locals know it right, because they are waiting for the bus always
on the road like impatient school kids, who want to go to the
summer camp. And if wed like to pick up the thread about
this issue, its almost sure that well end up at the big question:
which was sooner, the hen or the egg?
Our stop was Via Trionfale, as I checked before on the map.
The bus turned away here, but we had to follow this road. At
the beginning there was a big cross with a usually giant traffic,
cafs and bars at the corners. It was an average Roman view.
The street was getting steeper and steeper. Linearly with the
growth of the slope was the landscape more and more similar
the districts of Buda, just in a less fancy edition. However, there
were hardly immigrants on the streets which should have
been the visible phenomenon, if we would have been in a very
poor area, but it didnt seem so rich either. We were crawling
up the hill, and it felt like I would play in the Drive together
with Ryan Gosling, because rescue ourselves from cars, which
were speeding down from the tortuous mountain roads, was a
real driving stunt. We were persistent, because weve already
caught a glimpse of the silhouettes of the observatory, which

Rome as we roll it

was towering to the sky. However, it has turned out soon that
our persistence was pretty useless, because in an unexpected
moment we ran out of the road. We were surrounded by every wild plants of the forest, and we faced a long and narrow
stairway covered by moss and it reached to the top of the hill.
It was partly romantic, partly mystic, and partly horroristic,
but for me mostly disappointing. It meant that without any human being on the horizon, its the stop sign for our expedition.
Anyway, I felt I should keep my head up, because weve been
already on the half way to the highest hill of Rome, which is a
nice achievement.
As an experience complement we took aim at the closest
frutteria to buy some ingredients for our hungarian dinner
to Leon. I waited for Anna outside, and she came back unbelievably flushed because the vender said goodbye with a Ciao
bella! These tiny little scenes of a weekday can pump your
selfconfidence up, so Im not very surprised that people are
wellbalanced in Rome in general. Compliments are so ordinary in the conversations on the street, in the metro elevator,
or in the shops, like we say Thanks or Hi! , or maybe even
more usual. The extraordinary kindness wasnt over, it was
just interrupted by another bus adventure from Via Trionfale
to the Valle Aurelia metro station, which was just from three
stops from our beloved home. Then weve done our daily trip,
or almost daily trip to our favorite supermercato, which was
already mentioned, and which we will probably save in our
prayers, maybe next time on the papal audience. This time the
guy at the vegetable counter was without his boss. Of course,
he took the opportunity, and made a mindful gesture to us, as
he put some fresh, fire red cocktail tomatoes and an orphant
carrot as a gratis in our paper bag next to the already counted
goods. I dont know, which nationality he has, but his oil black
eyes looked from so far and his glance was so mesmerizing.
At home we started to prepare for the cooking. I was insisting to help. I wanted to be Annas assistant chef. I cut the paprika, the apples into microscopicsized pieces, and the sausage

. Monte Mario

for the lecs. Its a traditional Hungarian food, and this was
the first time when we let us to be influenced by our own
cousin. And it could happen, just because Leon wished a Hungarian dish with some cinnamon flavored sweetness. While
Anna cut a dozen of paprika, I cut two. While she was ready
with half kilogram apples, Ive just finished a half apple. My
speed approximated the speed of the snails. But for me it was a
hard job. My arms and my hands are not so strong, or to be honest they are especially weak comparing to the average strength
of others. For me, to lift up a bigger mug is real challenge. So
this little assistance in the cooking was for me a sweaty training,
but I indescribably enjoyed it, because I felt that I really take part
in the process of express our gratefulness to Leonardo for all
that kind initiation, what he made for us in the very first days. Finally, he arrived two hours later, than he promised, but I didnt
mind it at all. Few weeks ago, with my Hungarian attitude I
would really get mad because of this, but in Rome I realized,
as I told before, that the passage of the moments is irrelevant.
What is important thats nothing else but to experience in the
most opened way the moments, which havent passed yet. The
time we spent together was a bit embarrassed, and I really
didnt know the reason of it. Maybe its a real mystery. This
ritual of filling up the kitchen with life to surprise our local
friends with hopefully good dinners has become a nice habit,
which we repeated over and over again with satisfied proud.
The next act was the new edition of the lecs, which was an
improved version, made for Valeria. Save her name, because
her character will be important in the future. For the diversity
on our third cooking show we changed the menu. This one
was dedicated to our flatmate Linda, who celebrated her th
birthday on the th of October. My cutting exercises were
continued with bananas, while Anna was cooking the vanilla
pudding to our magic cake. Maybe Annas Jamie Oliver skills
reached the expert level when she did her home made pizza
for our new and temporary family in the form of the group
of Annas boyfriend Gergo, my friendcollegueinspiration

Rome as we roll it

source Nri, Anna and me. It contained all the heavenly Italian
ingredients, like ruccola, prosciutto, and tomato sauce
But get back to the first dinner with Leo. At the end, he
loved the meal which was mostly Annas excellence. He offered that we can take a walk together nostalgically around the
Colosseo, just for this time without baggages, and more carefree. The other offer was to go to the gay street, which is also
very close to his place, and he has some ridiculous story from
the everydays, because he used to pass that street very often on
the way back home. All in all, I will leave these promises for
the next chapter, which is dedicated to the first municipio of
Rome, also known as Centro Storico.
To be spotlessly honest, this municipio was so seductive
that we couldnt resist, and had some walk there before we
planned originally. These pretours were made mostly under
the gracefully thin Roman moon, which meant that we had to
find a way back home in the darkest night, even if it seemed to
be a bit jolty for the first sight. For the first time we reached
more or less luckily the Battistini with metro around a.m.
This station is the final stop of the line A, which means the
same as in other city: a bit empty, a bit dirty, very silent, and
pretty unknown. It had all the charms and shadows of an ordinary suburb area. Moreover, this fact could be translated like
our current location was our area, Monte Mario, thanks God.
Ive already checked before that from there, we could have
taken a taxi, which would have brought us to our house for
euros. This amount is almost equal with an airport transfer in
Budapest, but in Rome its really nothing comparing to some
been there, done that situation, when we had to pay euros
to the taxi driver to get from one place to another. Allora, as
the Italian would say, it was only my plan B. We had very a few
money, so we knew that its not for spending it without any
reasonable cause. We tried to keep it for the worst case. Anna
was really resolute and she was cruising all the streets in the
near to find a bus station, where we could expect a pyebus.
Despite of a pyebus Anna found a real and existing night bus,

. Monte Mario

which had more stops at Via Pineta Sacchetti, which exactly


crossed our street. At this point we felt like we would have won
the lottery, it was a priceless moment. It was freezing, however
in the daytime we could enjoy the sunshine in a summer shirt,
now with scarf, sweater, and an elegant jacket I still gritted my
teeth.
The bus arrived in minutes. This was the first awkward
case, when the bus driver didnt show a hundred percent helpfulness. The officially electrically powered ramp was broken. It
wasnt a big surprise, because it looks always great, but its just
a feast to the eye. The rare exception, when it works. In fact the
technical system of the ATAC totally failed from my point of
view, but the manual power sweetened with infinite kindness
always compensated me. Though in this case he was kind of
skeptical and worried because of the responsibility. Ive never
met this kind of attitude in Rome before, but I was almost sure
that with some nice begging words in Italian with my clumsy
accent will soften his heart. I was true: I just freshened up my
English sentence with a beautifully sounding per favore , and
he has already hurried to help us out of the trouble. From this
far, we just needed to be lifted for four or five stops. When
we got off the bus, we faced the ugly truth that this road is
unpredictably long. The pavement was so narrow that it suited
hardly to my wheelchair due to my driving talent. The cars
were speeding like on a Formula competition. We felt the
blows of them, because they drove just centimeters away from
us. Unexpectedly a man slowed down with his motorcycle,
and told us something about my wheelchair. I only know because Ive heard the word carrozzina, which is something
like wheelchair it was always mentioned when I wanted to
use elevator. He asked that he can help something. After this
he introduced himself, he asked where we are from and where
we are staying now. Maybe at this point some less brave and
more paranoid people would try to escape, but we gave our
trust to him. Especially, because we were a bit lost, so we really
needed his help. So, we told him the name of our street. He

Rome as we roll it

reassured us that its already not so far away, just meters.


We said Buona notte! and he drove off. That was the cute
scene of us and the nonsatyr Daniel.
Only hours later we did our second attempt to ride the
bus number , but in this case we departed from Termini. It was
a long journey, which could have been a perfect socialpsychological observation. My very first consequence was that Valeria,
the girl we met before, was right. For some unknown reason
the girls avoid the public transport by night. They trust only in
taxi, even if its damn expensive. The cause of my conclusion
was the fact that the bus was fullfed with guys and two or
three couples, plus with us. So, to be the only girls without any
male bodyguard in the dead of the night, and being surrounded
with a rush of cocking testosterone bombs was a bit weird,
however I didnt have any fear or something like that. To be
truth, yeah, they were fighting with each other, they smelled
of strong alcohols, so they were obviously drunk, and they had
very noisy arguments, but they were careful not to hurt me.
When I realized this, only one thing left to worry about: I was
praying that the guy next to me not to vomit on me, because
he looked really badly. Except for this, I thought that its a great
closing show of our insanely cool night out. It took almost half
an hour to get to our destination. The bus driver made a risky
favor: he took us as close to Gemelli as it was possible, however
there wasnt any stop originally. It was a huge luck, because the
weather was even stranger than the day before. It was foggy
and so cold that we could see our breas in the deep blue air.
The day after this night was really enjoyable to read a book on
our balcony and feel the as the sun gently heated my skin.

Chapter III

Downtown girl style


Centro Storico

This is the area of the city, which has almost all the monuments,
which are painted on the canvas, printed on the postcards and
on the brochures of the travel agencies. All the sweet clich
stuff. We started to explore this part of the Eternal City, where
my entire story started, right after the airport. The train in
the metro line B pulled us insanely in the deep dark tube. A
mechanical sound told the monologue: Prossima fermata
Colosseo. Next stop Colosseo , we escaped here and aimed
for the usual personal lift. We were seeking in the wrong direction and the wrong subject. We were prepared to show our
desperate tourists image in the bottom of the stairway, and
waiting for four muscular gentlemen to lift me up to the top.
As we come back to our senses from our stupidity, we saw a
stairelevator going up next to the wall. We pushed the bottom,
where was signed the weird stick figure with the wheelchair,
what we used to search so desperately if we are lost in the
undergrounds of the metro. A man told us in the crackling microphone: Aspetta tre minuti signorina! It meant we should
wait theoretically three minutes, practically around minutes with the usually chaotic Italian time management. In the
rush of the hurrying citizens and asian tourists I was spanning
up that height with my flashy mechanism.
Upstairs we were browsing our Rome Map&Guide application eagerly to find a seductive place to go in the center after we
will be done with the monumental Colosseo. We decided our

Rome as we roll it

next stop will be Piazza Venezia by walk. But before, we had to


discover this huge truncated story cake of Rome. It happened
already almost instinctively that we skipped the neverending
queue I knew that this is the joyful advantage of my special
situation. The guy at the entrance informed me that we can
entry free me and one accompanist. We felt like we would
have won the lottery because we already havent got too much
extra money to spend. Just few meters from the main entrance
we found a fancy glass elevator full of tourists. Nevermind,
weve already learnt to fight with the superbusy travelers, so
after a light fisticuff we won for us the elevator. We reached
the top floor of the giant Roman jewelry. Inside there were
no obstacles, I could see everything and I can go everywhere,
where all the other people have gone. The daytime charm of
this neighborhood overwhelmed me, but at that time I havent
known yet the inestimable spirit of the Roman night, which
will be related to this memorable place. However, the future
was unknown, Ive already felt that Ill return soon.
Right after our gladiator tour we aimed to the world wide
famous avenue, Via Fori Imperiali, which directed us to the
Piazza Venezia. As we headed on the street to the square, we
could see how Rome is developing: on the left side there was
a big metro construction of the line C. As some locals told
before, these works are as much effective and dynamic as at
home. It lasts for ages. On the right side arabic and african
expats tried to make their bargain of the day with selling their
fake Louis Vuitton bags, and strange little sticky monsters.
Their pushy attacks are always very irritating, but who cares,
if youll get breathless in the glory of the Foro Romano. As
I saw the material form of the wisdom in the ancient ruins,
I forgot about the height of the berms or about the fact that
my breakfast was already pulpy in my belly due to the shaky
cobblestones. As I was bedazzled by the beauty of it, I felt that
we actually teletransported to the authoritative monument of
the Piazza Venezia. This square was really different from the
wellknown cute Roman squares. If you ask an Italian, what

. Centro Storico

does this concept mean for her or him, it will be described like
a friendly outdoor space, which is hugged around by typical
mediterrean houses. Maybe a fountain or the cafs will be
also mentioned. Despite of this definition Piazza Venezia is a
traffic roundabout for megalomaniacs with endless horning
cars. It seemed to be impossible to cross the road for the first
sight. There was a zebra, but no traffic lights. As the challenge
two, this zebra was gently margined by two gigantic berms. It
meant if well go, we cant change our mind, because there is
no last minute way back. This was the unforgettable moment,
when my motto was born: If we die, at least well die in
Italy ... and it was a solace for every futureless event or scene,
which has already come or which is going to come. So, we
took the risk, and it was the best decision, which we could
ever make. Why? Because here, we and the Italian driving style
started to get to know each other. And at the end, I had to
make the consequence that its forbidden to believe in your
eyes, you have to experience it on your own. As my wheels
touched the ground of the empire of the cars and buses, I didnt
felt anymore like an intruder. They were in association with
me, like we would be equals: they bypassed me skillfully, but
the traffic wasnt paralyzed for a single second.
I had an appointment few hours later with the editorinchief
of the most popular newspaper of Rome, called Il Messaggero.
For those empty hours it was perfect to be filled with the jewelries of the Eternal city, which we randomly bumped into on
our way. As we were roaming around the narrow lanes of the
romantic downtown, we reached a square covered everywhere
with cobblestones, and decorated with colorful tents all around.
In the tents old marketwomen offered fresh fruits, vegetables, but sometimes this kind of natural goods unexpectedly
changed for Made in China socks by the immigrant sellers. However, a market at home looks totally different, it really
caught me by my heart. There were rubbish on the ground and
all around, a lot of pigeon destroyed the amazing view. This
chaos was able to create the perfection for me. A chaotic perfec-

Rome as we roll it

tion. The name of this place, where the bonny life was made by
cheerful sounds, laughters, noisy haggling and strong smells, is
Campo de Fiori. As the name of the square has already let on,
the most fantastic side of this hidden space is that part of the fair,
where they sell the flowers. Its like an inboxespacked instant
everlasting spring, with all the fragrances and colours of the
Earth. To tell the truth, we already had the target, where to go
here, because a CouchSurfer friend, who I hosted in Budapest,
updated me that he got a job at my favorite place of Rome. The
name of the restaurant is Virgilio, although the label is hidden
in a tricky way. We had to do a second round of discovering,
because we couldnt find it for the first time. The time, when
we arrived, was characterized with stagnancy. Beti, our strange
waiter friend, who was under a bad wave of depression, enlightened us that one hour before the terrace was full of locals and
tourists. This is a typical hotspot of Rome, where you can find
every kind of people: old, young, ugly, beautiful, Asian, Roman.
Actually, this was the place, which we have seen before in the
summer few months ago, so all what Im writing about now,
wasnt really unknown for us before.
It was deep night and heavy rain. That was the first time we
met Leonardo. Under a gigantic umbrella, like three sardines,
we crawled to one cute corner of the square. In the bottom of
the houses stayed most of the greatest aperitivo bars of the city,
tightly next to each other. Weve chosen the most seductive
one from all of these awesomeness. It was called Primo, maybe
because its the first and only, but the locals obviously know it
better, than me. Comparing the other forms of eat out or go
out, this way saves the contents of your wallet. In the happy
hours, which are usually from or until p.m. You can
make your drunken deal of your life. For euros, youll be
the satisfied owner of a heavenly tasty cocktail and as much
delicious bites of the Italian cuisine as place you have in your
stomach.
But back from the nostalgic past to the willbenostalgic
andstilldreamlike present, this time we didnt hang out in

. Centro Storico

any of these bars, especially because there werent our beloved


happy hours. Thats why we soon waved goodbye of this familiar and fairytale compatible place. We headed to Piazza Navona,
so the artistic desert of Rome was just few minutes away by
foot at this point, and I was extremely excited. Ive read about
it a lot, and I could imagine this patch of this colorful city, like
the Mountmarte in Paris: the bohemian home of the dreamers.
Maybe it means that it is my home, too. I bounced up and
down on the cobblestones, like a wild basketball, and finally
we reached the piazza. It could be a painting, which is alive,
full of comical, strange, and unique figures. Anna made the
ordinary acrobatics with me, and put me to the incredibly high
pavement, which guarded the fountains of the square. There
were some bench around monumental (like everything here)
stones&water arts. We attempted to save all the tiny parts of
the fountains, but it wasnt a human mission, because it was
such a detailed work. The statues surrounded by strong shower
of the clean water depict the worlds largest rivers. In front of
the fountains we found a church. The tourists seemed to be
unconcerned about the church, but Anna was very interested.
We stepped closer, and we realized there is only stairway, and
no ramp, which would have driven us to the entrance. If we
would have been in a less touristic area, I would have bet that
four smiley bello would have turned up in the matter of seconds. But this time there were around just japanese wannabe
photographers with pants pulled to the waist. What a pity. My
personal opinion that I would never deprive anyone from a
great experience, so I let Anna go in, and I waited for her outside. I have the theory that maybe Im gifted with this kind of
phantasy, because sometimes I have to imagine as perfect this
objects and moments as the others see them with their own
eyes. While Anna lit a candle inside, I inhaled the entire atmosphere, which was around me. Especially the enviable freedom
of the artists, who were working here and creating here all
day long. I diagnosed: Montmartre is nothing compared to this
miracle. Why? Because they are missing this eternal vernal

Rome as we roll it

sunshine, which make every single soul determinately happy


down here.
As Anna turned back from her spiritual ritual, we put ourselves superquickly to the way to Trevi, because we hardly
have one hour left until my meeting. We found a much unexpected shop on one of the cute alleys, which directed to
the source of the hopeful wishes of the world, also known as
Trevi. The shop was dedicated to Pinocchio. There were small
marionettes, bigger ones, mansized ones, masks and statues
of Pinocchio. We took some profile picture nominated photos
with them, and went further. As the number of the people was
bloating, we felt that we are closing to the Trevi fountain. The
rush tucked under us, everybody was pushing the others, like
it would be a case of emergency. I dont like this attitude of the
tourists, because at these moments of their life they should let
go their tensions, give up the hurrying and enjoy the impulses
around them, which are mostly generated by the people, who
are around them. So, I think its a huge mistake to barge in
others aura and expropriate them selfishly. However, to fight
ourselves in the front of the monument was impractical, but
from the left side we could occupy a nice space for us, while
two old french men dropped to us a cheeky Voulez vous
coucher avec moi? , but we were laughing on the weird compliment. Another woman offered that she would take some
picture about us and the fountain. It felt really good after all this
ignorance. This time I couldnt throw a coin into the fountain,
because my dreams are just coming true now, constantly, then
and in this moment, too.
After a little slaloming trough the stones, we reached our
meeting point, the editorial of Il Messaggero. It was a towering
old and timehonored building with the curlicue writing on the
top, which hallmarked the popular newspaper of Italy. There
were two small turnstiles, but I havent fit in any of them. The
attentive receptionist fortunately noticed our fumbling, and
opened the emergency exit for us. I called the editorinchief,
Signore Jacopo Orsini to declare that here we are. He arrived

. Centro Storico

soon, and changed a selfconfident handshake. I felt myself like


a real business woman. As I looked around I havent found any
way to get from the hall to the offices for me. Stairs were all
around. I didnt want to start with that rude question: Am
I right, that your editorial is not wheelchair accessible at all?
This is the kind of journalist attitude, what Ive never had. Im
unable to poke or sting the others. Everybody has got some
mistakes. Its better to accept and get over it. It can be the key
of a happier life. I was rather bedazzled from the fact that I
had the chance to meet one of the gods of the Italian journal
world, and I was proud as hell. It made me even happier that
because of the obstacles we had to step out from the formal
ambience, and swap it for a more informal one. We followed
Jacopo, his steps were seven miles long, so I had to change the
speed settings of my wheelchair. In five minutes he stopped and
asked for a free table from the waiter. We drank our capuccino
in a very suitable caf. Its name was News Caf, where you
can take some daily newspapers for free, while you are sipping
your coffee. Elegant and stylish, in one word, or one and a half:
so Italian.
After the appointment, a couple of hours waited for us
again to fill up with meaning and experiences. We asked our
twentyfirst century Jimmy lamp again to hurry for our help.
This Jimmy lamp also known as my map application. We eyed
a bit with the surrounding squares and weve chosen a likeable
one, Piazza Colonna. Ive read about it before that earlier there
was some kind of embassy of Hungary, but now we just found
other institutes of the Italian government. We found there the
millionth nice church, but it wasnt also made for me, just like
the one at Piazza Navona, so it was Annas turn again. When
she came back, she croached to the foot of the big obelisk in the
middle of the square, and we started to search for the simpliest
route to the Spagna.
The not surprisingly cobblestone covered street, what
weve chosen, started to get steeper and steeper. It meant that
we are close to the wished aim. Soon we reached the top of

Rome as we roll it

the spanish steps, where Ive never been before. The world,
which got opened in that second could be similar to any of
the seven miracles. The stretching view hugged the whole city.
There was like a postcard, where the photographer wanted
to eternize every single detail concentratedly. There were so
much beautiful contradictions that it was hardly acceptable.
Cars down there like the excited ants, the sounds of the restless
city faced to an uncomparable relaxed feeling above the skies, as
we were inhaling the fresh air and watching the artistic games
of the colours at the horizon. The clouds were colored to deep
purple by the coming night, but the sun was still fighting with
them like an angry red ball. At the end the sun hided away
behind the towers of Mussolini at Piazza Venezia. As we woke
up from that amazed statement, we realized that we are so
close from another big favorite hill of us. This is the Pincio. Ive
been there before several times, and every time, when I had
the chance to visit it, its nostalgic and it gives a new feeling
parallel. If a place has this kind of atmosphere, then its useful
to notice it. Pincio is from one hand the part of the extending
park of Rome, the Villa Borghese. In the other hand it owns
the most stunning view to the Piazza del Popolo. I did a bit of
rallycross in the grained gravels, and we headed right to the
Via del Macelli, where our theater waited for us proudly.
On the halfway, where I was doing a drag racing down
from the slope and we were humming the song Whats up,
which was played by a street musician, we realized that we
still need to do a tour to a toilette. The pee alarm sign was
flashing more desperately above Annas head, so she really did
her best to come across a public lavatory in the park. Although
we found many options on the map of the Villa Borghese, but
in the reality they have simply disappeared, like the camphor.
On the way up to the hill we were joking about that fancy
hotel, which we passed. We played with the idea of sneak into
the five star paradise, absolutely pointlessly and arbitrarily. Of
course, we havent got the bravery to do it, but on the way back
we were already the happy owner of some serious reason. The

. Centro Storico

reason was the pee issue. We gyrated into the Hotel Intercontinental Villa Medici, right to the red carpeted luxury hall. The
receptionist addressed to us his wellpracticed and extraordinary polite question: How could I help you, Maam? with
a perfectly sounding british accent. That was the ceremonial
moment, when we did our twosome performance. We created a fake theater before the real one. I put on my lost face
and turned on the puppy eyesmode, begging for a toilette because of emergency. Our show was more than successful. We
originally faced four steps to the elevator, but the porter took
outside from the stock room a mobile ramp. This ramp was
also covered with red velvet. I felt myself like the nonexisting
Hungarian princess. The porter informed us that disabled toilette is on the second floor. Actually if I have the chance to
choose I used to choose the normal lavatory, because sometimes the special one has more obstacles, than the normal one.
In Hungary, for example I often meet with some very abstract
toilet bowl with a huge gaping hole in the middle. However, I
tried so hard to solve the mystery who and why planned them
that way, but I couldnt figure it out. In Rome, fortunately this
type of the pee horror avoided us, so at least I didnt have to
sink in the bowl that way. But as always here I could also find
a way for a nasty dip in the loo. For some unknown reason
the disabled toilets in Rome doesnt have a board on the bowl.
I really dont have any idea why it is a help for people, who
mostly got so brilliant balance like a drunken bird. In this case it
would be really rude to sort the options, so I followed another
porter guy right to the elevator. He also spoke flawless English.
We told him that were here for half year, and we have nothing
else to do just to explore all the beauties. It sounded loose, posh
and chic, like two very rich girls would have said. This scene
suited to the glamorous ambience. The wall, the ceiling and
the floor was covered with salmoncolored marble, but in the
biggest luxury they still couldnt afford a board for the bowl. Inspite the complicating factors, we hurried as much as we could,
because the porter guarded us or guarded the fancy toilet

Rome as we roll it

depends on the point of view from outside, which made


us feel a bit embarrassed. We left the stage jiggling and with
blushes, like two teenagers. This random idea meant almost
as much absurdity as the whole opportunity that we can stay
here. Incredible, fantastic, and ridiculous in the same time.
We headed the theatre, where the people were just still
loitering. We got our press tickets for the famous opera, La
Bohme by Puccini. I had to write a review about this. I was
really excited, because I havent seen before Italian opera and
because it was the first step of my Roman journalist career, the
big debut. We had almost one hour left until the performance,
because we had to manage the press subscription earlier. Due
to the fact that we were starving, we went to the closest McDonalds shamelessly in the Italian capital, but it was the easiest
way to alleviate our hunger with grab a bite of unhealthy food.
As we know that well have the chance to eat a lot of magical
local dishes later, I didnt feel that I really let down the country with this cheating. Ten minutes before the starting time
we returned back to the theatre. The doors were opened on
time, unusual accuracy and seriousness comparing the average
time management of the Italians. Salone Margherita, which is
located very close to Spagna, was opulent and inward in the
same time and this combination made a really balanced feeling
before the performance, the audience had plenty of time: people could hush their belly inside the theatre with ice cream and
other titbits. Like the silent observer, I noticed that the group
of the attendees is extremely diverse and international. More
foreign words were caught by my ears, than Italian. Maybe that
was the reason of the fact that la bella figura , which is so
strictly required in the etiquette hereabout, wasnt brought by
everyone. Some of them forgot to change their sport shoes
after jogging. Others thought that the jeans with Tshirt is
the new elegant. The theatre was absolutely accessible, from
the main door to the chairs. There was a place, reserved for
wheelchair users, therefore I didnt have to play peek game
between two shoulders. It was extremely comfortable for me.

. Centro Storico

After a few minutes of anthill effect, the production has started.


The show was enjoyable, no doubt. Even the ordinary boring
break was an unexpected fun, because they offered some very
spicy pasta with tomatoes. Here we go, the Italian cuisines
tastes stayed longer on my tongue that the taste of the plastic
hamburger. The second part kept the quality, too. Although
the end of the story was expectable even for ones, who didnt
know anything about this world wide famous opera, it could
surprise me. The simplicity of the performance of the final
tragedy was really touching. Maybe it was just the fault of the
beautifully sounding, sentimental Italian language, but I think
this opera was able to get closer to my heart here, in one of the
homes of this genre, than anywhere else in the world.
Next day we slept long, but havent missed the daily sightseeing fun, as we have never missed it before. As it was a rainy,
halfhearted day, we have chosen something indoor activity,
because we wanted to keep the feeling of the living city for
some sunnier days. We put on our mustsee list the Museo
della Liberazione. It was a luckily located museum, because its
found at one of the rare stations of the metro line A, which is
accessible. We took here I guess every kind of elevator to get
upstairs. It was three rounds to get out of the underground. At
the Manzoni station we learnt a nice wisdom from the robotic
sound of the elevator: Lift goes on. Life goes on. I guess ATAC
should pay more attention to improve their English, but at
least they attempted. We passed next to a high school on our
bumpy road to the museum. We noticed that the guys were
carrying a little trolley bag as a school bag. I couldnt imagine
how it can be ergonomic with the vexing cobblestones, after
my wheels are already jarring under the trial they caused to
them. We reached the museum, but we had to put up with
the fact that we ran into the siesta time again. We made the
same old mistake, so we found the doors closed. Instead of the
museum visiting we chivied for the culinary joys. We settled in
a small and very average snack bar, called Roma Lazio, really
close to the metro station. Thanks God, finally we could avoid

Rome as we roll it

the fake fancy touristic restaurants. Everything was pretty ordinary, simple, and local here. At the cash register an older lady
stayed, who spoke only Italian, and this situation gave us no
chance to get lazy. We had to try to perform our huge language
knowledge again. We havent planned to end up there, so we
chose the cheapest, but one of the most delicious classic pizza,
Margherita. We eyed a bit with the shy, but pretty overwhelming waiter guy here I have to mention something important
about the general flirting situation in Italy, There are a lot of
stereotype about this: if you want love, youll come here, because youll get it. The first biggest one, but its partly true and
partly a lie. What youll get here a basic sensitive attitude and
attention, and respect. In countries like Hungary, you can get
the vibrations of these feelings, if you know someone really
well and if your relationship turned absolutely serious, even
in friendships, not just between the members of couples. In
Rome, you have to watch out, because youll get it willynilly,
everywhere. Ive noticed that the people humming cheerfully
and smiling on you on the street, without any intention. They
say ciao to you in the biggest rush as you cross the road.
Dads with their babies will talk to you and introduce you their
little proudness, their bimbo / bimba (which means baby in
Italian). People will say to you hundreds of compliments per
day, even if you feel yourself like a piece of shit. Why? Because
they are paying attention for the small details, they recognize
the beauty and they enjoy it, and they express it. After you will
be surrounded with these positive energies of the feedbacks,
you cant stop smiling on the street, in the bar. You cant stop
stare into the deep brown eyes, and youll feel this is right, and
there is nothing to feel ashamed. Youll understand the interaction. So, if we are eyeing with the waiter guy in a bit messy
snack bar, it doesnt mean that we want something from him.
It meant that during our stay here, he was a great company, he
made us feel good, while we had our lunch, and we werent
shy to express it to him. Our happiness just increased as the
sun found a way for break through the stubborn sinister grey

. Centro Storico

clouds. With the halfhelp of the chaotic Roman street signs,


we decoded that the Basilica of San Giovanni is pretty close.
We followed the monks and nuns, but more in a literally, than
in a spiritual way. This was a good idea, because in five minutes
we reached the giant and obviously divine building. It stood
proudly, brightly and very authoritatively. It was bounded by
stairs, but as we walked a circle around the church, I discover
a part where the steps shrunk, and at the end it was almost
a ramp, a shaky ramp. Typical Italian solution: there is something, which is similar to the standard, but more exciting and
adventurous. So my wheels bounced lightly on the miniature
steps right to the main entrance. If the beauty of the architecture wouldnt have blinded me, then it could have been easy to
find the special ways for myself inside. Every altar and statue
was accessible by ramps and by other smart solutions. This
papal basilica was less luxurious and friendlier, than the super
popular one at St. Peter square, which definitely looks like a
crowded main train station, like Termini, regarding the number
of the people.
On the day after our religious and gastronomical little tour,
I ended up at the location of the very beginning, at the source
of the Centro Storico chapter, and at a bit at the source of my
Roman freedom. I came there in style with a very noteworthy
person on my side. I took the metro with Lorenzo from my
area to our destination, but from a more metaphorical point of
view. I also took a train with him from my dreams to the reality.
He is the CouchSurfer, boy, man, friend, adviser, right hand,
left hand, and allinone, who showed me a special face of this
city in January, which caught me enough to make a decision to
live here. My only excuse for the fact that I havent mentioned
him yet is that I was just searching an enough exalted moment
of the storyline to do that. He sat down in the shelter of the
metro stations arcades. I followed him to the start to start our
ordinary philosophical conversation. Time always flies away
with Lorenzo. I think our topics are too stretching to fit in
the borders of time, and other concepts, which are human

Rome as we roll it

creations. Yesterday he asked me, how we could touch the


moon. I answered him that its not impossible. You have to
lay down on the ground, and hold your finger in a distance
of your eyes, where you can see that you grabbed it. This is
the way how he is thinking about the world, its not mine.
I learnt to keep up things like this from him, eventually at
the time in the spring, when he told me that the sound of
thousands of frogs similar to the sound of the synchronized
clapping. He can filter tiny movements and makes them to
real miracles. Maybe with these few thoughts I could sketch
about the unique way of our conversations. I needed that I
had to focus on him fully, because I had a strange feeling in
my stomach. I couldnt explain it even for myself, but I had
it. Ive already really missed Leonardo, and I realized that this
place where were sitting, waiting for him, to repair Annas
phone, meant lot more to me, than a monument, because I
binded it together with him. This feeling was a bit scary, so I
was really grateful, because Lorenzo distracted my attention
about this statement. Leonardo arrived soon and he was just
ten minutes late, which is in Italian matter of time, nothing. I
introduced them to each other, my two favorite people from
Lombelico del mondo, from the umbilical of the Earth. It was
an unforgettable moment for me. They acted like they would
know each other for ages. They hugged each other, Leonardo
invited Lorenzo for a coffee to his place, but he had to catch
a shop before closing, so he said goodbye soon. The crowd
was now less annoying, than during the day, the air was fresh,
and it wasnt totally dark yet, but the moon has already shine
down to the proud monument. The Colosseo was lightened by
golden colours, and it could make the stones of it even more
gorgeous. We walked down a steep street spiced with mounds,
potholes, and cobblestones, this was the street of Leos home.
I stared at the familiar, huge and old door of the building, and I
stayed there a bit at my wits end, because I remember the trial
to get in, and I had to notice at the same time that Anna hasnt
been there yet. I trusted him on the highest level, so there was

. Centro Storico

no doubt for me that he will solve it, but I was also sure that
it will be adventurous. We discussed that my extremely heavy
electric wheelchair would be too big challenge, so we agreed
that we will leave it in the aisle, and try to trust the neighbors.
He lifted me up, and I felt like I would breathe in the mountain
air, because he is so tall. He did the same way alone, what they
have already fought down with Anna. I felt that its more and
more difficult to hold me, step by step. I tried to encourage
him, count back the seconds until he has to hold on, however
maybe it has just made the situation worse, but at the end we
fell in his bed successfully. He played me on his saxophone, and
the time switched again in the flying away mode, as I already
experienced with Lorenzo. Anna rang soon.
As it was Friday, we wanted to crown it: it wasnt an option
to stay at home, so we decided to involve one hundred percent
in the Roman nightlife. Consequently, thats how we ended up
in a cute restaurant, called by Leo Antiluzzi, as a nickname. This
little heaven of the Italian foods was located also in the area
of Colosseo. Like it would have been determined in the fate
that we have to breathe the air in here by night, too. However,
this restaurant was just the counterpole of the original plan.
On the other side of the street, we could find Luzzi, the big
sister of our choice, which is a bit friendlier and cheaper at the
same time. Maybe this was the reasonable cause that it was
full of guests, in spite the other one. This news didnt really
matter, because we got the information from our superinsider
companion that the owner is the same and its not impossible
to convince him to serve the menu of Luzzi, to the table of
Antiluzzi. We tasted each others dish, because it didnt seem
to be possible to order only kind from the endless perfections.
All together we had amazing pizza con prosciutto, beef steak,
suppl and tiramisu. I hope it wasnt the last time to experience
this kind of flavourbomb.
After a waking coffee we headed to our next stop with satisfied bellies. Just in general, we couldnt choose the easiest
way to get to Angelo Mai, which is a local hotspot of the area.

Rome as we roll it

The Plan A was to get there by metro, because for the appropriate stop, Circo Massimo, we should have travelled only two
minutes from there. The only problem was that we met before
the pseudo elevator issue at that station. What does it mean?
There is also a brand new, shiny tool, which could take me
up to the top, but there is no answer from the speakers, nor
competent employee of the ATAC around, so its pretty useless.
The second option was to go by foot, wheels everybody by
he or she has. However, we faced the fact that in Rome the
pavements disappear sometimes very randomly, we managed
to get to the concert. We joined for the fight of the cars of a
parking area and I was fished down from some giant berm to
get closer to our destination. We even crossed a sixlane road,
partly without the guarding traffic lights. When we arrived, I
felt that I reaped all the credit of our adventurous way, because
I got a ticket for free (my prayers go to the Hungarian bars and
clubs that they should learn from their Roman friends). Moreover, we got to know some fantastic people besides the magic
trio of us. For me, if there is an opportunity to spend valuable
time with locals, is the best prize, I can ever win. In this case
difficulties have no chance to be noticed, because thesell seem
to be nothing, if these kinds of impulses are around them.
As the original plan, which was the mobile repairing by our
IT guru friend, wasnt made come true for the first time, we
had to manage a second try. On that night we left Annas phone
at Leonardos place, and we got it back few days later, when delicious fragrances were all around from the kitchens, as it was
lunch time. We agreed an appointment at the Trastevere train
station. Theoretically it would have to be perfect for us, because
it was on our line, and our train is wheelchair accessible. Due
to the fact that we never had to get off here before, weve never
paid attention on the platforms. There was a huge difference
in level between the train and the platform, so we needed few
strong amici. To tell the truth, we havent got the opportunity
to ask for help, because some random guys appeared from
the nowhere, and ran to help us eagerly, without any asking. I

. Centro Storico

always feel embarrassed if I have to ask help. I dont want to


disturb anybody, or make an inconvenient moment for him or
her. Fortunately, here I dont have to ask, because people are
sensitive about the other people. I think this attitude should be
learnt everywhere in the world. We waited outside the station
for our phones, as I also left accidentally my stupid Italian one
there. We all got back our property, however Anna was a bit
disappointed, because her broken screen became brand new,
but behind the screen there appeared some pixel problems.
Leonardo seemed to have some remorse because of the unlikely event, so he invited us for a nice lunch in a snack bar,
close to his office, on the Viale di Trastevere.
That time we havent known yet how eventful neighborhood it will be in the future. Since that meeting Trastevere
unfold us many new and colorful unknown face of the Eternal
City. For me it became a place, where I lost my head time by
time yes, again literally and nonliterally , and the stage
of the dizzy dolce vita and at the same time the process of
the intercultural refinement. From this main road opens the
narrow and steep street, which is romantically decorated climbing plants, where is the headquarters of S. Egidio association,
which takes care about the emigrants. When we decided that
the random street small talks are not enough to speak an acceptable Italian, we had to take off our stereotypes about every
nation, and it was a nice lesson. The annoying hawkers of the
area of the Termini station became our classmates, and we
couldnt deny discovering that how tough but interesting lives
they had before, and that some of them are greater people,
than most of the wellsituated Italians, we know from here.
The course, where we have applied was free mostly because
of all the third world emigrants, so we can only praise them
because of this matchless opportunity. The intercultural education never stopped just because it was getting dark and the
stars were shining on us. At the fountain of Santa Maria in
Trastevere, it was possible to continue our improvement and
enlightment. One ordinary Friday night was a wonderful ex-

Rome as we roll it

ample for this, when our little Hungarian team was gathering
at the middle of the square. We warmedup for the cultural
shock with a cute bunch of primary school girls. They played
on their guitars. Nri tried to encourage them not to be that
shy and sing louder, because the other street musician guy at
another corner was more dominant, so he got all the money.
The girls answered with flawless English, which surprised us
regarding we knew they were Romans. They convinced us
with their opened interest and their childlike smiles to join
them and be louder together. We had some difficulties with
our common setlist, because they know more Miley Cyrus
songs, than s rocknroll, which we wanted to rock with, but
finally we agreed in few Beatles hits. I think these moments
were really catchy and inward, not just for us, but for all the
people who spent their cheerful times under the night lights of
the breathtaking Santa Maria in Trastevere church. The Libyan
group right next to us felt this for sure, because they stared us
and our whole production with starry eyes. They joined our
random union, too, however the little girls had to leave soon as
they parents were worrying and called them back home. The
Libyan guys slid closer, and invited us to share their pumpkin
seeds and hashish. I wasnt shy to take from both of them. It
felt like wed be on a soccer match with the smell of a typical
train station of Rome. Hashish and weeds scent is all around
here day and night, its not a big deal here, and as far as I see
now, its not strictly punished, because everybody smokes. My
explanation for this phenomenon is nothing else but the fact
that here the temperance is the part of the collective knowledge. We can breathe this knowledge in with the fresh air. As
long as we can handle these joys with temperance nothing bad
or unhealthy can happen with us, but we can enjoy the benefits
of it. Its not a shame, but a great thing. I think its important to
declare for all those people who would whine and get shocked
that it is something, what I should really deny in my situation.
To dive in the atmosphere of this city, its useful to live every
moment as it requires, and those silly reasons like caution is

. Centro Storico

not an excuse. Im here to enjoy, live, and share it, including


every tiny detail.
But its time to get back to the roots and to our first visit
in the rione also known as district of Trastevere. We ate our
average trio menu: supli, this time not just the traditional one,
but another kind of made with mushroom, too; pizza with
tomatoes and olive, and the man of the group needed some
protein, so he ordered also chicken. As our friend had to go back
to work, we also choose a direction for ourselves, however Leo
offered it. The aim for today was the top of one of the Roman
hills, called Gianicolo. We walked so much that it seemed
we would do it to the eternity. The way seemed steeper and
steeper, of course, sweet djvu, it always happens with us in
Rome. We reached a point, where we ran out of the pavement
and we faced dozens of speeding cars, again. Since I live here,
Ive given up all my shitty fears, I dont care about the dangers.
I trust the others and I know, in this case Im always in safety.
At home, in Budapest I would have started to panic and turn
back. Here, it wasnt an option, because I desperately wanted to
see the city view from the top of the hill. We tried to pull over
to the side of the road as much as we could, and go quickly
to finish as soon as possible this wild period of the road. Few
minutes later we could stop the slaloming and we reached a
straight section of the steep street. Ten minutes later we owned
this fascinating viewpoint and we were already frozen by the
beauty which our eyes could hardly perceive. It was amazing,
even more than Spagna or Pincio. I bought for me and Anna
two sorrow ousting ice cream, which we nibbled, while we
were admiring the sight. We noticed with surprise that the way
down from Gianicolo directs right to the Vatican. However, a
public garage stood in our way for the first attempt. We were
brave enough to walk in the mouth of the whale, and soon we
found an elevator, which took us to the exit. Here we still faced
some twentyfirst century dragons in the shape of giant tourist
buses. We havent found any sidewalk, so we had to overtake
the buses. The only problem was that they took so much place

Rome as we roll it

that the cars couldnt see us. Luckily, one of the drivers jumped
out from his cozy seat and helped to manage the action. At the
end we were still alive.
Castel SantAngelo appeared next to the river bank, so we
aimed for it. Outside of the castle there were many street performer and artists. Two very hippie guys drummed on totally
random objects, like old and used luggages, garbages, boxes
and chairs. Their performance was really catchy. Anna is still
mentioning them day by day. The sun was shining like it would
be summer. I wore a light dress and I still felt very hot, but
I think this is one of the most enjoyable feelings if its in the
end of October. Like a routine round we skipped the worming
queue in front of the building, and we went to the receptionist.
He sent us to the cash register, where we got our absolutely
useless tickets, which cost zero EUR. An old lady accompanied
us to a private elevator. She turned it on with a key, and the
elevator lifted up the VIP guests, a.k.a. us. We run few circles
up in the heights, to take a picture about the St. Peters Basilica
from every point of view. We passed by a cute bar upstairs,
which was run by purple arbor. It really felt like the middle of
the spring, there was soft wind and it was impossible not to be
enchanted by the strong scent of the flowers.
After the cultural charging, we decided that deserves some
more dirt of this area. We knew it that in Rome, there is always
the charm with two faces. We wanted to get to know the vibes
in the dark, and not just at the neighborhood of Colosseo. Especially, because this district still fondled one more hotspot of
the great Roman nights in the lap, which we havent known yet.
This part was discovered by a newold trio of Nri, Lorenzo
and me in November. Our destination is called Monti. The expression echoed in my head familiar, because Beti has already
invited us to party there, but that attempt has failed for some
reason. In this case we couldnt resist to Lorenzos invitation
and the seductive description of the band, which was set in the
agenda of the place, where we went. The rain made me blind
for the small details, but in spite of that I realized that this area

. Centro Storico

is a bit less underground and safer, than the ones fulfilled by


the upcoming spots, which will be told in the next chapters.
This statement hasnt excluded that all of the bars here were
really unique, too. The streets were clean, but the gateways
promised with winks some hippie spirit. We entered the one
with the name plate Pierrot le Fou. Nri was already excited
because of the name. It meant that she could inhale the Parisian
air, where she desired to be. We couldnt step out from our new
Italian image, so we were in a cheeky late. The concert would
have originally started at p.m., but we made ourselves calm,
that its obviously an unserious supposition. The citizens here
are mostly in work at that time, but for sure they havent even
prepared their dinner. Despite of this, we fell overboard, when
we believed that it will be enough to reach the place at half
past ten, like three wet dog. The concert has already finished.
We ordered one glass of nice tuscan vino rosso to each one
of us, and got to the stomach of the tiny pub. It was a small
room, with from the top to the heel mirrors, which gave you
the illusion that its way bigger, than it was in the reality. We sat
at a cute and short table. After Nris persuading performance,
two guys joined our company. They were a couple, and one
of them was really interested in languages, so we had some
linguisticalpsychologicalsociological topics to share and discuss. We were so involved in the conversation that I havent
really noticed that the members of the band were trickled back
slowly to the stage. It was a real surprise, we wouldnt have
supposed that we, the latecomers really deserve a mini concert,
but we got it as a welcome present. It was such an inward,
heartwarming care of the music. I felt like I could sit there to
the eternity and enjoy the feeling of being home, surrounded
by hot colours with a glass of wine in my hand. Three guys
made the show of the togetherness. One of them played the
accordion, another the guitar, and the third one blew his saxophone. They created a new genre for me daringly with the
combination of jazz and folk, but Gli Organi Caldi performed
it with most charming modesty, Ive ever seen.

Rome as we roll it

Around midnight, which was also modest comparing our


other night outs, we toured through the city to get home. It
was raining all night long, and lost more and more patience
in every second with this situation. No one enjoys if we can
unscrew the water from the clothes, but with me its something, which is brought to the next level. In my case, I could
open a pool for the Smurfs in my lap. The rain soldiers next
to me Nri and Lorenzo should have saved her shoes
and heads, but my whole body was soaked in this natural night
shower. Moreover, not just I am that spoilt about the rain issue,
but my loyal accompanist, my Ferrari, too. To save its electricity and not to perform like John Travolta in the Grease final
scenes, I wore a garbage bag costume just for the event, which
is nothing else but my giant purple raincoat. Even our random
Sicilian friend on the night bus recognized it and labeled my
appearance like spettacolare, which means spectacular. So,
Ive just told that This is the British style, mate! Dont be
so focking last year! . And yes, I can pretend anytime that I
come from the United Kingdom, because people around here
all believe that Im American, just because I speak a passable
English. And those obviously spectacular rainy moments its
fun to believe that The entire world is a stage . Besides the
game it the fact made me happy that we had the safe roof
above our heads on the bus and we had the chance to get dry,
while were heading our stop. Before the material protection,
during our walk we had the mental tent above us, in the form
of Lorenzos thoughts. We ended up again in a philosophical
conversation spiced with some Italian small talks, which were
about complaining about the weather to travesty our present
statement and the general peoples favorite topic. This shows
the best that in the simplest and most ordinary, everyday situations, the actual state of mind is able to overwrite any physical
circumstance. And Lorenzo is expert in changing the state of
minds around him to unusual and incredibly high without any
conscious intention.

Chapter IV

Roman edition of the Brave New World


EUR

I got the divine inspiration on a sunny day about EUR, when


we had a lunch together with another Leonardo. One more
actor of my boots comedy, who I havent introduced yet. His
official name between me and Anna, Leo, because chronologically he was the first, who has come in our lives. He came
from the wellknown CouchSurfing database. He is absolutely
not my weight group. He has fifteen years plus to my years,
he got totally different, bit fancy lifestyle, Im the coolest
and most attractive man aura, and maybe too much dirty
CouchSurfing and/ or womanizer experiences. Except for
these notbadbutimportanttomention facts I find him a
really good guy. He has a great sense of humour, he is a striking phenomenon, and somebody with a very warm heart. In
his amazingly entertaining personality is one thing, which I
havent found in traces, and it is the seriousness. This conclusion causes for example that fact, which we had to accept that
he is always late and he is always in a hurry. On the eventual
cloudless day, we have done our same old ritual: we waited,
we waited and waited, not minutes, but hours, and finally he
arrived with some upsetminded excuses. These excuses softened our proud womanhoods anger at the end. One of these
excuses was that he had to get here from an area, which is so far
away. He asked us that we know something about where EUR
is located. It was a funny coincidence, because in the past few
days Anna browsed for some not popular, kind of alternative

Rome as we roll it

sights, and she came across some interesting stuff from there.
After this second impact we decided to conquer the unknown
shelters of this huge neighborhood.
We chose from the calendar a day with the same style as that
they had, when the idea to go there was born. I felt burning sunshine on my skin. It gave the sign that its time to wear the posh
wayfarer sunglasses. Later it turned out that not just the blinding light is the reason to look really fabulous and glamorous
for this tour. We made our daily routine journey with the train
to Ostiense, where we changed to metro B to the direction of
Laurentina. On this line the metro trains are older, dirtier, muggier, and stinkier than on the parfumeairconditioned a line,
but at least all the stops barrier free. Theoretically. Mustknow
about Italy that the system is never working flawlessly, but its
always moving. The situation is not the same with the elevators (because sometimes at some station they havent moved
at all), but perfectly the same final solution. And for me, its
not difficult to confess that this is the main point. To present
the social structure, we tried out that kind of mechanism as
we attempted to be lifted up to the exit by proper machines
at our destination, which was EUR Palasport according to the
original plan. The calling button of the brand new elevator was
flashing scary red. In the similar cases we used to seek first for
some handsome ATAC controller, who could help us. Spontaneously and already almost instantly we hit the box office, but
it was closed and empty. The whole station was so extinct like
the tolling deepness, despite of that it wasnt Sunday. Namely,
in the capital city of Italy, the Sundays seem like at the countryside, in villages or small towns everywhere else in Europe.
People respect them. Sundays are for being with our families
and inhale some fresh air out of the noisy downtown. After
we skeptically checked our calendar, we said a simple Boh.
which is the short and seedy summary of I have no idea or
in a bit more vulgar way Hell knows. Due to the fact that
we were out of masculine help, we left the stage, and passed
away with the next train to the closest optional stop. Luckily, its

. EUR

name still contented the small and needed EUR word, it was
called EUR Magliana. We arrived there with great hopes, but
superfluously, because we faced the same old picture. On the
little button red letters told us Fuori Servizio, also known as
Out of Service. Maybe it was infectious. However, it seemed
that we left home our luck and our plans seemed to be also
kind of futureless, but we didnt give up. Everything can characterize us, but not the attitude, which contains the shadows
of giving up. We needed only few minutes and we already got
the rethought version of the EUR mission. We took the metro
until the final destination. There we changed the direction, and
we made the round back to Rebibbia / Conca DOro, and we
started to test the elevator at the opposite side, on the new
platform of life, at the bright side just to be as metaphorical
as its needed from a writer. We were ready to an endless action, although finally it was quicker, than we expected. At our
originally planned stop hasnt got elevator, but proudly owned
a spacious exit without any stairs, so we caught the opportunity and escaped there from the tube. W bumped into a shiny,
brand new outdoor place, full of refined gentlemen, with high
fashion ties and perfectly ironed shirts and suits. They were all
spending their chilling lunch time released by the work and
family responsibilities. I couldnt define it appropriately, but I
felt the plastic in the air, like the oxygen would have been also
artificial.
Ive felt this several times before, and I have a kind of
soulallergic or mentally allergic reaction to these scenes. I
felt them in my workplace, when I wasted my time at the
computer of an international company day by day, doing without any extreme any useful action. I felt this sometimes on
fake friends gathering at my dads place. It looked pretty
familiar for me. And I couldnt see any chance to identify
myself with this era. Except the people, or it would be rather
better to say, the citizens of this business area, for the first
time we could seek for some soul charging sights. We headed
the huge artificial lake, which we read about before. It was

Rome as we roll it

stretching through the vigorous and wild green landscape.


The emeraldcolored water flew straight ahead strictly. It
sketched perfectly the sterile way of living here. At the bank
of the long lake cute benches spiced the view. Almost every
bench was occupied by the serious businessmen, who filled
the area. They were definitely talking about stock and the big
economical crisis in Italian, but it is just a guess due to the fact
that my tiny language knowledge was rather focused on those
elements, which makes your life easy and sweet, as much as
possible. People always want money to enjoy their everyday
life. I looked through on these faces and I saw the weight of all
the cheating and corruption on their features. Well, nothing
can be purely perfect. Its kind of ironic, especially because
I realized that in this area of Rome, where everybody and
everything is working hard on the image, which expresses
the perfection. I had a sudden association. Few days before
our new friend, Valeria, who will be mentioned later over
and over again due to her great soul, told us that the Italian
cuisine is so charming because of the poverty. When these
words were told, I felt like arrived home, again. If you dont
have too much, youll search always for the simplest solution.
And the simplicity is the most perfect canvas for the paintings of emotions. Valeria told us that the poor people took
what they found home, they put it together, and Cos ! as
the Italians say, we got the pizza! I think this pizza anecdote
could be the counterpole of this district, because the pictures
we saw here was a fake simplicity built by conspirations and
lies. Nothing reminded me to instinctive and honest Italian
virtue. It felt like we would have run out of the map. I could
identify this place, if it would be the prototype of Rome in
the Brave New World. I promised myself, when I moved here
that I wont miss a single square centimeter of the city during
my adventure. I kept my promise, so I set aside my memories from my childhood and the world of my dad in the past,
which smelled like dirty richness, I swallowed, and opened
my eyes for the EUR to find the beauty in it.

. EUR

Anna was pretty prepared for this trip, so she gave the idea
to conquer first the Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul. Regarding
the fact that we got kind of exhausted because of all the metro
elevator troubles, we wanted to chill and fill ourselves up with
the treating sunshine. In the spirit of Hair we let the sunshine in
for half an hour, and after that we followed the blindingly white
dome of the basilica of the XX. century. We sneaked through
huge Hammers with shaded windows. I missed the retro Fiat
cinquecento feeling, but I broke the way with persistence. Soon
we faced hundreds of steps, which directed to the towering
house of God. In the hope that from the heights we will see a
friendlier view of the EUR existence, we struggled ourselves
up to the top step by step. Fortunately these ones werent
so tall than the average Roman berms, which have already
trained Anna pretty well. On the half way of our stair climbing
project, we noticed that there is a detour, which is maybe a bit
longer, but more straightforward. This choice suited to the area
regarding that everything was cheekily direct, like if someone
d una pizza in faccia! This is the expression in Italian for a
nice slap in the face. The surroundings of the basilica can be
characterized with one simple word: megalomaniac. We were
guarded by scary giant empty spaces. Mistakes were hidden
with the brightness of the fake whiteness. We crossed the
road with the welllearnt alertness, which is a skill you have
to use on the general Roman streets. Its the combination of
being quick, react always for the impulsions, cooperate, but
go for it. For the first time it might look chaotic, but it works
powered by soul. Like everything in this city, except this weird
world, which makes me love even more with increased passion
everything else, which is connected to the ancient Rome, with
all its beloved grime. We made a tour around the monument,
looking for an opened gate, but as our heart wasnt really
opened to let in this atmosphere, this atmosphere also didnt
want to let us in.
Besides all my critics I have to mention that a random surprise for fun moments couldnt be missed, wherever we were.

Rome as we roll it

At the extremely colorful rosacea of the church a football was


stuck. We ascertained that the soccer pitch of Romes rich kids
are pretty Godblessed. The newest basilica of the most ancient
city of Europe now seemed like an abandoned ghost house,
but I tried to accept it. From these heights we could see in
the far the contours of the lego city edition of the Colosseo,
which is called not so surprisingly Colosseo Quadrato. As we
got enough from the sterile materials of nothing to say, we
attacked the other strange creation of the soulless life.
As we hit the road from one inapproachable building to
another, our way was margined by the dirtyfilthy traces of
the secret second lives of the society of businessmen, probably
powered by endless suppressions. The signs of the familiar
mistakes, when people forget about the basic values, like family
and love, and change for career. In these cases after a certain
time these people start to miss something, however they cant
define what, so they try to compensate the unknown. The
dozens of the lost condoms of the street in the daytime shows
that after a fancy dinner probably not their cozy beds in their
penthouse was the place which gave home for the acts of love,
or maybe more appropriate to say that the acts of satisfaction.
We just counted the amount of the used condoms, as we used
to do it in Esquilino with the asian people, when we attack
the chapel of sweets, the Giovanni Fassi Gelateria. Without
any racism or againstsex intentions, it was just fun for us, it
was the amount extremity in both cases, which surprised us.
As we were walking on our way and we have been trying so
hard to perceive and interpret all the contradictions of this
neighborhood, we havent noticed that weve just hopponed to
our destination, just like the Roman Hermiones. The Colosseo
Quadrato despite of all the pretenses was as shy and introvert
as the very modern basilica before. It was barricaded by steel
fence, which was towering to the sky, and messaged for the
wanderers that I wont let you in, bastard! It shows exactly
as friendly and welcoming as the whole area, with a bit of
irony, of course. We counted the number of the arcades of the

. EUR

engineercomposed cube if we have been in the mood of


entertaining ourselves with some dirty and not so dirty maths.
Anna informed herself before that the vertical arcades of the
building are the number of the characters of Mussolini, and the
horizontal number of the arcades is same with the characters
of Benito. So here we were at the crown of dictatorship, at the
foot of strict and powerful, mean willings, which surrounded
us like a million of strangers here.
As we felt that we totally ran out of interests of this part
of Rome, we decided to take a last, short walk and then go
home, take a break with the lovely and lively ancient center,
with all the charms of the dirt and chaos, and after that we
will make a second attempt to internalize the district of the
big bargains. The most interesting part of our closing chord
walk was that it was absolutely not as flawless for me as I
would have expected from a superficially spotless world. The
berms were even higher than in the Centro Storico. These
perfectly designed brand new berms were the symbols of this
selfish and careless life here. At least in the centers the time
worked on them, and destroyed them a bit more, so made
them more comfortable. Time generally solves everything. If
you are around the Colosseo, yes the original one without the
arcades of Benito Mussolini, the time in the matter of history
ruined the heights for me. In the matter of present the citizens
make me fly down from them or up to them with the most
natural simplicity and grace. This place was the counterpole of
the instinctive helpfulness and standby mode focused on the
whole society around them. Here, they based another society,
so they ignored that strangers street performance, what we
have done. It was a kind of inverse LSD trip, which reminded
me, why I would stave in the Hungarian people for a rapid
course of the way of living in Italy. And now the footnote
comes: the money agents of Rome would obviously go to the
same cage during the course with the passengers of the main
tram line in Budapest. They are the same monkeys, who cares
that they were jumpers or suits. Ok, maybe the team from

Rome as we roll it

home would be less attractive and handsome, but focus on


the inner beauty for this time. These impressions reminded
me to one of my favorite episodes, which made me say a
Woww! , which Ive just burped out with the honesty of a
baby.
It was so unexpected, so out of place of our every days here,
that after my Wow! I would happily say a Congratulations,
man! You are pretty alternative and individual personality here!
with a nice patting on the shoulders. The situation has happened, when we tried to do the ordinary wellpractised acrobatic stunts, as Anna tries to hold my always inescape head
(thanks to my lazy muscles) and me inside the chair parallel,
furthermore fish down my battery from the top, which was
obviously designed for the smooth german roads. Its pretty
fun to mention here that as I did a bit of observation in the deep
forest of Google, looking for the concurrences about the topic
of the accessible Rome. I found a german version, which had
the conclusion that Rome is an impossible city for wheelchair
users, so its better to choose another mediterrean destination.
Viva la cold flexibility! After when I faced the thousands of
the miniature Mont Everest of berms, I understood why they
summed up their opinion in that pessimist way. However, for
me the difference in level is not a material issue, I measure
it in the soul, so I didnt care about it, and I promised myself
when I read that blog post, that I will show the opposite of
this summary to the world. After the german outlook, back
to the basics: my unique man stood in front of us, watched
concerned our struggle, so I was already waiting for the almost boring clich sentence: Posso servire una mano? , but
it hasnt arrived. He glanced with worried face on his shiny
BMW, which parked right cross the zebra. I know that Im
more expert in parking than him, for sure, especially after this
situation showed it, but as I read from his face, he wasnt that
convinced in this. After I landed without any frontal accident,
he calmed down too, as his manifestation of manhood stayed
in safety, too.

. EUR

The day after our visit in the black and white paradise, we
pointed out the jewel of this chapter. It was the biggest papal
basilica of the magic four, the one which is out of the ancient
borders of the city, and also out of that stranger plastic land.
We took the metro B at our change station, which is Ostiense /
Piramide, although we could take the RomaLido train, too,
which would offer a more beautiful view. The common sense
whispered that we should choose the quicker way, which was
the underground. It was only two stops, and we reached the
appropriate station. It felt like a thunder from the clean sky.
But anyway, it was freshening. We arrived to the ground floor
with the peeflavored elevator. We walked five minutes and
the basilica shined on us with all of its beauty. It was even more
gorgeous, than the St.Peters Basilica, or the other stunning one
at the San Giovanni. In the stomach of the whale I lost Anna
because of the fact that I was stunk into my thoughts, which
were inspired by all the arts I saw there. As far as I departed for
my Annasearchingadventure, I tested pretty trustworthy the
accessibility of the basilica on my own. The ramps were not to
steep and drove me to every corner of the church, even to the
breathtaking cloister, surrounded by four perfectly geometrically placed palms. I found the beautiful frontage in the garden,
which I stared with the honest enthusiasm of a child, instead
of seeking Anna, however finally and luckily she has appeared
very soon.

Chapter V

Behind the scenes


Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

If you want to find an area in this city, which reaches out for
all your senses, choose the second Municipio of Rome. If
you want for all your hidden shelter of your soul and mind
to be heated, just trust me, and choose heights of the Villa
Borghese, the dirty stories of Villa Ada, the passionate sounds
of the drums at the main square of San Lorenzo, or the enchanting gurgle of the old wise fountain at Piazza Mincio. My lines
might sound like a catchy advertisement or the welllearnt
and repeated quotes of Trainspotting and in my brain the
soundtrack with Born Slippy is echoing , but they are all,
simply and purely true. I remember the words of Nri who
is my human motivation, mirror, and representative feedback
when she declared to me her summary about Paris. Shame
on me, but I can only steal it and project it to my Rome. People
are saying this place is full of clichs, and its not an urban
legend, because it is. As Ive already mentioned before the case
of the inthebrainscratched picture of the Colosseo. We all
have to accept it, but there is a way, which makes you able to experience it like a real joy: if you keep your eyes wide open, you
will see, how these sweet clichs are coming to life, and starting
to billow. As a consequence of this billowing you will be overwhelmed by their power in the matter of glancing. Conclusion
is nothing else just the fact that its forbidden to be coward, you
will have to dare to follow the heroes and superstars of the past
and present, there is no chance to underestimate yourself. You

Rome as we roll it

are able to relive the Roman moments of Roger Waters, John


Lennon, or even Scarlett Johansson, who can be almost in the
same age as you are. Why am I throwing and dropping these
names? Am I obsessed of being random or just do I want some
claptrap? No way. In the following paragraphs they will be all
the main characters of my story.
Im looking back the past last month in our living room
nostalgically as Im facing my monitor. Not because it was so
long time ago, but because my memories are so vague and
seem so far away. I couldnt blame their lack of intensity. They
are all more colorful and meaningful, than I could wish, but
when I decided to continue my adventure with this district, I
havent know yet that it will have so many faces, which will
make pretty challenging to control the flow of my thoughts.
Anyway, now Ill try to do it, and I will tell the lively stories of
this magical labyrinth in prussian chronological order.
To start the line I have to introduce to all my readers the
muse of the airiness in this book. Her name is Valeria, and we
found each other in an even more unexpected way, than with
all my CouchSurfer buddies. She read my small Italian teaser
about my plans and goals with her country in Il Messaggero,
which was definitely my generous spring board for my Roman
career. She contacted me to ask for some help for her thesis.
Well, from that moment until now I feel my help which was
honestly just few simple answer for few simple question about
the accessibility of Rome seem to be evanescent comparing
to all that priceless package of impressions, which she gave me
as she invited me to be part of many big episodes of her life.
Nowadays we are always talking about some startup, but
very promising business. If I should draw a caricature of our
meeting, I would put a euro sign instead of our shining eyes,
for sure. But if I want to talk seriously, in this girl I really got
to know someone, who I can call friend here. It can sound like
an evidence, but it is everything but not so axiomatic. Before I
moved here one of my greatest fears was the friends issue ,
right after my creepy house nightmare issue . I know that

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

I feel comfortable in my skin, when I can express all madly


changing pictures and emotions, which has been screened in
my head. For me, the tools to express them are my close friends.
I think my own concept of friendship is a bit different, than in
any other case. Its something determinate. Its written in my
fate. I have no other options just being extremely dependent
physically from the people, who are around me. In change to
being a bit chained in this way I can give extraordinary attention
about the peoples inside processes, which would have been
probably never noticed by anyone else. In the conception of
my world of friendship is a deeper relationship, than in general,
because for me its only built by trust, surreal or not but for me
it contains the intangible everlastingness, and all the progress
of the developing of the bonding is naturally faster. I dont have
any recipe for this, but it works that way in my life. Maybe
this definition for some people too emotional, but I can prove
anybody that its the reality.
After all this reasoning about the meaning of friendship, I
come out with my fear. I believed that as a stranger in a foreign
country, its more difficult to win the trust, which is the basis
of my theory. Valerias case ensured that this urban legend is
really nothing just a myth. From our first meetings I felt that
she let me into her life, and what is it if not the most direct
and most beautiful expression of trust? After our rapid Piazza
del Popolo lunch she invited me for her graduation. Firstly I
was so surprised that I was seeking for the point desperately,
where I misunderstood her message. After I felt nothing but
blessed because I have the chance to being a part of this inward
act of life. I got all the details about the graduation. We had to
aim the economical faculty of La Sapienza. Ive already known
that neighborhood more or less, if I am thinking about all the
pieces of my memories, which Ive collected during my stays
here. First I passed by the faculty of Philosophy with Lorenzo
on a cold winter night with a crazy speeding bus from Libya to
San Lorenzo. To compensate the freezing winter atmosphere, I
got my sweet contrast with the scents of summer or to tell the

Rome as we roll it

truth sometimes the smells of it, when we took the bus from
our temporary home at Tiburtina to the center. As I checked
our destination on the map, all the surrounding streets were
familiar. We had to get up on this stunning Friday morning
very early. As far as we are living here this was the first time
when we had to turn on the light to do the robot mode of the
morning routine. The voice of the alarm reminded me a more
regulated life, and it made feel appreciate the level of freedom,
which Im living here day by day.
On the train to Ostiense we met a Hungarian emigrant, it
was a dual feeling for me. Firstly, it felt good to talk to someone in Hungarian in the most unexpected moment. Maybe
this heart warming is even stronger, if somebody is all alone
as a stranger, but its not my case, because I have here Anna.
After this, I just realized that even this lovely episode couldnt
be efficient to make a bit of homesick in my soul. I think it
means that the Italian atmosphere truly enchanted me. From
the node of the metros and trains, we aimed the Conca dOro
direction, and got off at Policlinico station. I felt indescribable
desire to relive the same sance here, what Ive already done
in January with Nri, but I had to control myself, focus our
certain plans, and leave it for the future. My previous observations promised me that La Sapienza should be from this stop
absolutely inside the horizon. I was wrong, because I ignored
that its a huge building complex, more over we can found
some smaller building and wings in the neighborhood. As it
was early morning, the people were a bit slowed down and
sluggish, when it came to help us. Despite of this after two
short conversations included some chaotic mixes of sinistra,
destra, e dritto we figured out that few blocks away well find
our destination. It was a pretty ugly post socialist building, grey,
tall and bleak. Now I felt lucky that my university is so reputable
and spacious, even if our nation was more influenced by the
soviet taste destruction. Ive seen endless colorful confettis on
the ground, which planted in my head the misgiving that the
party is over . Actually we had a nice chance for it, because

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

of all the unexpected rambles, which werent finished inside


the building, either. We looked for the elevator in the canteen,
and we faced closed barrier at the parking zone, where it really
was. The elevator and I werent really compatible to each other,
however I can proudly spread the world, that my wheelchair
is pretty slim and skillful comparing to the other prototypes.
Should I say that it was just not that into me? The exact problem wasnt the size, but the form. Thanks God, that my duo
with Anna is so practiced and sly that we can do an extreme
makeover in the matter of seconds on my Alfa Romeo, and
make it irresistibly compact. After this Formula remaking, we
finally arranged our aim. Upstairs a lot of people had excited
chitchats, which situation made me calm, because I believed
that it means that we havent missed anything. It was a premature thought, because it turned out soon that here the order of
the graduation is totally not the same like the wellknown and
wellpracticed Hungarian ones. Nota bene: the Italian version
seemed to me friendlier and more logical. At the Sapienza the
faculties classify the students smaller groups for the ceremony.
The ceremony of one group is relatively short, it takes only
half an hour. The tiny branches following each other. It meant
that we unfortunately missed the official congratulation and
the defense of Valerias thesis, but we havent missed the real
fun yet. As we were hesitating about what was exactly happening, suddenly the door of the auditorium opened, and a
lot of unchained students ran out from inside. They were the
usual graduation costume, which I already used to know before. One of the firsts smiles I noticed was Valerias. Even I
scanned her only instantly, because I told to Anna few minutes
before that for sure it hasnt been her turn yet. Well, I was
wrong, although she didnt seem to be mad of me. Moreover
she greeted me with the familiar, typical Valerias own enthusiasm sweetened with some honestly surprised expression on
her face. She gave us a rapid hug, and after that she introduced
us to her boyfriend and to her whole family. My soul had a
sunbath in these seconds. Ive realized before this episode: on

Rome as we roll it

this land the family means everything. Its the base of all the
comparison, its the field, where the people feel the spotless
confidence. Family is something, which is written on your forehead, and you undertake it with a proud as hell attitude. On
this dewy Friday morning I found myself with a magic blow
in the middle of miracles circle. Valeria declared some words
with lead weights, like she is a writer or Daddy, Id like to
introduce you a very talented journalist of Il Messaggero, isnt
it awesome? I wasnt prepared for that kind of compliments,
especially because in some cloudier moments I still cant believe that my gift or my persistence is on an equal level with
the favor that I can collect the little leafs of inspiration from
Rome. Her acknowledgement kicked out my shyness to the
peripheries. I tried to memorize all the classic Italian names,
how the superfriendly family members and friends were called,
but now I can remember just some of them. The person, who
I can call just Mr.in in the absence of the name opened a nice
bottle of champaign on the top of stairs of the building. He was
two in one, because he presented himself in a form of a friend,
and in a form of the photographer of the event. The head of
the family, the alfa and the omega, of course, in the traditional
way, who was the father poured un po to everybody. This
scene shows a perfect sociological summary about the nation:
they deny any greed if its time for any culinary joy. Greed
can only win place if its about soccer or some kind of strike,
as far as I can know what is what now. Under the auspices
of sobriety and modesty we found our plastic glasses quarter
filled. As we looked at the bottom of the glass very soon, we
got a second round. In delirious exhilaration we joined for the
shooting of everlasting family pictures. We took part in the
greatest moment, when a machine is able to pry open the time
on shiny papers or on digital screens, and save the pulse of the
youth veins. We posed on the picture when everybody was
altogether in the last row on our side with Valerias smiling
friend, who was the only friend on the big day except for us.
After that we became the cheerful attendants of a picture with

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

a smaller bunch of people, excluded the mom, the dad, little


brother, and grandparents. Filled up with the loving acceptance
we stayed back a bit to let the shooting more inward, and not
to disturb it with our strange presence. Now Vale posed with
her cute boyfriend, Mauro, after with her parents. We looked
for the right moment to say goodbye, because we didnt want
to involve in the lunch or something, because we didnt want
overspread the borders and lose our real place and role in this
situation. However, after this endearment, I was convinced that
our newborn relationship with this light and freshening soul,
in the person of Valeria, can be called friendship. With this
summary, the morning of the buckshee champaigns and the
buckshee family photos were crowned.
Regarding the fact that we woke up very early we decided
to return home, but we promised the next day for this area.
For the first part of the exploration of the universitys and
ambassadors neighborhood we turned on our dog flair. It was
the advice of Anna. In our association she is the one, who
has the talent to find the way to anywhere by following her
intuitions, and I am the one, who has the patience to check
the map in case of necessity. This time she wanted to heed
the advice of her globetrotter friend from high school, which
was nothing else just Hey, lets roam in Rome! This game
of the words really caught me. Just like the one I came across
on a CouchSurfing profile, which told me the secret that if
we read ROMA from the back, from right to the left, we can
get AMOR. What a spectacular and lovely coincidence and
what an honorable thought from someone, who was born
and live in this city, and couldnt stop loving it. All in all, we
took the wise words and started to map the streets randomly
with our all loving to the direction of the heart of Rome. Then
suddenly we were forced to accept by the fate or God that
everything happens for reason, and every people and every
gate, which is dropped in your way, has a message for you. We
bumped into the huge residence of the Hungarian Ambassador.
We brought to book relieved that if we would lose our ID

Rome as we roll it

card or get any trouble, we could come here. Regarding our


absentminded personalities this visit is not something, which
we could exclude. Soon we proved ourselves that this is the
quartier of all the ambassadors, and not just the Hungarian. We
saw some opulent buildings of the African and Asian countries,
too. We played the mind game that one of the palazzos
would be ours. At this part it became clear that our taste is
pretty different with Anna. We heard before that Villa Ada is
relatively close to the university. We faced a nice and calling park
with playing children, who sang Italian nursery songs and tricky
dogs, who were chasing each other. We entered in the sweet
desert of families in the hope that we found today accidentally
Villa Ada besides the luxurious Hungarian acropolis. It was
decided, that we might could not handle this much luck: the
caption, which was put on the gate of the park told us the
truth: it was a smaller park, but still a nice discovery. Our
stomachs were growling, so after a light wandering under
the trees and pines and smelling the fresh fragrance of the
wellcared grass, we interrupted our tour. We explained it with
the rhythm and the structure. We needed to keep our tunes
exciting: we could not let the bass takes over the power. We
needed some highpitched cords. And we also had to consider
that our Rome was built like a rollercoaster, and we mustnt
leave this schema to enjoy the adrenaline. To sum up our
day was kind of light, easygoing, and flat colored with some
beautiful random sights and unforgettable encounters, but all
in all, fortunately or unfortunately it wasnt too challenging.
After enjoying the literally and metaphorically smooth ground,
we chose the way, where we have to crawl up for the next
day. We chose the mountain air. I also found this interruption
dramatically correct, because for this day we explored the right
side of the magic line of tram three, if we stay in front of the
Sapienzas building, where we started. So the university gave
us a striking divide. For the other going down with extremely
high speed on our rollercoaster train we have conquered the
left wing of the tram three.

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

Fulfilled with students spirit we set to work on the height.


Although a great coincidence crossed our way, too, which was
a surprising new invitation from Valeria. She texted me that
it would be a pleasure if we would hang a bit out with them
on a random celebration with her friends due to the successful
graduation. She informed us that we dont have to do anything
else just bring ourselves and some blankets under ourselves,
because it will be a picnic, which will take place in the Villa
Borghese. I really got excited because of these news. The atmosphere of Villa Borghese was familiar to me, and it meant
flower power feeling and the free hippie vibration. For me, it
is one of the places in Rome, where the young blood is rushing freshly according to my flashbacks from the past. Valeria
explained the way to get to the spot, where they settled for
the cute friends gathering. It was a new approach of the park,
Ive never got in from this way before. We walked through the
wellknown ancient streets from Termini to Barberini. However, there is a metro stop at Barberini, too, but it was built in
a style of Budapest, which means that it was barricade from
me with dozens of steps. From Barberini we needed to follow
the road, called Via Vittorio Veneto. There were slopes suitable
for skiing, but not for rolling, but at least it wasnt combined
with cobblestones. Anyway, the increase in the angle of the
slope meant that we got there earlier than expected, due to the
unintentional speed. However, it didnt mean that we were on
time. To be honest, the Italian mentality has stuck on us easily:
in these days for me the concept of time was something really
unserious and relative. Something, which can only appear in
jokes. We passed the massive stone gate of this unknown side
of Villa Borghese, we cut through an empty outdoor cinema to
reach our destination. It was so inward and charming, I could
easily imagine here a romantic summer night, watching an old
black and white movie, like the Roman Vacation with Audrey
Hepburn. As we got out of the openair cinema, we spotted
the arty carousel with golden plastic horses. I noticed not just
a patch this childrens dream but group of Valeria, too. Soon I

Rome as we roll it

scanned a girl with pink sweater, it meant that we found them.


I introduced myself to everyone. After few one, I said Piacere
automatically, when I got used to the fact that almost no one
speaks English. The situation was very similar to the official
graduation. Previously I felt my or our presence awkward, but
in that blessed moment when we practically arrived, this feeling vanished away, and I set myself in a mood, when you are
totally at the right place, in the right time, comfortably calm.
A forthefirstsight awesome idea suddenly came from
Anna and Valeria: to be in the same height level with them, and
not towering upon the harmonizing team, I should get out of
my wheelchair and sit on the ground, too. In an idealistic world,
where the grass of the park isnt overly bumpy it would have
been more, than lovely. But in fact, the slap in the face comes
sometimes that its not an idealistic world, neither in Rome,
which is almost unbelievable. I really tried hard to keep my
balance on our small hill, which was temporary successful, in
the part of the time, when I focused only on this project, which
excluded the possibility of eating anything from the heavenly
food or just taking some light Italian beer, Tuscan red wine, or
the participation of a carefree conversation. Obviously, it didnt
mean that I havent attempted to balance myself and bow for
the culinary joys parallel, although it resulted that I leaned on
Annas shoulder, like we would be a romantic lesbian couple.
After the seemingly endless minutes of my huge effort I put
to act like it would be comfortable, I made up my mind and
I voted for my cozy wheelchair, and enjoyed that from that
height I can see everybodys faces, so I can get a perfect picture
about the general frame of mind. I continued the common
template of the pizzabeerpaniniwine combination.
Soon it got clearer that almost everybody is over years,
even the years old Valerias boyfriend. I wouldnt have presumed that, because even is soul, mind, and body they seemed
incomparably younger, than the Hungarians in this age. They
were opened, flexible, and fun people, with so seductive and
brave dreams and achievements, what I really appreciate. Due

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

to the fact that most of the conversations were Italian, we picked


as a companion two people, who spoke and loved to speak
English at the same time. It was Valeria and one of her best
friends. That girl was very sensitive about the little details and
she remembered a lot about Hungarian habits and expressions,
because as it turned out, she lived together during her Erasmus with two hungarian students. Meanwhile we lived literally
a dolce vita episode, Lorenzo was searching for us at Pincio,
which is the other end of Villa Borghese. It was symptom of
the typical Italian disease, which we should call serious self
organization problems . This example shows that we already
were infected. My two appointment gently slid into each other
and Ive realized it too late. Weve been at the picnic for hardly
one hour, and everybody was so interesting for me that I could
stay there and talk to everyone, person by person one hour,
regardless the language barriers. In the same time, I yearned
to spend again valuable time with Lorenzo. I tried to keep
the doublepoled situation more balanced, than I did the same
with my body in the grass. I called Lorenzo to come there
and join this amazing brunch. However, I have already had the
impression about him that he is a lonely wolf with an incredibly rich inner property in his soul. And unfortunately I could
guess that this richness is the less expressed the more people
are around. But in the hope that, if the dialogues are made in
his mother tongue, it might change the scheme. Lorenzo got a
bit lost, or hasnt chosen the easiest way to get there, but finally
he found us. He crouched next to the others. Weve started
talk about some Italian, Hungarian, and international political
issues, partly English, party Italian. However, I almost understood everything regardless, in which grammatical tense they
were exactly, but shame on me, I still couldnt manage a debate
in Italian, when it came to react to their thoughts. After half
an hour our brilliant trio left the stage and the fantastic friends
of Valeria. Our direction became the original meeting point,
Pincio. If I had to choose a place of the infinite beautiful spots,
which were found by us in this city to identify Rome with,

Rome as we roll it

I would definitely choose Pincio. If Im thinking about my


first visit here, I automatically start to remember that moment,
when we stared at the mystic night view of the city from there
and I felt the homesick, as I realized that in few hours Ill be on
the airplane on our way back to Budapest. What a paradox: I felt
homesick, when it came to turn back home. I think there is no
prove needed to make me believe that Rome is written in my
fate. In one ennobling sentence: Pincio planted in my heart the
Eternal City as my second, or maybe even the first of course
not chronologically hometown. In my other book, which
I am writing in Hungarian, Pincio is the base of the closing
chapter. I think as long as I will live here, that place will be my
church. The church, where I can always go, whenever I need
peace, inspiration, or motivation, which is the sweet illusion of
freedom. Yes, this is the place, where I also found some reachable and visible form of freedom. Small scenes of freedom. As
we walked there, following the lavendercolored flowers on
the wall, which margined the road, I really felt nostalgic. A bus
speeded away next to us, and I remembered the same pictures
from the summer. We hurried at the edge of the road in Indian
file, because of course, there were no sidewalks, which would
be more or less suitable for me. This was our summer holiday,
when Lorenzo detailed Anna that hell send some leafs of lotus
from Tuscany via post to use it for her earring business. It is
worth to know that Anna creates spectacular earring from several leafs of the nature. Lorenzo, who is the son of the nature
from my point of view, really and honestly supported it. That
was a so romantic act of our special common presence, which
could have been reborn on this day, because it was really powerful. Im always wondering about that how could someone
be that romantic, without any consciousness or mannerism.
I always talk about it with Nri, who is also my author partner in my other book, besides that shes a great friend, as Ive
already mentioned before. We always bring the example that
Lorenzo just simply used to say something like it would be
the worlds most ordinary saying, and it makes you feel at that

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

point you are the part of a fairytale, where everything is made


of purely nice things. We stopped in the bus stop, where we
could take one to Valle Aurelia, and I felt that with a newer, but
typical talk with Lorenzo revived that romantic harmony from
July. We had to wait almost an hour until a proper bus arrived
without the bothering rod in the middle, which used to stop
me to get on. Lorenzo waited with us in patience, however he
dropped the spoiler that he still plans to go for a place to paint
something symmetric at the Pincio. It proves too that there
is inspiration in the air, I was right. As we left that enchanted
place and Lorenzo, we already started to imagine the details of
the arrival down there with the rollercoaster, to see again the
neighborhood of Policlinico, and to follow the left wing of the
tram line.
Before we would row our boat to the rivers of Policlinico I
would like to introduce another little jewelry box of the city,
which is tightly linked to Pincio, because at the very first time I
was pilgrimaging with Lorenzo and Nri in the winter from
there to the magic spot, which is Pincio. If you are on the top,
and you can resist the fantastic view with the monument of
Piazza Venezia or the cupola of the St. Peters Basilica, therefore
you can look strictly down and then you can see a familiar
place. I correct myself its familiar for the ones, who knows
the Roman Vacation starred by Audrey Hepburn. This square
is nothing else but Piazza del Popolo. I could count many
meaningful hotspot of this place for me, and its only one
square. First is the obelisk in the middle, surrounded by the
fountain with the lion sculptures. This part goes for the trio of
October, which included Anna, Dalma, and me. Dalma is one
of the best friends of Anna, who lives in the United Kingdom,
and she could eventually visit us for few days. That girl is crazy
with the strongest emphasis I could ever put on a word, and
in the best way in my interpretation. We settled down to the
steps of the obelisk with a bottle of cheap red wine to start
the party, which will be detailed later. Anna joined us later, so
she brought from home some heavenly delicious pancakes

Rome as we roll it

filled with jam and cocoa. From the right side of the square
which was our side a guy played on his electric guitar
and with only one amplifier some of our favorite songs, like
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. This tunes stretched the
memories of this evening a bit deeper, than it would have been
stretched without them. On the other side a street performer
danced some Michael Jackson choreography for his classic
beats. Dalma and Anna rode the lions and they took extremely
funny pictures about each other, while I enjoyed my wine at
the bottom. The other important corner of Piazza del Popolo
is Canova Caf, where we sat down for inspiration with Nri
and Lorenzo due to the fact that there was the haunt of Mrai
Sndor, who is a wonderful Hungarian writer, and he left his
home, just like me, but the reasons were pretty different. I
dont want to involve anybody to a literature history course,
so I just advice to google it, because the story is worth. We
had a nice chat with a cup of espresso, which was also worth,
exactly euros, so next time we will choose a local caf for
inspiration. Although we were having shower of glory because
we conquered our favorite top of Rome, where we can see even
Piazza del Popolo, we could even picture that culturally filled
up feeling what we should have expected from the following
days.
To the Parioli area we took the tram from Ostiense. For
the first sight, it seems to be very simple, but it wasnt. The
difficult version of getting there was actually more difficult
because of one single safety island, which originally was made
to make it easier to get on the tram, but for sure, not for me.
The height of the berm was almost the same as the difference
in level between the train and the platform at Trastevere station.
Moreover, it was put to the edge of busy bend without a traffic
light, so we really had to catch the right second. Sometimes
Im in a Jim Morrison mood, in female edition, which means
that I feel Im the lizard queen, I can do anything , and in
that cases I just enjoy the danger, and I love the way as I can
get over it easily, and then find myself as a winner of that task.

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

But other times I can forget my faith at home, I focus others


point of view, like how clumsy we look like, when somebody
tries to struggle me down from that berm, where others just
step up and down in a way that they hasnt even recognized
it. Its automatic. In the Jim mood it works automatically to
me, too. Even if it looks from outside like a suicidal jump from
the wheelchair, my ragdoll moves are also wellknown and
properly handled, because I know what will happen after that,
and Im just concentrating to the finish line. Now it was the
defeatist mode, when I dont really focus on anything, just
about being envious about the dozens of people who jumped
up to the tram, while we were suffering between the berm and
the rails.
It is also very interesting how we can send our signals unintentionally to the people of the world. I mean, forthcoming
Italian mentality or not, if I put on my wellpracticed and genetically coded Hungarian sour face mask, then nobody will
hurry to help us out from the deep shit. If you feel and express
that you are cool, so you deserve to manage this crap as cool as
possible, then all the little details around you, will collaborate
to make it happen. This is the rule of my life, which I try to
follow, well, most of the times.
After our suffering performance the tram driver jumped
out from his cabin, as he realized that there is no other chance
to become his passenger, worst case just his victim under the
trams wheels. It turned out soon that it was just the warm
up, because between the berm and the ground of the tram an
even bigger dark gap was gaping. Anyway, I used to put myself
together in a matter of glance, so I did the same now. I have
already tried to contribute with the balancing and not losing my
head literally. We glided with the tram until the Buenos Aires
stop, when we left it in a more efficient way, than we took it. We
faced with a meticulously decorated frontage of a church with
an Argentinian flag on it. The church was covered from outside
with a lot of mural and golden and bronze paintings. I loved
how the setting sun played on them, as the sunbeam bounced

Rome as we roll it

back from them. Anna checked the church inside, because


from the main entrance it wouldnt have been accessible for
me. Actually I felt so strong spiritual wave just because of the
spectacle that I didnt need to pray for it, so I didnt mind that
had to base on my imagination again. We walked along the
street next to the right side of the church, and eventually I felt
a wonderful and perfect djvu. The island of the peace, my
favorite little square, which Lorenzo showed us was simply
dropped in our way. I was searching for it madly and I couldnt
find it before. That time I wouldnt expect that I could feed my
eyes with Piazza Mincio, where two girls, Via Dora and Via
Brenta crossed each others way. From that time I called that
district the place of the literally heavensent tale. We passed
the same arcade, as we passed in the wintertime, I noticed the
same school with the school kids, who were wearing their
uniforms. We walked around the same mosscovered fountain.
We sat down there to charge ourselves with the energy of the
sunshine. I heard from a guy in a bar that for the kings of
s and s like the members of Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and
Nirvana it became a tradition to pilgrimage to that fountain
and throw their clothes into the water. It didnt make any sense
for me, but this story brought them a bit closer to me, because
there is something common in our destiny. We inhaled the
smell of the Beatles spirit from the past, and I felt absolutely
satisfied with my life.
We couldnt get enough from the area that time, so we
browsed our map what else we could explore. We realized
that Villa Ada unfolds near, so this is time to get lost in the
deep forest. Soon we arrived to one of the entrances of the
unmeasurably huge park. I wouldnt have supposed that with
these distances it could be called a park. It could be itself
the countryside. As we entered I felt myself absolutely lost. I
couldnt have chosen one direction from the endless paths, so I
let Anna decide. She has chosen one next to the brickcolored
tall wall. We followed the line, I felt that we started to aim the
sky again, as my angle was growing and growing like I would

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

have been on an airplane, on a big jet plane, as Angus and Julia


Stone would say so. White pebbles crackled under my wheels,
and I heard from the languid sounds of the motors that meant
the magic car was struggling really hard to move forward.
Suddenly we crashed into a vent, which was barricaded with a
barrier. From the two sides it was margined by gaps designed
for the slim Italian shapes, but obviously not for wheelchairs.
Despite that rational fact I put my trust to my driving skills,
which have already proved that magically nothing is too narrow
for me. Maybe in these cases a real trick happens, which spits
on the reality and makes me liquid. At this time I could also
squeeze myself through the gap, even if Anna had to push and
pull like for minutes, which seemed to last to the eternity. We
had to admit that with this action we got out of the park and
we didnt know how to get back, although we really wanted to
find that lake and cute natural oasiss, which we heard about
before in connection Villa Ada.
This was the first time here, when we felt the cold in the air
in the early afternoon, so we put on our autumn coats and continued the discovery. Anna had the idea that we should follow
that already mentioned wall and we might find another gate,
which let us in again. I got her advice, so we walked on the pavement, which was drawn like the edge of the green area. It was a
really peaceful neighborhood again. As we looked around, the
view and the impressions made us feel sure that the inhabitants
of the houses around dont really have to count with money
issues. They were a part of the infinitesimal layer of the Roman society, who are that lucky. Valeria told us before that its
an existing situation that an over years old talented lawyer
with valuable previous job experiences earns only euros.
The average rental for an average room in Rome is
euros, just saying as a benchmark for those, who are not from
Italy or any other Western or Central European countries like
me. Economical crisis afflicts almost every country, there is
no mercy anymore. Now Land Rovers and other fancy cars
parked all around. However this view smelled like a bit plastic

Rome as we roll it

for me again, I still saved it in my mind along with the cute and
really entertaining episode from the surrounding hills of Villa
Ada. There was an empty and lonely Smart on the road. Unexpectedly four youngsters and a slapstick and sweetly behemoth
dog appeared, ran towards the mini car like they would have
been chased by someone or something super frightening. They
crammed themselves into the extremely tiny space inside the
car. Maybe they used the same liquid magic trick, I used to do
as a routine exercise. Actually this performance made my day,
we couldnt stop laughing for a while, until the fully packed car
hasnt left the horizon.
We found yellow signs on the road, which showed the
needed space for the bus, which theoretically stops there. We
have waited for it half an hour, which I thought, in the capital
city, in the daytime, is more than enough. Later I had to accept
that in Rome there are some nonsense, which you have to
accept regarding the public transport, even in more crowded
and more popular areas. We checked the timetable. As we were
reading that we noticed that not just the regularity but the arrival of the last buses was also absurd. Officially it used to come
at p.m. Fortunately, the direction of the bus wasnt suitable for
us, so walked forward in the hope that we will find the other
part of the park, or at least the way back home, because at that
time we were in the middle of nowhere. As we followed the
road we realized that we were just getting further and further
from the strong green patch. We got tired, so we made up our
mind: one day we have to gain up Romes biggest park from
somewhere else to find that lake, for example, but for now we
should teletransport to the society, like the real AntiAlexander
Supertramps. We spotted a familiar pharmacy, which we have
already passed before. We followed that road in the hope that it
will lead us to the right direction.
We were true, moreover we found a bus, which could take
us right to the Termini. This solution seemed quite comfortable, so it cheered us up. Another lovely surprise was the moment, when I noticed that I cut more dash than in general .The

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

reason was the flashing and sirening bus, which was basically
a good sign. It meant that the electrically powered ramp was
finally working. The middle door was sticking out its tongue
and I rolled up on it happily. The bus reached a stop, called Piazza Ungheria. Yes, it is named like my country and it made me
feel like a proud Hungarian, far in Italy. The bus turned to the
line of the tram, which we already have known. From Piazza
Ungheria it took less than minutes to get to Buenos Aires,
where we started our fairytale day. This recognition planted a
new and strange feeling in my heart. We all in this world are so
close to each other like these two stops: just minutes by bus.
People can feel so easily close to others from my point of view.
Its a bit philosophical, but I felt there, so I dont feel ashamed
to put down in words here in the middle of the introduction of
Parioli.
Everybody is searching for the meaning of life, and everybody found different solutions, which could change day by
day, month by month, year by year, as quickly as the persons
soul is changing. For now, in my interpretation the meaning
of life is the people around. People around me, regardless that
its Budapest or Rome. For me, career is not that important,
money is just a tool to keep ourselves alive, to have the chance
to get in touch and keep in touch with people. All my friends
are very sociable, but they all are starving for different components of the human soul. Now, Im just bringing two very
intense and constantly presented way of thinking about the
peoples relationships with each other. Im starting now with
Nris uptake. She believes in the meeting, or in the get in
touch part. She always wants to know more and more life
stories, more and more philosophies, moreover not just more
but newer. This is her petrol, her energy. Its a system, which
is moving and transforming in every single second. For Anna
people means the confidence and roots. So, people with capital
letters in her life are her family, her boyfriend and some very
close friends. Its something steady, permanent and demarcated.
Im somewhere in the middle. My pasta is kneaded from the

Rome as we roll it

ingredients of them with some addition. I need my basis and


my roots, as Anna needs it. I believe in everlasting relations,
even if it sounds too romantic or too idealistic. Until now, I
have some example, which proved it, and of course Ive already
got some flips, as slaps in the face, which showed the opposite.
But the scales were tipped to the right, to the idealistic side.
Besides my roots I also need the sky. The sky means for me the
journey in the great new souls. The journeys, where I found
them and how I can keep them. Im interested in the life stories
and philosophies if I also can find the links. The links, which
will create a common world between us. My soul food is the
experiences through all the hurts, all the dreams, all the beauties, all the inner developments of the previous and present life
will be shown up. Im not an expert in get in touch with people.
Every case with my friends they were the ones who found me,
and I was the one, who put an effort to keep them. This is the
routine of all my friendships. This is one of the reasons because
Im so happy that I can live here for a while: people get in touch
with you cheekily easily because of the instinctive airiness, with
a real Take it easy! attitude. I figured out that this is the main
point of my coded interaction with Rome. The lyrics of our
What goes around comes around . I have to learn airiness
from the people around me here, because if I cant walk, I have
to fly. And the only condition, which I need to fly is airiness.
This component is sometimes still missing from my state of
mind, and every time I miss this, I start to feel that Im not
flying, so I also feel that I cant walk, which is obviously not my
way. What I can give in change for this knowledge is the way,
which is pretty unknown for the people here in my opinion, is
the beauty of the proximity and the deepness. This is what I can
teach here. After my long cogitation, we finally and eventually
arrived to the point, where I started. Im from Ungheria, and
Leonardo is from Buenos Aires, originally. I really took the
proximity of these squares as a sign. I really hope that at the
end we will put in our relationship both of these advantages
I was writing about before. I hope we can be as close to each

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

other as this two stops in an airy, and not in an insisting way.


I think thats an important aim of my sojourn, with him and
also with many other people, even for my personal evolution.
That was the inner construction, which I built up during we
reached Termini from Villa Ada.
This naturally and philosophically dense day was followed
by the first act of a culturally dense day at the neighborhood
of Stazione Ostiense, which we used to pass almost everyday.
We attacked the museum of Testaccio MACRO with Anna on
the day, when Nri has arrived in Rome. As we followed the
right way to the museum, we bumped into endless strange
cafs and bars. It was like a different world, like the Cuban
island in the middle of a suburb area of Rome. They looked
like the perfect combination of abandoned seaside weekend
houses and the typical ruin pubs of Budapest. I think I dont
have to introduce the first component, but I can tell you
maybe some new informations about the second one, especially if somebody is not Hungarian. Ruin pubs are a bit dark,
but in a good way. I can describe this darkness as romantic
and same time dirty halflight, where everything can happen, and everything will stay in secret. The furnitures are
random and messy, sometimes useless, but the overall picture
is overwhelmingly artistic. They all seem like a shelter, which
attracts a supermix of different people with colorful souls.
However the bars and pubs of Testaccio werent placed in a
big tenement house, but in mediterrean cottage houses, and
they were still all empty and not crowded by diverse guests
due to the fact that it was daytime, but they still reminded me
to that ruin pubs, no doubt. As we were bedazzled by this enchanted land, we imperceptibly reached our destination. We
got there around p.m. in the hope that a serious museum
wont close its doors for siesta time. Well, it was closed, not
because of siesta, but because it was still very early for them.
We checked the opening hours also known as Orario in
Italian, and it showed that it is opened everyday except for
Mondays, of course, from p.m. to p.m. So it goes.

Rome as we roll it

What could we do then? The garden was still open for the
curious visitors. There was an opened window at the right side
of the gate, where sweet noises of musical instruments were
filtering out. It was an elementary music school. Suddenly I felt
that it would be nice if I could express myself playing music.
We entered to the outdoor territory of MACRO. There were
loitering art university students. They dressed like hipsters
in a bit a more individual way. In the garden you can find a
long stretching edifice, which reminded me to a stable. Around
the edifice there were stakes and between the stakes flimsy
ropes were pried open. The art students were zigzagging all
the way with papers in their hands. Actually as I could decode
every piece of paper was a piece of contemporary art created
by them. They hung the paintings to the ropes with clothes
pegs. It was so cute like a kindergarten sance. In the middle
of the garden a bamboo installation towered. It was almost as
monumental as a skyscraper, because I couldnt see the top of
it. In the opening hours its possible to climb to the top, but
of course not for me. However, its pretty obvious, because it
would be difficult to imagine that they could build an elevator
into a more than meters high dickey bamboo tower. Soon
we got an explanation for the huge amount of the students.
Another wing of the complex is owned by Roma Tre University.
There we found a canteen and some lecture halls, too. The first
part of the MACRO conquer was labelled by the atmosphere.
We couldnt stay as long as they would have opened their
doors, because Nri was landed before and we had to go to
pick her up at Valle Aurelia. Only one day later I could return
with my freshly arrived companion, with Signorina Entusiasta,
officially called Nra Kbel. We were already wellinformed,
so we gave that next try after p.m. and it meant that we could
manage a successful perforation. The exhibition was overly
modern for me. I confess that most of the time I cant identify
myself with the contemporary art. Its simply too pessimistic
and too creepy for me. Nri watched from sunbed a short
movie about the transformation of the water. We watched

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

other pieces of art about the positive and negative sides of


the pulsating of worlds metropolises. Some of them were
really catchy, but my overall experience was that I felt depressed
and spleenful as I left the place. Nri climbed the bamboo
skyscraper, but for her the view from the top wasnt enough
to forget the shock. As far as I had to wait for her downstairs I
focused my mind on the exciting bars, which were surrounding
us. I was sure that she will love it, because she is obsessed of
chaos. Ive already informed myself for the second visit that this
party district, Testaccio, is also known as The New Trastevere.
The sun was already set and the stars filled up the deep blue
sky. Despite of these features of the evening the bars were still
empty: partly closed, or partly hardly awakening. We chose one,
which was open and seemed more or less attractive. We drank
our night time cappuccino and went through our ordinary
philosophical topics. The vans have just arrived to fill up the
fridges with goods. It showed perfectly that eight oclock was
still very early for partying in Rome.
In the evening of that day, where my formal and informal
adviser, Nri has arrived, we turned up again in the shadow of
the pyramid, although this time it was invisible and metaphorical, because it was quite late night. We took our train from
Gemelli around p.m. At this time the trains didnt use to
come too often, so we crossed our fingers to catch it, but finally
and of course we made it. In spite the fact that the lift went
down super slowly. I turned on the turbo mode on my chariot
of fire, so the proper door of the train was still open. Here
comes a practical Trenitalia train description: the wheelchair
accessible door is the second one, but totally random that it is
at the front or at the back of the train. So I can only confide
in the countingrhymes, which sometimes works, sometimes
not. Now it wasnt question, because our delay, so I could only
pray to find the accessible door in the back this time. The gap
is the same there, as at the other doors, but at least there is
no rod in the middle. Same shit like on some ATAC buses.
minutes later we reached again the final destination of our line.

Rome as we roll it

We didnt have to ask for help, because help here is automatic,


they grab my car instantly without any question or any doubt,
even if sometimes they take me apart and take me to pieces,
yes literally me and my wheelchair, too. After these passionate
attacks I used to look like someone who was stripped, beaten,
and raped, or something. You know this is my party outfit in
Rome: my mission is to bring in fashion the disheveled hair for
the girls and few wheelchair fixtures like accessories for guys.
My favorite situation in these cases is, when thanks to the
blessed Italian enthusiasm (and here is no irony, Im really
grateful because of this attitude) ten people barricaded me and
started to fight, who will grab my chair to lift me up or down,
because obviously the suitable for this action is maximum four
people. In this fight they never let my friends close to the fire,
who could really show the way how to do it. Of course, the
testosterone is working persistently, so everybody tries to be a
Hercules and tighten the muscles harder, better, faster, stronger
as the others could do. But I dont think that I would ever mind
these cases, because these are so entertaining, and finally I
always landed without any major problem, and fashion is still
fashion, so the ones who dont agree, back off!
At that time, when we found ourselves at Ostiense station
with Nri, only one polite guy helped us and he did it perfectly,
but it wasnt the end of the lifting scenes of the night. We
reached the scary tram station with the high berms at Ostiense,
which Ive already discovered with Anna before. Well, as far as
I learnt from that case, I bypassed the safety island and tried
to attack it from the other side. In association with Nri the
mission was completed, so in the matter of glances we could
wait happily for the tram, which never ever has come. First we
accosted a man, who was waiting next to us. He told us that he
is also waiting for the tram, but he didnt understood, why it
was not coming. Soon we stood there in the company of the
two other people without any idea. Nri started to chat with
the girl, just to be faithful to her initiator personality. The man
disappeared too, after he informed us that hell rather take the

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

bus. We were wondering about the reason of our waiting could


be a partial sciopero, which means strike, and which is pretty
everyday stuff here. People like to do it regularly like if people
used to go to the gym three times per week, or something like
this. We were really patient, but after more than half an hour we
gave up and followed the girl, who showed the way to the bus.
We believed in her, although she had to ask for informations
too, so she looked a bit lost like us. As it turned out later the
reason of this lost feeling was that she is a real traveler, and she
just returned to Rome after she got her degree in Paris. Nri
was bidding before that she is french due to the fact that she has
a french sensor, but as it got clear she was partly right. In few
minutes we knew some basic information about each other.
Her name was Giulia, and I can say she is a more obsessed
globetrotter, than we are. She couldnt stop apologize because
of that she couldnt be sure about the current public transport
situation. She told us that sometimes she feels herself here as a
stranger. She compared herself to a little girl, who is lost in the
crowded town and cant find her way in the labyrinth of mystic
alleys and anomalistic narrow streets. I think her personality
has already absorbed the french attitude: she was nice with a
great sense of everything. She was smiley and opened, but in
the same time she kept more distance, than an average Italian
and sometimes I felt she showed a bit of superiority due to her
experiences from all around the world.
Our bus rolled to the stop soon and with a totally random
combination of people I found myself on the board. One of our
helpers was the guy, who left the tram station before us, so
it was fateful to meet again. Another guy looked a bit weird,
I had the intuition that hes a sect member, but maybe I was
completely wrong, because in this city its absolutely not an
easy mission to put the people in boxes. We asked Giulia how
far is San Lorenzo / Sardi, which was given us as the proper
coordinate. We were staring her with endless hope in our eyes,
but she was still very puzzled, however Giulia looked for the
same direction as she is living in San Lorenzo, too, which was

Rome as we roll it

the biggest paradox of this lost case. At the end of our bus
journey Nri stuck her enthusiasm to the girl and she won
back her cheerful Italian face and the spontaneity, which comes
together with this, of course.
As we approached the fire, we heard the sound of the drums
louder and louder. I think it is my favorite instrument. We discussed it with Anna before that drums really make move inside
very primeval emotions. In the streets drummers appear and
bring some rhythm in your day, and its kind of awakening of
the instincts, in a good way. She accompanied us right to Piazza
dellImmacolata and in the very last moments we changed our
contacts. From that time weve just called her Lady Pepperoni,
because for the first time Nri misunderstood her surname,
which sounded pretty similar to Pepperoni. It has become a
nice inside joke between us later. An episode like this after
more than one month in Rome has become simply natural,
although I couldnt imagine the same in a sober state of mind
at home, in Budapest. People can be so closed in their own
worlds few hundred kilometers away from here.
Nri rolled her cigarettes in the warm lights of the square
as we were waiting for Leonardo. We have chased each other
for minutes which felt endlessly long. I hoped that he will recognize me, because I can tell surely that I am very conspicuous
even in the craziest crowd. Despite of this hope I was the one,
who spotted his super tall silhouette, while we were hanging
on our phone, trying to clarify our coordinates. We perched a
bit at the square, while Nri was smoking. After I felt Giulia
is literally lost in the city, I was convinced that Leonardo is
also very lost, just in the forest of thoughts and teasing doubts.
Somehow we started to talk about working at international
companies, as both of us had some previous and / or present
experience about it, except for our freshly landed Signorina
Entusiasta. In Hungary if somebody works for this kind of
companies a secure status will automatically come together
with the position in every field. People from this era are appreciated professionally and socially, too. If you work for the

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

market, youll become an important person. Its an interesting


consequence of mines that people here not so proud of these
kind of job. Generally in Italy the souls are not structured this
way, because they are more sensitive however, I know its
just the opinion of an outsider , to the worlds tiny flutters. I
used to see as their eyes light up if its time to discuss any kind
of nuances in the field of philosophy. If you start a conversation
accidentally with someone on the street there is a nice chance
that he or she will study philosophy or linguistics, and it really
has the charm if you will get this information staying behind
an ancient ruin. If I try to picture that these guys would have
said they are studying marketing and management which is
one of the most popular fields in Budapest that would have
been a kind of nonsense. Its like the EUR district of Rome, or
like a palace in a slum. Something inapposite. Maybe it sounds
silly but Rome is the city where even the problems are absent
minded problems, or at least caused by the absentminded
state of mind of the citizens. I wont detail it longer, because
anybody can filter it out as I hope that my lines lead down
to the meaning of my or our average Roman encounters and
conversations.
Leonardo placed himself in the view of Rome comfortably,
he assimilated perfectly: he acts and he talks like a native Italian, he can even put by the locals, so the only odd feature is
his job. Im sure he feels inconvenient with the soulless office
life and he has to face that its a sterile way of life because he
is surrounded with something else. I think the general atmosphere in Rome is the euphoria, even when the rush is fighting
for place in the metro station: they do it with euphorical persistence. In Hungary it would be a more difficult mission to
notice that your life or your career is not on the right way. I
think here the traditions, the history and the stretching space of
the emotions cant stop hold the mirrors, which shows you the
ugly truth. Thats what I realized in the overwhelming sounds
of freedom, in the shadow of a glance of his starry eyes: fears
playing hideandseek because of the recognition that theres

Rome as we roll it

one puzzle, which doesnt fit somehow in the picture. I think


this was the first time when the feeling of being lost slapped
me and I knew that during a half year long sojourn it wont be
the last time.
Suddenly we decided that we will head to somewhere,
where we could settle for drinking a few glasses of wine. We
havent expected that these magical few glasses of wine will
be actually in plastic glasses, although Ive already known this
style of the Roman night outs from the summer. However, I
convinced myself that the weather is not so sweaty by night, in
the beginning of November I had to wait that long for my
very first San Lorenzo conquer of my Italian life. We tried to
follow Leonardo, which was a real challenge because Im not
a Speedy Gonzalez on the cobblestones due to the fact that I
dont want my superchair to fall in pieces, and Nri is also a
small lady. I just call her sometimes Smurfette, especially when
she has to stand on tiptoes to rich our Italian breakfast, which
is chocolate chips biscuits. In spite of these biological features,
Leo is bewilderingly tall, so his average speed is the double of
our maximal speed, I guess. We stopped at a random corner,
and at the corner we faced a typical local Bar. Its something
individual here, like the ruin pubs in Budapest. If somebody
say that we will go to a bar , Ill expect for a place, where
are waiters, bartenders, people inside and outside, tables inside
and outside with some glasses of cocktails on the top. But in
this city they are just very simple spots to grab a bottle of wine
and take it to the street to get buzzed there in the ring of your
friends. I found in this way of going out something inward and
rebellious in the same time. Inward, because it really irritated
me at home that we mix the meeting friends and partying, if
we go to party we pay attention to everything, but not to our
companion. I love the way how we can dig deep in each others
history, how tiny hidden features and scarfs appear in the dark
as we are sipping our tasty wine right from the Tuscan hills.
So we did this way this time as we have already practiced at
Piazza Santa Maria di Trastevere with Lorenzo in a warm night

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

of July. Nri settled down in a friendly doorway as she put up


with the fact that the Roman nightlife is far away from the
total comfort, especially if somebody goes out in San Lorenzo.
The nightlife is more about the spontaneity and the nomad
attitude. Nris personality absolutely fits in this lifestyle, mine
is less compatible with it, but now she was complaining more.
It was understandable, because she has been travelling all day.
Leonardo as the man of the team went for getting our common
nectar in the bar.
Outside the street was so lively and eventful like on Friday
nights. It used to be an ironic saying from some people that
the nightlifes view is totally similar to the view of a zoo. Well,
in this case it can be declared literally, because there were
more dogs as companies with the inhabitants of the party
district. And not just dogs, but complete families with little
babies. I love this lightness from the Italian adults. Maybe I
should correct myself, because the reason of this lightness is
that they are not that adult in the adult years. Or just not in
my socially coded interpretation, which is nothing else but if
you are a responsible adult you have to calm down, find your
place at the fireplace, read books to show nice example to
your children, and raise them in an ordered and clean house.
As far as I can see the structure and the mechanism of an
Italian family, its roughly different here. Here is only one
thing in the focus to fill up the bambinis childhood with love
but not at the expense of their own joy of life, and everything
is based on this. Practically it means if they want to go out
for an aperitivo, the baby wont stop them, theyll pack in
the luggage rack the baby cars and the family will enjoy the
night together. As I see how couples move together with their
blondie little angels in the night fever. The kids and dogs are
always giving an opportunity to get in touch with the proud
parents and owners. There were dozens of happenings and
funny or awkward impulses around us in ten minutes. Two
dogs had a fight next to us, while bottles were broken to the
walls in the alcoholic delirium. The minutes ran away and

Rome as we roll it

our plastic glasses were emptied and filled up again extremely


quickly because of the charm in their simplicity.
The wine worked in my veins and it made the wellknown
effects on me: I smiled a bit more, I was a bit blushed, which
never hurts, because my face sometimes just white like the
walls, and of course everybodys favorite sideeffect arrived,
which is the artistic way of my driving style. Everybody knows
the golden rule: Drink or drive . Well, rules were invited to
break them, so I break this one pretty regularly, of course this
night wasnt an exception of breaking the rule. I was zigzagging
on the cobblestones and tried to follow the others to the next
stop of our party train. Nris only wish was to find a place,
where is indoor live music, because two ingredients of a perfect
night now are the warm temperature and the sweet heart
warming sounds of the instruments. We couldnt ask more
expert people about the concerto topic, so we were lucky that
we could spend this night with Leo. To tell the truth, when my
wheelchair is a bit berserk because of the alcohol, then I dont
have sharp and clean memories of the small talks, but I can still
remember some incredibly funny topics, which were presented
and proved theoretically and practically, too. We called back our
pictures from the past with Nri about the low battery case ,
because we had some together, and I still havent counted yet
the cases, what I survived with others. Leo asked with childlike
honestly what happens if it comes to run out of battery. Firstly
I reassured him that this danger is not threatening us right now,
because I pimped my car for the shaky roads, like a prepared
globetrotter. My batteries were brand new and ready for the
hardcore usage. In the other hand, mostly I pay attention to
charge it all night long, if I know that the next day will be about
exploring. After my detailing apology it turned out that he is
not so interested because he is afraid of the optional trouble,
but because he is curious how this kind of situation looks like.
I didnt want to resist the creative idea to pretend it and let
him try. I always got this weird perversion to scandalize with
my friends the unknown people around me with some games

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

connected to my four extra wheels. Just to bring an example


I invite everybody for a short time travel back to Budapest in
last April. Its the time when the university is full of people,
because the examination period is getting embarrassingly close
and every student usually starts to panic. So, in these popular
days before the lectures I had to stay the queues to the elevator.
It takes long minutes, so there was sometimes a real risk to
miss the course. My friend one day told me that we should
find out ultimate pick up line and space stretcher saying for
these awkward scenes. Mts creativity was soaring, so he has
already put a nice one together. It sounded like this: Excuse
me honeybee, but dont stay in my way, because I will have
a crush... or a crash... on you Hopefully I wont surprise
anybody with the information that we used this for make some
noise around us over and over again. Moreover, it was more
developed as we practiced it.
Back to the cheerful loud streets and cute squares of San
Lorenzo, I was up for any chariotjoke. Me and Nri told
the story that Lorenzo had to push my wheelchair (obviously
inside with my weighty presence) from Piazza dellImmacolata
right to Termini, which is a minutes long skittering. About
skittering I told another precedent of the pushing trials from
Vienna. There Rzis boyfriend pushed me, and he wanted to
get over it as soon as possible, because its not an easy job, so
he started to run behind me. In addition its useful to know that
hes a tall guy, so when he ran my hair had a wave caused by
driving wind. I think its something what I can bravely compare
to the Vespa feeling. I guess that in Leonardos brain the bulb
was turned on as he heard this detail, because he got more
excited to try it, even if me and my faithful chair was full
of energy. Nri showed him how to change the automatic
mode to manual mode. He changed the two small red arms
on my motors to the other position, so it was time to say:
Lets get it started! as the Black Eyed Peas would say so.
Honestly and luckily he didnt run, but he was skittering. As I
mentioned before we have to change this currency if somebody

Rome as we roll it

is that breathtakingly tall. So he skittered, but it was already


an adrenaline rush for me, particularly at the finale, when we
continued our tour on the pothole rich pavements. Here I feel
that its an obligation to add that pavements are way worse
than the roads, even if I have to fight with the speeding cars
and cobblestones, this is still better, than the pavements. After
this comparison I let everybodys phantasy work.
After our funny amok we reached a saint place, which will
guard nice encounters, a lot of beginnings, and some ends, but
not serious ends, just ends a presto , which means until next
time. The name of that newborn discovery is Le Mura, alias
The Walls. The name comes after the ancient walls, which followed the road, where Le Mura takes place. They were familiar,
because Leo already showed us on our Roma by night by car
sightseeing tour, on the day of our arrival. The red wine has
already made me feel dizzy and paint the world around me
quite vanish, but the unique atmosphere was still able to catch
me in that state of mind too, so I can only praise the special
vibes of this pub. We entered the cave of artists and I fell unwarrantably in love with this shelter. My first impression was that I
could get in so easily. Budapest has many pubs which have the
same style, but they are always deep down, undertheground,
so I can say these ones took pretty seriously to express their
underground genre. The cellars give always some real party
adventures, especially at the end, when I would try to leave
it. Rome is proud of its wild side so it keeps it on the ground,
and never hides it in a cellar, which gives a profit to me. After
this practical factor I let my soul have a bath in this ambience
and enjoyed it. What I see was nothing else just an amazing
representation of the coexistence of the dirt, filth and guilty
joys with philosophy, romantic thoughts and conversations: I
could smell the old books and libraries surrounded by ecstatic
Cuba Libres, which is a kind of contradiction for the first sight.
A contradiction, which is magically able to make sense. And
what we supposed that the philosophical mood is all around, it
hovers in the air, was proved again.

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

Nri just had her usual form. She shot her love bombs to
everyone, who seemed to be interesting in the bar and around
the bar, when she took a short smoking break. She aimed
two guys, who stayed next to her on the sidewalk. From now
the one of them will be called thestarryeyed guy, and well,
the other is the one, whom name was forgotten. It turned
out in a glance that they are studying linguistics, what a surprise. Theyve started to change their opinions about how our
mother tongue determines us culturally and psychologically,
meanwhile me and Leo have been swapping our drinks because
of our neverending curiosity. Soon we joint the philosophical
circle outside in the cold of the night. It was the solemn moment, when we realized that this place is filled with a bunch of
friends, and everybody knew the owner pretty well. Only we
were the black sheeps, but it just made me more excited about
the place. It meant that its a kind of shelter, where we were
accepted and it made me feel proud. The starry eyed guy told
us that theyre coming here for chatting and for a nice aperitivo
every Wednesday. There are many ways to keep in touch, but
in this romantic capital the way of contacting is always very
romantic, too. Ive already got telephone number on a postit
note. Such a previous centurys solution, but still has the charm,
what I will never forget. Nri organized an appointment with
these guys with a technic, which is the crown of the spontaneity, which really suits her. They agreed that next week on this
day, at this place. These are the moments, when the freedom
catches you and blows you a way for a passing by second.
Due to the sad reality that our watches showed midnight,
we had to go home like in the Cinderella. In this case we were
afraid that our night bus will become a snail after a.m. and we
still had to find it. I was so drunk that it was also challenging
to go straight, which meant that it was an impossible mission
to follow the instructions of a map for me. Leonardo left us
half an hour before we decided to aim the home sweet home,
too. I automatically called him to give me some information
how we could get to Termini, if we are so buzzed, and I ex-

Rome as we roll it

pressed myself now very softly. I meant he should suggested


us the easiest route and I think he did his best. Its my favorite
selfknowledge training to observe later from outside my automatic activities, when Im a bit or not bit, but pretty much
drunk. If I explain in Freuds language, in these episodes of life
my superego will be switched off, so I will take off all my forced
compliance and I will be able to taste the liberation without
my selfcontrol. And in this way, I can express with the smallest steps how I am related to somebody. This activity that my
first idea was to call Leo represents that I put my trust in him
for no realistic reasons. For me the basic of friendships is the
trust. I start really soon to claim my new friends trust and in
change I automatically give them a steady ground under their
feet with my words and with my attention. In the same time
for me its nothing to hesitate about to put my own life in their
hands, from that moment when I feel the trust I cant believe
that anything bad can happen with us, if we are together. I
can picture that it might sound overly emotional and sensitive
bullshit, however its a kind of purely logical thing.
There are cities like Budapest and Rome yes, in this case
these are very similar , which offers some possibilities to
live your life, cruise in the center and enjoy all the benefits
of the city, but these possibilities, which are useless for me
without my friend. And its not about blaming the infrastructure, because for example the buses are perfectly accessible
in Budapest, or the metro B is perfectly accessible here. Its
about some other tiny circumstances, which the average people simply cant recognize like I cant take off my coat alone,
or I cant go to the toilet alone if I really have to pee, or even
more often case that I just lose my balance, because of the cold,
because of an invisible hole on the road in the dark, or because
of the wine delirium on an usual Friday night, when it is not
easy to concentrate. You know, when others have problems
with walking straight, I have problems to sit straight and keep
myself together. Its absolutely like the vegetable cutting for
cooking story, what Ive already told before. When I lose my

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

balance I used to lean forward, which can seem a really Im


paying attention position, but after a few minutes it becomes
extremely inconvenient, so someone has to push me back. I try
to handle this situation portly, but for this I need as number
one partners in crime, my friends. All these situations can be
entertaining and funny instead of being awkward, if me and my
friends dont let any shyness or distancing appear. If I would be
shy or distancing, I could be a proud and spoilt princess, but
closed in my room. To avoid this option I need in our communication the trust on the highest level. I have no other choice
just to ask them to help me out, even if they are busy with flirting in the bar or they are in the middle of their most exciting
conversation of their life. To be honest this typical situations
happen to me so often, that they introduce themselves mostly
in the first meetings. The consequence is that if they come
that soon, the trust will come necessarily also that soon. At
that night there were several situation, when I had to leave the
polite distance and ask Leo to put me together, and it meant
he got that instant trust and deepness in our friendship, which
planted a flea in my ear to call him if I am a bit lost. Every
time, when someone misunderstood my insistent approach in
the friendship, take this example, because it shows everything.
So, after an emotional paragraph, I hopefully gave a realistic
explanation. I called him and I got some encouragements and
suggestions as the best way just like a journey bundle. After
less than half an hour we found ourselves at the main train
station.
After this visit at Le Mura, we become the addicts of this
bar. From this solemn visit we ended up here every week, or
sometimes every week twice. About this inexplicable love I
felt some duality. It was about the original Italian spirit, the
magic of lightness and in the other hand something between
the lines, which reminded me that Budapest is something very
unique, and it was similar to Budapest. Every time we jumped
by the club, we made the consequence that it has the real ruin
pub atmosphere. Annas birthday was approaching, so we had

Rome as we roll it

to make up our mind urgently, where we should surprise her


with a small celebration. In my idea we can find minimum
one mistake: as far as she got more than enough about our
praising hymns to this bar, she was making jokes day by day
that she counts on our creativity, so she is pretty sure that she
can expect for something beyond the walls. The real Hungarian
poet showed up at this point from her personality: we faced a
nice cup of irony with sweetening metaphors.
Due to the sad reality we are not that big party animal to
know every corners of the Roman nightlife, and we didnt want
to choose a place randomly, because its not like the pizza here.
I mean, nobody is able to make a wrong decision about pizza
in Rome, because even in the dirtiest hole without any guests
but full of moldy checkered tablecloths you can eat fantastic
pizza. The worst, what can happen to you that itll be cheaper,
than you expected, but you cant pay with your debit card.
Regarding the bars you can find yourself in a too fancy one,
or a too expensive one, or in a too gay one, or in a too empty
one, moreover sometimes in front of a closed one, especially
on Monday night. In the shadow of cowardice, but with the
glory of adult responsibility, strengthened by the influence of
our potential partner in crime of the birthday party, we voted
firstly for Le Mura, even if Anna sent signs that she wants a
bit more excitement. Lorenzo was the lucky one, who had
time and who was in mood but maybe the truth is that just
because hes a real friend, so he doesnt only take part in our
lives, when its about fun to come with us for a prolusion
and inspection. More practically it meant that we attacked the
place to reserve the most perfect seats and couches of the pub.
We have already done a weak and shy try to ask for reservation via email, but I havent put too much trust in the hope of
an answer, and I was right. They havent replied me for long
days. Well, it meant that we officially had an excuse to go there
personally and make a nice warm up. We met Lorenzo around
p.m. at the entrance of our stamping ground, but it was not
so seductive, because it was partly dark, the chairs were still

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

upside down, lying on the tables. We were about guessing that


we are here too late or simply its not a day for partying, due
to the already mentioned fact that it was Monday. Lorenzo
confirmed us that the aunt effect of the district will come soon,
but a normal Italian is still digesting the lasagna at home at the
sofa, so we dont have to do anything else just to be patient.
These were still the nights of the outdoor fun. Clouds covered
the sky and saved some warm from the daytime. We headed
the closest store to buy this and that to keep the temperature
high inside our body, too. I couldnt stop adore this habit that
if we are dropped in these tiny supermarkets its so natural that
they give some plastic glasses for the bought wine.
I can recall my pretended predrinkings in Hungary, which
was actually pretended because of the bottle of wine issue.
Heavy situation. However, its forbidden to drink on the streets
in Budapest, but fortunately it isnt punished at all or you can get
just an unserious warning from the police, if you are unlucky.
Thats why the youngsters also drink on the squares and at the
more popular outdoor hotspots, although I could compare it to
the grey market in the economics: it is not that accepted that
you can get gratis plastic glasses in the store. It happened several
times that we hung out in a park with friends, we bought
together few bottles of wine, I also put my part in, when it was
time to pay, but Ive never drunk from it. The reason was pretty
simple: the weight of one liter of something exceeds the limit
of my muscles. Nowadays half liter is my limit in the matter
of alcohol or freshenings, but I have to accept that its going
down and down slyly. So, in these cases I had to decide that I
grit my teeth, focus as much as possible, pray and call for some
superhuman strength, and try to lift up the bottle to my mouth
and there is fifty percent that I will succeed and fifty percent
that I will fail and do some patchwork art on my clothes, or I
give up the joy as an antialcoholic.
These were great examples of the awkward moments of
my life, when I didnt want to come out with the reality and I
wanted to act like everybody else because of my overly proud

Rome as we roll it

attitude. I couldnt accept that I will never do the same mechanisms like the people around me, so its pointless to pretend
the opposite. I have chosen mostly not to drink, because then I
could avoid that anybody of the bunch of people and doesnt
know me so well start to feel sorry for me. That is something
what I truly hate, because it destroys the greatest and most
motivating illusion of my life, which is: I can do anything,
what anyone else can do... or even more The further developed omnipotent Jim Morrison motto. My parents grew me
up like this: do you want to go to the fun park? Okay, lets
go! Do you want to play tag or hideandseek with the others?
Lets do it! But they have never told me the way how to do it.
They let my creativity work. Maybe I can say thanks for this,
because it can be the reason that I could become a writer. It
was totally unconscious for me in my childhood and even in
my adolescent years that I need to find new and different ways
to do this kind of stuff. Until I havent started to write this book,
which is inevitably analyzing my life without any lies, I havent
accepted that my further developed Jim Morrison motto just
partly true. I cant do everything, especially not some stuff what
the others can do, but yes, I can do more, because I can do
things differently. In Rome I have to meet this fact day by day,
as Im writing my lines and as Im living my life, but I dont
mind.
After a small inner facing in my soul I drive myself back
to the Roman adventure, which directed me from the plastic
glasses to a nice introspective philosophizing again. We took
our white wine to the wellknown Piazza dellImmacolata.
This time we missed the drummers, but they were guys
around, who were shouting and singing, and we can see fireworks, too, so the atmosphere was still catchy. We didnt have
to feel disappointed. Three of us found the harmony again,
which was just few times interrupted by the emigrant hawkers,
who are also known as our classmates from now, because
we have just applied for a free Italian course, which is for the
emigrants to have the chance to learn about the culture and

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

learn the language. So if we are thinking in a bit black&white,


they are just ones of us. Unexpected wind blew our previously
praised plastic glasses and it poured some wine on Nris scarf.
It was a sign that we should be fast and return to Le Mura in
the hope of an impulsive crowd. On the half way from one
place to the other Nri spotted a fluffy nest called Giuf. It was
almost impossible to decide that its a library or a bookstore,
which is open by night kind of alternative option, but in San
Lorenzo everything is possible , or a caf or maybe a bar.
We were peering through the window and tried to figure out
the truth. We didnt get the solution, but we got a feeling that
is a perfect place for Annas personality. Calm and peaceful,
extremely friendly but extravagant and bohemian in the same
time. We were on that day because for some reason in a shy
mood, so we preferred to stay outside, but Lorenzo was brave
enough to look around inside, and collect some information
about the place and ask for some details about an optional
reservation. He stepped out with a wide smile on his face. We
already were informed that almost every supposition was true
altogether: it was a caf and a bar, where there is the possibility
to buy old and not so old, secondhand and brand new books
about everything. There came other good news, too. They
told that we can reserve for ten or twelve people, which was
exactly as much as we wanted to invite for this event. Our
trio made a short cap council, and we decided soon that we
will celebrate here, at this new and promising bar. Although it
seemed that we cheated on Le Mura this time, but we were
still in a mood to spend the night there and listen some live
music. This joy was served at that day by Dr. Panico, which
we already spotted in the cyber world. Lorenzo has disconnected from our group, because he had to study, as it was
this mustbeeagerbeaver at his university. We didnt have
to do anything else just talk in Hungarian, smile, and laugh
a lot, as we normally did pretty much, and it was already an
awakening for the interests around us, even if we havent entered yet, just stayed between the walls and the magic shelter,

Rome as we roll it

which was named after the walls. We fished another Lorenzo


and a Marco, the first but not the last Marco of the night. At
that point we made jokes constantly about the nonexisting
diversity of the Italian first names. Our second Lorenzo wore
the basic style from here: sweatpants like he would have just
come from the gym, but its average here. The other guy was
a medicine student, which made Nri less interested in him,
as she studied the same and she got bored and she lost her
faith in the whole science, what I honestly understand. We
introduced to each other and shook hands, while we got to
know a new superstition from Rome: you mustnt cross with
your handshakes the others handshakes because it will bring
bad luck. Well, its better not to believe it, because we have
done it. I found very entertaining that Italian people are so
extremely superstitious. My favorite one is that here people
touch their boobs or dick (depends on that they are women
or men), when they see a funeral office, a hearse or an ambulance car, because according their beliefs thats how they
can avoid their bad luck. When Ive heard it for the first time,
I believed that Lorenzo was kidding me, because he told us.
But after that we were on a bus and an ambulance car passed
by us, and we hunted for people who are doing this, and well
almost everybody followed that description.
After the handshake issue we had a light conversation about
light topics, but it was absolutely enjoyable. Soon we entered
and Le Mura was already and fortunately full of people. We
found free seats at my favorite corner, where the books and a
temporary photo exhibition were placed. Next to us two girls
were chatting. No surprise that our chitchats united accidentally, and few minutes later, we changed our contacts. New
connections come this easily, regarding the fact this act is part
of the everyday routine in this country. One of the girls asked
with sincere curiosity about Hungary, because she planned
a trip to Budapest. I tried to collect all the extraordinary and
hidden beauty of my city. For me its pretty important to spread
the world that how awesome place, where we come from, re-

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

gardless that it has its own difficulties in the collective mind


and materially, too.
Nri disappeared time by time to worship her addictions:
cigarette and getting in touch with some new bright mind and
soul. I always stayed inside, because I felt more comfortable
there, moreover I could worship here my different addiction,
too. I love to stare at the people, just sit and watch every little
moves of them, how they touch each other, how they glance
to each other, how they are seeking for companion, or new
relationships, as Nri did. When Im in this observator mode
I feel like I would watch a movie, and I couldnt perceive the
passing of time. I was sipping my ordinary Cuba Libre, when
my movie was paused by a curly haired hippie man, who was
dancing in last moments next to the bartender it seemed that
they are friends or they know each other more or less, which
wouldnt be a big surprise here. We started our conversation, for
one sentence in spaghetti Italian, for the other one is spaghetti
English, as Lorenzo would say so...
Come ti chiami? , Which means What is your name? .
Mi chiamo Mira. E tu? . I was enjoying that feeling that
in Rome its so general to start a conversation in that honest
way. At home you need an excuse to say something to an
unknown person, like Could you tell me, where is the toilet?
or something like this.
Sono David. Sei francese? . I have really no idea what
happened in that days with my vibes, but they were lying,
because everybody supposed that Im from France, however
I could identify myself with several nations, but never with
France and french people.
No, sono ungherese. But I dont speak such a good Italian
yet, could we change for English? .
Sure. Can I seat here? , he pointed to the place on the
leather couch next to Nris bag.
Of course , he opened his laptop, and soon explained the
reason. It turned out that he is a writer and a journalist just like
me, and he came here to write. He asked about my book and

Rome as we roll it

about my articles, which I wrote in Italy. I routinely explained


it to him. Have you come here tonight for inspiration? .
Well, not really, I came here to have fun. Fortunately, I
dont have to hunt for inspiration, I feel that its all around me
in Rome, if I let it in .
Nri returned with a very attractive guy on her side. She
introduced him to me: he was the second Marco of the night.
Both of them took places, which were still free around me,
and we continued the conversation, but we had to reduce the
complexity of our language, because Marcos language knowledge was more beginner than the others had until now. This
reduction hasnt stopped us to have philosophical conversation,
which was always in fashion at Le Mura. After I got used to
the charming and cute diffusion of Leonardo, it was strange
and flattering in the same time, how this guy paid attention
for every word I told. I could be sure about this from his responds and about his shining deep brown eyes. I think after his
attentive attitude, his eyebrow sweeping dark lashes were the
most touching in this guy. I accidentally invited him to Annas
upcoming birthday party. I havent thought about causes, I just
simply asked, because I felt like I want to ask. This was a sparkle
of the lightness, which Id like to achieve at the end of my Roman adventure. He asked me for my number, and he added
with laughs, that it would be impossible to participate if we
dont change contacts somehow. After that we gave the chance.
At that point I think I solved the mystery of our Le Mura and
San Lorenzo syndrome. It wasnt a difficult enigma at all. The
charm of this area was about the stray souls, which unfolded
for us. But still I have an unsolved enigma, too: is it our merit
or its a general gift of Rome.
Meanwhile we were enjoying ourselves on the highest level,
Gods wrath has struck in the form of a giant storm. We were
hesitating about to go or stay but considering the time, we had
to take a deep breath and hit the road like Jack did it. We put
on ourselves everything, which could protect us a bit from the
rain: jumper, coat, and raincoat, and one umbrella for two of

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

us and to my fat wheelchair. We chose the longer way now


to get to the Termini, because there was a long tunnel, which
temporary could give us roof above our heads from that heavy
shower. The protection seemed too short and the comfort
ran away quickly, and the apocalypse was crowned with the
loudest thunder I have ever heard as we stepped out of the
tunnel. It was echoing for minutes in my ears, the ground
shuddered under us, like it would have been an earthquake,
and all the alarms around us started to warn the owners. But
at least we survived, and now I can tell that we fought hard for
Annas celebration.
We agreed with all the guests that they will arrive to Giuf
at p.m. for the big day. We planned a second act from at Le
Mura, because after our rain fight we eventually deserved their
answer, and they also made a reservation, which we couldnt
refuse. We bumped into Pier at the time, when Anna, Nri and
me approached the main square of San Lorenzo. Anna believed
that it will be the meeting point, because of our accidental crash
with Pier. I spotted the excitement in Annas eyes, and finally
I was sure that she is also sure that she wont get bored on
the Roman edition of her birthday. Our trio was expanded to
quartet, and we headed Giuf, what Anna hasnt known at all
yet. Nri and Pier found some common topic very quickly, so
they were talking about mountains, climbing and skiing until
we reached the place, which were quite far from my interests,
but I enjoyed their enthusiasm. We found for ourselves a nice
stone bench in front of Giuf and we were waiting for Lorenzo,
who officially should have had to present the cake, the magic
tiramisu made by love, which was Annas favorite from the
summer. Pier enlightened us that he is a real exception, who is
able and who wants to be on time for the appointments in Italy.
Ive already written down some stories about this funny time
management, but it was interesting to hear the same opinion
from a local. I called Lorenzo and he promised half an hour
delay, so we decided to move our improvised camp inside as it
was sifting rain outside.

Rome as we roll it

We checked in with Lorenzos name without any trouble.


Anna was overwhelmed by the atmosphere of Gif. Meanwhile the others set themselves in a relaxed mood and in a zen
state of mind, I kept on texting the expected guests wildly. I
think this was the first real trial of our relationships here. I mean,
this event filtered perfectly who are the people, who think that
we, or in this case especially Anna is important enough to come.
Fortunately I interpreted it as a success, except for some sad
coincidence, like me and Leonardo had some troubles, which
we eliminated later, but at that time it caused some confusion,
so he hasnt, come. Our other Leonardo stuck in the toilet,
but he made it up with a superdelicious pizza on the next day.
Valeria had a job interview, which is an understandable priority.
Lorenzo arrived soon with the Tiramisu and with a surprise
candle, which Nri and I forgot, so we were so proud of him.
As it was written in the big book Anna made a wish and we
shot some nice pictures. We lent knife and dishes and started
to enjoy the magical flavors. The time passed away, so we had
to move to the other place, which could surprise Anna in this
case again. As we were about to leave the bar, we all sank into
the books. I found one about the greatest artists of jazz music,
like Stan Getz, which really caught me. Others started to read
an old edition of a masterpiece of Freud. At the gate I got a
call from Marco, who asked for our coordinates, because he
wanted to join us. This was the day of surprises, included this
situation. After that we decided to stay a bit longer there, but we
sent Pier out, and the smokers did their routine sance. Marco
joined us, and from the moment he arrived he was about to
make every wishes of Anna true. It proved again that this guy
is armed with a blessed attention, and I liked it very much.
We teletransported soon to Le Mura, where we continued the
ticking on Annas wish list, we headed firstly towards the table
soccer, which was Annas obsession. Girls played against the
guys, which meant also that Italians played against Hungarians.
Sometimes they changed and they based a mixed team. It was
a typical situation, when I couldnt act like the others, I couldnt

. Parioli, Nomentano Italia and San Lorenzo

do what the others did. Well, if I have really wanted I could


have joined them, but it would be too expectable and not so
enjoyable, because it would have meant we could know which
will be the winner team: not mine. I made photos about the
guys and girls, and I enjoyed it so much. I was close to them
and I felt pretty involved in the game as I was rooting. It is
one of the different ways I mentioned before, I took part, I
havent missed the feeling or the great moments, but I havent
taken part in the game physically. At the end of the night Anna
was superhappy and she was ready to her journey to home to
celebrate her birthday in Budapest, too.

Chapter VI

The peaceful oasis


Cassia Flaminia

The discovery of this family friendly and madly silent area of


Rome started in the end of October in the companion of an
energy bomb, called Dalma, our visitor from the rainy England.
Dalma appeared not for the first time in my story, but this day
in Cassia Flaminia was really ours, so it is officially dedicated
to her, because Anna stayed at home while we were on our
way. This meant a serious reason to be conscious while we
planned our route in our mental GPS to the first stop of this
adventure from Gemelli. We could take a bus from Valle Aurelia train station, which could have been the quickest solution,
but considering that Dalma was still just on an intermediate
level of the language Being Miras savior and superhero , we
chose an easier, but longer, and only for Dalma, but still...
actually much more tiring walk from Spagna. We walked
through the empire of parrots and palms, I rolled down the
steepy serpentine from Pincio to Piazza del Popolo, passed by
the towering obelisk with nostalgic memories in our hearts,
the arches of the gate of the square, and we found ourselves in
the maze of the Flaminio metro station. We reached the final
station of the eventually we reached the stop of tram .
This was the first time, when I took this tram from here,
even if I have already noticed the stop, when we met first time
Valeria on a rainy day in the protection of a junk food paradise.
Dalma started to detail cheerfully that she is not that proficient
in the liftings but she is up to serve for me some potential

Rome as we roll it

competitor for the prize of Love for the first lifting . However,
she really picked up in two seconds some handsome and strong
guys, but one of them was actually with her girlfriend, so
after this conclusion she had to figure out a new theory of her
strategy on our middlelong way to the aimed tram stop. The
theory was born soon. She told me that actually she has just
saved the relationship of this beautiful couple, because I have
to admit that the girl is eyeing the guy with real admiration
because of his masculine exploit. This pride will golden their
entire shared life and they will live happily ever after, of course
because of this. Well, this idea entertained me all the time we
spent on the tram and proved me that Dalma is completely
crazy and I liked it. Her theory was also proved when we got
off the tram, because the mentioned girlfriend encouraged her
boyfriend with a totallyinlove glance to help us again and it
worked, because I landed on the ground successfully again.
The time was our enemy on that day, because we were
in a huge late. Our delay deserved the punishment, because
stepped and rolled, of course at the time when the cash register was already closed, through the entrance of our destination. This was the Museum of XXI. century arts, which has a
cute and megalomaniac nickname in the same time: MAXXI.
Dalma tried to do her best and acted very convincing about
we deserve an exceptional treatment. She built up a complete
plea, which included the fact that Im a journalist, after that
she pointed out the almost always working poor girl, she is
wheelchair scene without laughing which is a real challenge
as she knows me pretty well. She listed the rational arguments,
when she realized that emotional monologues didnt work on
the diehard crew of the museum, which was an unknown and
surprising attitude in Italy. She told me outraged that even in
the United Kingdom would have been shown more willingness
and helpfulness in this case. I was also a bit disappointed, but I
understood that they have to follow the rules. I found them despite of this nice and helpful, just absolutely not flexible. They
could suit in the crew in an average museum of Budapest. After

. Cassia Flaminia

our fail Dalma found two opened hall, and she asked that we
can enter or not. The attendant was our partner in crime this
time and he let us in with a typical womanizer Italian wink and
a whispering instruction and advice in the same time, which
sounded like this Hurry up, girls! .
There was nothing in the exhibition room, just deep dark.
Suddenly a screening was started accompanied with strange
sounds and effects. First I felt myself like in a special porn
cinema as giant ass and pussy showed up. As the rhythm of
the music or call that noise what you want turned faster the
screened picture started to gyrate. The laugh broke out of
us and we couldnt stop it. Even my tears were overflowing.
Only the contemporary arts are able to effect me on this way,
however this case was special, because it was double bizarre:
we have fought for this amazing experience for half an hour,
and we entered that room like the winners of the third world
war and got this ass in our face. It was kind of ironic and extremely funny. The second opened room was just the end of
the main exhibition, whose every important part was unfortunately closed this time. We could run by the last installation,
which was a giant amorphous black tube. We have almost left
the stage when Dalma spotted some brochures at the Info Point.
It was about the event, which was planned exactly for that night
of the day, when we visited the MAXXI. When we realized the
coincidence, we understood what is that bustle around us after
closing time. We asked a man, who managed the set up of the
DJ counter about the event. We have already known from the
flyer that its called This Is Rome and it turned out that a
lot of famous Roman artists will take part in the event, but
nothing else was clear. He got really enthusiastic and started to
introduce the party and the meaning of the event in a typically
Italian neverending speech. He told us that it will be a Silent
Disco with eight hundred headphones. He enlightened us that
the entry is free, but officially we everybody should have registered online because of the limited access of the headphones.
At that point Dalma turned on her wellknown puppy eye

Rome as we roll it

mode and expressed her hundred percent interests about the


party and our intention to participate if its possible, although
we have already missed the registration. He assured us that its
not impossible to hang in, but we have to leave the building
complex for two hours, while they will prepare for the night.
As a farewell present the crew proved again they are the
rarely rude Italians altogether. Their final rudeness package included that they didnt let us stay in the garden, so they guarded
us out like we would have been the biggest serial killers of
Rome. At the gate I faced the problem that the only way, which
is accessible for me is at the other shore of the scree ocean, so I
changed my direction and I headed the garden again to make
a circle and reach that certain other shore. The bodyguard with
under average IQ couldnt keep up that my detour was made
for the compliance for their wish to leave the place. They interpreted my action like an unexpected, or rather expected attack.
Yes, warning, the terrorist with the wheelchair is approaching,
SOS! It was a real joke, so I didnt take it seriously. As far as it
was forbidden to stay even at the outdoor bar of the museum
we tried to find another shelter for the following two hours.
The neighbor of the MAXXI was a small garden cinema, which
played hideandseek. With us. We followed a narrow deep
green path until it became a huge space. There were cats all
around, who zigzagged playfully in the garden. Dalma went
into the small building to ask for some information, which
seemed more like a family house, than a public cinema, but it
caused the charm, which made it really friendly. She got the
informations that there is no movie at that period, when we
could have been free, although it would have been adventurous
to get in for me, because right at the entrance I faced steps. As
it was like a family business I couldnt expect any EU compatible accessibility, but I had the consequence that its not a big
trouble to skip the cinema time.
Soon we met Anna in front of the garden cinema. We shared
with her our super idea to shake the night up, and instead of
the retired drinking sance, lets hit that awesome party in the

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company of endless artistic souls and contemporary hipsters


in the stomach of that hypermodern, futuristic museum. Anna
was in, so all we had to do to trick they guard monkeys minds
and teletransport ourselves inside without the demonstration
of the previous registration. First of all I made everything to
cut a nice dash, so we chose the highest berm at the middle of
the waiting queue. Anna pretended that she left home all her
skills and she acted like she would have been absolutely clumsy.
The monkeys started to feel sorry for us, so the trick worked
out. They helped a bit, moreover they let us skip the line, and
with this little advantage we could skip the security checkin
and the registration control at the same time. The next risk was
just coming, because we had to leave our ID cards at the cash
register and sign a contract that well give back the headphones
instantly. We imagined the unlikely situation that theyll lose
our most important documents and there will be no proof that
we left them here, because we havent registered before. I think
nobody will be surprised after the news that we didnt hesitate
too long to take that risk, moreover it made our night more
exciting, of course.
We were at that time the proud owner of our headphones.
We could change on their ears the channels, which played
three different genres. I think these channels really satisfied the
general Italian taste. It was the typical radio friendly channel
full of the summer hits and the evergreen Italian pop songs.
The second channel had reggae songs for the ganja guys and
for the peace and love lifestyle, and finally they played the bests
of the electronic music era, internationally and nationally. We
really felt awesome, and not just because it was so random fun,
but because it was a really old plan to try a silent disco. There
were some summer festivals in Budapest, which organized
silent disco. I always thought that its a unique idea, and gives
a totally new perspective for the partying. I think in this case
there are more little signs about the personalities, than wed
suppose. If there is only one kind of music, and everybody
dances for the same rhythms, everybody starts to act like the

Rome as we roll it

crowd, or mime the crowd. So I really wanted to attend this


kind of event, but just like an observer.
Why? Because I have two modes and/or moods, and in
both state of mind I really enjoy the night. One is, when I
involve completely: I drink, I dance, even if it looks absolutely
not like a dance. This mood is when Im feeling maximally
free, oblivious and high, kind of omnipotent. In these cases I
have my own reality and I do everything to enjoy my whole
world, and I dont care what happens outside. In the other
mood it is getting conscious that, okay, where is that part in the
song, when everybody jumps, I couldnt jump, even if I move
myself as much as I can. Its not about that then Im worrying
about myself, its just about that Im jumping emotionally, I
catch all the crazy feeling, I charge myself with that feeling
when everybody is jumping on the stage, and while Im sipping
my cocktail. So at the end regarding my energies there is no
difference in the two moods. Both of them are positive. And
it doesnt mean that Ive never gone partying in a moment
when I felt like shit everybody does it sometimes, especially
in Budapest, where the partying is an obligation more times
weekly.
But this is a third mood, and this third one caught me rarely
in Rome. Its the easiest here to get in the first one, as the lightness is a component of the air here, Ive already mentioned
before. This time wasnt an exception, moreover maybe it was
the top of the already experienced first ones. We put on headphones, switched them on, changed the channels we have just
realized in that moment that every channel has an own light,
which is flashing on your ear, so you can recognize the people,
who are just listening the same music. We were seeking for
the groups, who listened our favorite songs from our favorite
bands, like Blur or Kaiser Chiefs. Other extremely entertaining
effect was when they started to play for example: I love it by
Icona Pop and at the refrain we took off our headphones and
everybody was singing synchronized. At that point I could feel
the power of the togetherness, that everything on this planet is

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in harmony and sync, just like the frogs on the fields close to
Lorenzos hometown. I got one more beautiful consequence
during the silent disco: these acts of getting in touch with the
stray souls identified this place and this evening, too, not just
San Lorenzo area or specially the Le Mura. Maybe it was everywhere in Rome, and it really heated my heart. However, I
realized that these are the same acts, but in the other hand it
was different. I mean they had the same aims and the same
reasons, but the way how they achieved them was basically
different and it made it very exciting.
The way was different because of the unusual way of listening together music. It made the people there more sensitive for
every little move, glances. The language of the body became
more important. As the Italians are professional in paying attention even if their own opinion about themselves is something
else they have really fit in this idea. That night we havent
talked to anyone but I got in touch and made contact with
several fellows. I realized that one guy has pretty similar taste
to mine, and he realized the same in that moment, so we vice
versa gave a smile after this recognition. Another man came
to dance next to me and he offered a sip from here cocktail,
I havent denied it, however at that point I felt the disadvantage of the wordless communication, because it would have
been great to know that this magic cocktail contains Unicum
or some kind of Italian edition of the typical bitter herbal shots,
which I truly hate. He passed by soon, but I saved this natural
lightness, and I repeat myself again, but as far as this is one
of my main messages of Rome, I pay attention on every little
detail, which transfers information connecting to this message.
After this scene Dalma proved that she is always true to herself,
so she became megacrazy again. Maybe the song titled Shout!
Pushed her madness button, because at the beginning of that
song she pounced on my joystick like the years old children
used to do. She was totally bewildered, she crashed everybody
with my chariot, and we became a real danger to everybody,
but made a nice show for sure. Between two wild rallies cross

Rome as we roll it

through the dance floor she did tribal dance, which made laugh
everybody around us. The hours ran away, so soon we decided
that its time to get back our ID cards. I cant tell that these
werent sweaty moments, when they looked for my ID for long
minutes, but eventually it was found, so we took our night bus
happily, richer with a unique experience.
After the artistic ways of living by night in this municipio
got ticked, I decided that we should take the same piece from
the daytime version. In this period the whole city was stacked
by the huge advertising posters of the upcoming Film Festival.
To be exact, not just the empty walls of Rome, but also my
wall on Facebook, powered by my Italian friends. I was really
curious about the event, but the only information, which I got
this way was that I perfectly saved the date. In the first part of
November everybody had the movie fever, and we got it, too,
but not because of suggestive advertisement, rather because of
an accidental personal meeting with the glamorous atmosphere
of the festival. Valeria unexpectedly won some free time, so she
dedicated it for us. We met in the front of the good old MAXXI,
and waited for any advice that what we should do next. She
came out with the idea to head the Auditorium, which is one
of her favorite places in this area, where she lives. She screened
with her words the seductive teaser of the Auditorium: we
heard about some nice cafs and perfect outdoor spots for a
typical weekend fun time. I was speeding on the bike road and
enjoyed the rare smooth ground under my wheels. In basics
the bike road was something, what I havent seen before in this
city, but it looked like that the richer suburbs own this kind
of luxury, too. The bicycles outstripped me, but their riders
were patient, nobody minded that I was doing my amok in the
forbidden line.
I think the pacing threshold of the people in the Roman
traffic is higher than the average. Everybody breaks the rules,
and they are ready in every moment to handle these trespasses.
Valeria and Nri walked next to me on the sidewalk. Vale
gave the instruction to follow the yellow signs of the bike

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road until the zebra, which we crossed finally. There we found


the entrance of the Auditorium, which was the home of the
big boom on the picture of the film festival. On the concrete
columns of the building I noticed very funny street art, so we
immediately did the photo shooting about the brilliant graffitis.
At that point we suited to the other eager colleagues from the
journals, who were up to attack any star and celebrity around
us. The Auditorium Parco della Musica was occupied by the
crowd of the popcornnerds. The fame and the red carpet gave
the idea to turn this ado a bit upside down for the last days of
the festival. I was surrounded by berserk fans, so theoretically
it would have been almost impossible to gather ground close
to big happening. In the reality it works differently. It looked
like my wheels are able to break the crowd, as Moses opened
the sea. It can be sometimes baffling, but still fun. In general
it happens to me all around the world, but in Italy this visual
effect is exponentially, just like that of the chinese movies. And
both of these statements were proved.
Soon I managed press tickets for our pretty newborn Hungarian trio, which contained Anna, Nri who was our guest
for the whole month and me. However, in practice it wasnt
as easy job as this sentence and its content shows. The Behind
the scenes truth is that sometimes its pretty challenging to
get in to an extremely popular event as a journalist to inform
your readers. The case of the Rome International Film Festival
was the same. After few futureless and spiritless attempts I was
ready throw in my jolly joker, which is my wheelchair. I mean,
if I have one, its time to use its benefits. It meant I had to be
prepared to interpret the event literally from my point of view,
from somewhere around the height of the bottoms. To get
tuned for my official visit at the film festival, I made a little
warm up in the company of my friends with a spontaneous
red carpet attack. The honesty requires adding that before the
success there were many trials in this case. The fact that people
are taking care of each other, even in the capital city is kind
of charming to me. It can surprise me over and over again in

Rome as we roll it

Rome, almost as often as the labyrinths of the organization


and burocracy. I could enumerate a couple of movies, which I
would have analyzed in my lines like Her or Another Me ,
which all was screened during the festival, but I missed them.
The cause of this sad fact was nothing else but the speed of
the communication. Until I got all the details and conditions
of my attendance, I could just hardly catch the last screening. I
couldnt get confused of the abundance disturbance. I waited
for the chinese fiction with curiosity, armed by resistance of my
stereotypes of the genre and my shiny brand new D glasses.
The title of the movie was Young Detective Dee: Rise of the
Sea Dragon . It could be the miniature of the whole storyline:
a bit supersaturated, with a lot of contradictions and absurd
conjunctions. However, all this features was implemented with
breathtaking technological solutions. There were dragons, the
asian adaptation of the Beauty and Beast love story, and the clash
of the clans, like a XXI. century fairytale. To summarize all my
impressions, I have to say the quality was indisputably high at
the Film Festival, from the moment when I was really there.
All my expectation was excelled. All my respect goes to the development from every aspect. Every gate was opened literally
and metaphorically, too. I could get in without any obstacles
due to the perfectly designed ramps and elevators. Except the
fact that the first row advantage changes in the cinema rather
to disadvantage, but if I keep my head up, just a perfect neck
exercise. This training was worth it, especially because it was
priceless to watch the overwhelming D effects and all the Matrix trilogy rethinking of Hark Tsai with the chases and fights
on the rooftops, walls, ceilings; all of them everywhere around
me. My conception of the event came true: it was really upside
down.
Our triangle started to work day by day more flawlessly.
I think around this event there was the turning point, when
we could harmonize and synchronize our willing more or less
equally. The situation in the rainy November was kind of hectic.
The Hungarian twosome of Via Vittorio Montiglio was

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extended to a threesome and included three very characteristic


souls. We all had to face that for this month all of us got some
new borders. Nri had to accept, or at least try to accept that
my lifestyle is not a burning fire, which identified before her
daily life. Its because of the combination of my physical abilities
and my personality, too. Nri summed up that she could cruise
and discover every corner of the ancient center in two or three
hours. Despite of this for me it took more short vacations, and
one month of intensive living here.
Why? Cobblestones are a kind of speed limits for me, also
the megalomaniac berms, moreover the hidden toilets, and
the buses with the nonMira compatible exits. But Im also
obsessed of tasting the moment. I love to sip my coffee for
long minutes, which stretch and turn sometimes in hours,
regardless the circumstances or my original agenda. In the
beginning of my book, or if it sounds better in the beginning
of my life here I complained a lot because of the Roman time
management. Well, at the time when the calendar showed
November on the wall, I understood this way of living completely. Hurrying kills the emotions, the thoughts, and even
the experiences. Ive given time to pause the overwhelming
pictures in all my life, but since Im living here, the effect of
this habit has increased. In the same time the inner power of
Nri has become kind of uncontrollable. Her feelings were
the contrast of mines: she felt like she only has one month
here, so she convinced herself the she cant afford to be lazy,
she has to keep on moving / and eat the city at all. It took
weeks to get the conclusion that she has to let this idea go,
if she stays with me. Every time, when I turned on the lightspeed mode on my fourwheeled spaceship, it has driven us
into disasters. The faster way always hid unexpected obstacles for me. I interpreted it as a simple sign from the fate: we
had to slow down, included Nri, because the things with
meanings take time. We all have to respect this. We started to
practice to listen the silence together, and some other time to
watch the noise as a gentle inspector.

Rome as we roll it

The area, which was margined by the tram line number


two was a perfect leader of this practicing. It is the Zen neighborhood. It was a world full of peace, a little idealistic bubble,
which gives place for all the colorful fantasies of the children
on the playgrounds. This area seemed as separated from the
music of horns and shouting Italians, or in generally from the
mediterrean temperamenture as the district of EUR, but it
wasnt sterile and plastic at all. It was absolutely natural, full
of green and full of families. I always admired this diversity of
Rome: every step you take is a presentation of a whole new
world. The other consequences we made were mainly about
me and Anna, but the cause which forced us to make it, was the
stay of Nri. We could bite the tension in the space between
us, but we could not define what the reason of it was, but it
poisoned our dinners at home, our tours in the buzzing center,
our coffee breaks in the sweet taverns, so it poisoned basically
everything. We had to identify and eliminate it as soon as possible, before our nerves will tear or before our head will become
a bomb, which explodes in an unexpected moment. I think
both of us missed our common privacy. First we believed that
the problem is simply the need of simple, own privacy. Until
we were convinced about this, we were doing our best to heal
this temporary psychological issue. Anna locked herself in her
room sometimes for almost a complete day and she could do
this without twinge of conscience and I have to accept it, too,
because I didnt have any need, which couldnt be solved by
Nri. She could take me to the toilet or give me a glass of water,
too, even if she hasnt had the same routine as Anna, however
naturally she got day by day more professional. Thats what
I call routine, the only important thing if its about helping
me. Strength is nothing comparing the routine. So, physically
I havent felt uncomfortable for a single moment, but emotionally I missed this link between me and Anna, and I guess
she felt the same, even sometimes she had more exciting ways
of creating her own privacy, like wandering in mystic forests
and charming parks with some supersteep hills. These were

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shelters for her, but I felt that they are flips for me, because I
couldnt really reach them.
However, meanwhile I had great and real cosmopolitan fun
with Nri in the nightlife of Rome, which compensated me
from one side. I always felt the civilization and people closer
to my heart just like Nri. Contrarily Anna is obsessed of her
mountains, lakes, and pines here. So, for the first sight the
whole strategy seemed alright. As the tension didnt reduce,
we had to realize that there is still dust in the mechanism
somewhere. Still none of us has found her same old place in
the system. As for me, I missed so many things. I missed our
own valuable time with Anna, which could be calmer and
more relaxed, than the also great moments with Nri. And
I also wanted my own privacy, although it has totally other
meaning, than to the others on this planet. I can only bring
an example from the dark ages of the adolescence. I suppose
that everybody remembers when the doors were closed with
the sound and effect similar to a serious earthquake behind us
after a tempted fight with our parents about the party in the
evening. When the door was closed the sance of escaping was
started. Regarding the level of how mad we are of the world
changed the level and the seriousness of the escaping. I know
people, who have just run a circle somewhere close to their
house, others just wanted to do something forbidden, so they
bought cigarettes, and smoked them all in the city park. I know
that Anna was the special exception, who needed to do more
rebellious things, than these ones. She needed to break the
rules further. She used to take the train, regardless where it
went, she just took it to the land of nowhere.
Well, I used we to be dramaturgically correct, but to be
exact its rather you. My adolescent escapings were more
theoretical. Thanks to the horse power of my wheelchair, I
could create the same earthquake effects with the doors, like
the others, but practically it was the end of my big revenges on
my parents or on the world. No runaway trains, no smoking
break, no fresh air. I had to find an individual way of escaping,

Rome as we roll it

so I invited myself always to wander in the worlds of mine. I


switched on my music, put the sound to the loudest level and
/ or dug myself in a book, or in my own novels, stories and
diaries in the company of a pen and a notebook. Human mind
and soul is fantastic, because it always gets used to the certain
circumstances, so believe me or not, these acts satisfied me in
those rebellious moments.
Sometimes in our triangle those days, I felt there are too
much selfish, stubborn will, which are fighting with each other
to rule the space. And even cant demonstrate my feelings
in the same old way, locking myself in my room, because
it was shared with Nri. Only solution left was to change
the focuses. We had to talk and we had to understand each
other. Eventually we agreed that we all need to cooperate, we
have to create stages for every kind of privacy. Sometimes we
needed to organize programs for me and Anna, meanwhile
Nri focused her own soul. Other times I stayed home, Anna
walked somewhere to discover some hidden treasures, and
Nri hang out in Periodico to write her blog about Rome.
The third combination was already wellpracticed, when Anna
did her own things, while we Nri and me were about to
hit the city. The really new thing was to leave Nri alone for a
while.
The act, when we planted the idea into reality was set at
Maxxi. Three of us followed the same way, until we reached the
crossing of the tram number two and the street of Maxxi. Then
Nri headed Ponte della Musica with Keruacs On The Road
in her hands. The view on the way to the museum painted
different colours, than before. There werent any pines in the
horizon, but the orange and brown leaves were dancing in
the air, as the light autumn wind blew them. The ground
was wet and the sun was fighting with the heavy grey clouds,
but I still felt alright in a leather jacket. We entered in the
museum finally in the middle of the opening hours, thanks to
our more conscious attitude, than last time. We took our free
tickets at the cash register, and I felt the ordinary happiness

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because of the advantages of being the proud owner of my


wheelchair. We started on the ground floor, but of course not
with the cloakroom, as the others would have started. Another
advantage, because Your coat is always welcome on the back
of my chair, honey, and this is for free! I developed my big
boom business in my head, which was inspired by the Skip
the line! guys at the Vatican. Unique offer! If you skip the
line with me at the Maxxi, you can save money, because you
can deny the ticket office and the cloakroom, too! . I looked
like with our coats as a gipsy caravan as we entered in the first
exhibition room. It was the empire of the colours and scents. It
was interactive, but not in an awkward way which can happen
in these supermodern so contemporary museums. It made me
completely excited about the whole exhibition.
Anna told me that the classical museums make her feel most
of the time that she doesnt see anything, because these are so
passive. I agree with her, because it happened to me to in the
Vatican that I yarned every second minute, even if I saw the
greatest beauties of the human civilization, but it will be detailed
soon in another chapter, I promise. This time, in the Museum
of XXI.century Arts, it was the opposite. I couldnt yarn, even
if someone would have pushed a pistol to my forehead. There
was a huge table covered with pieces of differently colored
textiles. If there is a workshop day, you can create your on
flower from these, which will have a special scent, because
every single piece of textiles have different scents, too. For now
we could just watch and smell them. At the other corner of
the room the guests were invited for a trip into the depths of
the moves. Balls were hanging, and it was possible to hit them
into each other. As they met, the balls automatically created
balance between each other. They werent really heavy, and
the stage of the installation wasnt surrounded anything, which
would have meant an obstacle for me, so I could also make
them move, and I was overwhelmed by their effects. I felt like a
happy toddler in the paradise of legoland. One of the walls was
practically a curtain covered with silver nodes. They were put

Rome as we roll it

next to each other very densely, so the visitors could touch and
smooth through the curtain carefully. It was kind of thrilling
feeling for me. This room already gave me a lot, but it was just
the beginning of the cultural shock.
We took a giant elevator to the first floor. This lift could
give place around or more people, but we were the only
and lonely users. I supposed that its constructed to lift up the
installations and sculptors, paintings, to sum up, all the masterpieces of the exhibitions, too. As the doors of the elevator
opened we found ourselves in the front of the introduction of
Jan Fabre on the huge white wall. It was a new name for me, so
I read it all with curiosity. My eyes couldnt find a single point,
where was no craziness. He painted with his own blood, shot
a movie about aggressive fights, cut hundreds and thousands
of dollars and created montages and collages out of the small
pieces of the money. The spaces in the museum were so giant
that I couldnt see the end, however it was only one hall. There
were some corners, which werent directly in our way, but
these guarded some very interesting creations of Fabre. The
ground got steeper, which took us to the arts for ones, who
paid attention to the small details. It was challenging to slalom
between the sculptures and installations on the hills inside the
museum and not to crash or hurt them, but at least this artistic
solution of the architecture made the whole building accessible
for me.
The part of Jan Fabre was finished with his military clothing
obsession, which gave me less excitement, than the steep rally
cross. The color of the walls changed from white to vibrating
red. It meant that it was the turn of another artist, an Italian one,
who was as crazy as Jan, but of course in a southern style. It
means for me that less depressed and more cheerful, although
kind of nasty and absurd at some points. The first room of
Francesco Vazzoli exhibition brought the taste of ancient Rome
to the present but in a very contemporary way, of course. The
classic sculptures about the muscular and masculine naked
men were turned in front of each other, and from these poses

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it seemed like they would eyeing and flirting each other with
their glances. The gay gladiator guys made me laugh, and I
thought its really an entertaining interpretation. In the other
hand Anna found them less gorgeous. The provocative mixes of
arts werent over yet. The sculptures of the antic Roman gods
and goddesses were standing in a nice queue, holding TVs in
their hands. In each TV we could see different shows. This line
was placed in the middle of the red hall. On the walls there were
several paintings of Vazzoli, but there was one, which especially
caught me. It was actually a copy of Gustav Klimts The kiss,
which was already checked by me in the palace of Belvedere in
Vienna. However, I know that this painting is a clich, but Im
always mesmerized by the intimate hug of the lovers on that
painting. Vazzolis version was caricized the clich effect, so
he turned it to the side. The flip wasnt unknown for me, Ive
already seen it before, somewhere under the shadow of the
Colosseo, in Leonardos room on the wall. It drew that time a
wide smile on my face. This time not the solution made laugh,
but the coincidence. Moreover, I was rather wondering about
that its a coincidence, or Leo is a copycat, and he was inspired
by Francesco Vazzoli.
After I got over of this funny episode, we headed to the
second floor, which was at all an installation and we were the
part of it. I could drive up to there, because a curving ramp
directed there. Ive rarely faced this kind of diversity that I
can choose between elevator and ramp. We found ourselves
in the middle of the audience of a cinema. Anna took place
on a chair, while I discovered all the photos, which were
printed on the other chairs. Vazzoli painted teardrops on
every faces with glimmering lacquer. A movie was screened,
which was directed by Francesco, which meant it was full
of awkward situations, which made the audience blush. At
the end of this exhibition we had to interrupt our visit in
the Maxxi, because I had an appointment with Valeria
minutes later. And we still needed to cram in to this short
time a tiny pee break.

Rome as we roll it

Here comes my favorite part, the reality show of my life,


which can work sometimes as a cold shower in my idealistic
world. We barely found the superabled also known as disabled toilet, because it was placed in a way, how I would never
have expected. We searched in a dark corner, on another floor,
behind the cloakroom, next to the staff toilet, between the male
and the female toilet, almost everywhere. When it seemed to
be futureless to find it, we headed the toilet for the ladies. And
at that point, when gave up we faced the searched sign there. It
was the surprise of the day, right after the turned Klimt masterpiece. This was one of the rare times, when I didnt have to
fight with the dick gap . The name praises Nris creativity,
it isnt an official version. Now I paste a short introduction of
the dick gap with educational intentions. You can find them
in Europe in almost every toilet for disabled people. Its whole
on the toilet, somewhere between your two legs. Theoretically
it is made to make it more easy to pee, for the guys, because
(sorry for the naturalistic description but my speech goes to
the engineers, too, who had this crazy idea, so I have to be
exact to make it clear) they dont have to sit on the throne for
the pee action, just aiming, and magic, they are done. With
this wonderful invention of the dick gap it could be really
easier, however I couldnt check it by myself, because I dont
have a willy to try it. The madness was imported right from the
United States, where we can find dick gaps on every average
public toilet in the name of equality. This is a nice conception,
but they basically forget about the gender equality in this case,
because as a woman I should sit there, and this case the dick
gap gives place for my leg, which is a pretty disgusting experience. Before anybody would suppose that Im the new Susan
Sontag, I declare that my thoughts were slightly sarcastic, and
Im everything but not feminist, although I truly appreciated
our discovery about the special toilet in the ladys toilet, where
the dick gap was fortunately missing. Congratulations for
the innovation! We can still say that in this case the theory
of two step forward, one step back worked well. Instead of

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the dick gap I found another innovative trick. There was


a weight sensor, which meant if someone lifted her little bottom up from the seat, the water automatically came. Futuristic
magic, which guarantees the free wash from down, for me,
and I guess for most of the users. So, dear designer, the simpler
is the better! Thats why I still prefer the normal toilets. This
is my message for you. After this short offtopic part, lets go
back to the main storyline. I can say that I was fulfilled with
experiences from the SE of Maxxi.
We met Nri and discussed the happenings of the part of
the day, what we spent separated. She really liked Ponte della
Musica, so we swore that well visit it together. To continue
our strategy, at that point we changed the combination of the
team. Anna went home, and Nri stayed for our meeting with
Valeria, too. She was happy that we agreed at that place for the
meeting, because finally she had the opportunity to show us
around her area. The bike road, which directed to the Auditorium was opened in V form at a certain point, and now we
took the other direction. It was a pretty long way surrounded
by oaks to walk. When we reached Ponte Milvio there was
sunset. It gave golden colours to the originally grey and green
Tevere. At the entrance of the bridge we faced a chain, where
were put the locks of love. Valeria enlightened us that its a
new habit, and it wasnt a Roman tradition, but after a cheesy
romantic movie, where thanks to the directors fantasy
were locks on the bridge, the people started to put them on in
the reality, too. The chain made a bit of obstacle for me, so at
that moment I wasnt grateful that this movie was born and
made teenagers lock your love addicts. I had hardly enough
place to navigate myself to the bridge. And I dont want to be
narcistic but my driving skills are pretty good, so I cant imagine
what would happen here with a grandpa in the typical elephant
sized hospital wheelchair. On the bridge we took some nice
pictures, while Valeria translated the story, which was written
on the stone gate of the bridge at the other side of the river.
She told that Ponte Milvio is the oldest bridge of Rome and it

Rome as we roll it

was destroyed in the wars, so it survived several disasters and it


still crosses proudly the old Tevere. Nri was already starving,
which meant real danger on her concentration, so I guess she
didnt get too much from the story, but at least it warned me
that we should find a place to eat urgently.
I asked some suggestion from Vale, because it was her neighborhood, so I was almost sure that she will have some fresh and
great idea on her mind. I was right, because she came up with
several options. We had to choose between the best tiramisu,
the best profiterole of the Earth, and an also magnificent pizzeria we were eager enough to respond that Lets try them all,
but start with the place, which is the closest. Well, it was the
pizzeria. There were no place to sit down inside, but everyone
could stand in front of the counter and eat his/her portion. As
the weather was pretty bearable, we decided to eat our magic
pizzas outside on the bench, next to the entrance of the pizzeria. Valeria and Nri went inside, but I was waiting outside,
because the berm was so huge that it seemed easier to let them
buy by themselves without me instead of fighting me up to
these heights for few seconds. I was peeking the happening
inside and it made me feel also hungry. The guy behind the
counter cut a piece from the huge square pizza with scissors.
Nri brought us from two different flavors, one with buffalo
mozzarella and with mushrooms. The one with the buffalo
mozzarella tasted heavenly.
Soon with full bellies, we headed the other paradise of food,
but in this case the paradise of the sweets, and especially the
best spot for eating Tiramisu. Vale was pointing to Pompi. It
sounded familiar to me, and soon I remembered that Marisa,
our flatmate advised to check it for Anna and her boyfriend.
It was delightful thing to bump into Marisas suggestion accidentally. There were several kinds of Tiramisus, but I was
hesitating between the strawberry and the traditional version.
The seller informed me that only the original version has inside
coffee, so this detail made me decide easily. We all voted for
the old and wellknown simple version, which we ate from the

. Cassia Flaminia

cute Pompi labeled boxes on the terrace. When we were all


gastronomically satisfied, Valeria introduced her new idea for
her business, which is a travel agency for wheelchair users, as I
mentioned before. She took huge steps forward since we met,
so these awesome news made us feel very enthusiastic. Nri
and me just aimed the tons of other new ideas. It was business
in the air!
It was time to leave for Valeria, because her boyfriend,
Mauro waited for her. Vale accompanied us almost to the bus
stop, which was the suitable route for us according to her opinion. She advised us to take the bus number to San Lorenzo.
It was already deep dark, and there wasnt any white person
in the stop except for us. Its just a summary of the surroundings that the beginning of a horror story, because Ive never
had these kind of fears. We waited almost hour there for the
right bus, and we were confused in every minutes, when the
bus number rolled in the stop. In Rome the arrivals of the
buses are always a surprise, because there arent any timetables.
Moreover, in my case its also a surprise that itll be accessible
or not. In the case of bus , which seemed to come only one
time in one hour, we seriously prayed for an accessible one. As
it was very cold in the night and my nose was already frozen
and Nri legs were in pain because of the long walkings of the
day, we invented a solution for both of our troubles. Nri sit
in my lap, which gave a bit of warm to my body and it made
her feel more comfortable. Oh my God, how romantic! I really
found it entertaining, however the people could kill Nri with
their eyes, which told they thought that she is a bastard and a
cruel idiot, who actually tries to tease me and excruciate me to
death. That night we laughed a lot about the expressions on the
faces, and I can tell that the time really runs faster if you have
a great fun. Finally our wish came true, and after one hour of
waiting an accessible bus has come, which took us right to the
destination, luckily.
On the other day we went back to this area to finish the
expedition with the missing places, which Nri has explored

Rome as we roll it

before. We headed first Ponte della Musica, which looked out


almost as futuristic as the Maxxi. It is one of the newest bridges
of Rome. And its famous about the wide pedestrian area,
which it has got. We crossed the bridge, and walked back to
Ponte Milvio, following the line of the bank of Tevere. It was
occupied by the nature, it was hardly light because the trees
stayed next to each other so densely. Close to Ponte Milvio there
was a small art fair with some fascinating antique furnitures,
decorations and furs. It was a strange combination, but it sums
up pretty well, what we saw there. We checked every stand one
by one, when we realized that we got very close again to Ponte
della Musica, so we decided that the easiest will be to cross it
again to the way back home. On the avenue, which directed to
tram number to from the Tevere we found a small local caf,
where we had to take a coffee as we were terribly tired. At the
table next to us there were sitting a bunch of local guys, and
they seemed pretty arty and kind of hipster, but it was a nice
thing to realize that eventually there were no tourists around
us. I felt myself in that moment kind of home, as local, who
knows it right, where to go for a cappuccino for , euro.

Chapter VII

Islands
Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

To be honest, Rome is a wild ocean spotted with breathtaking


little islands for me. These islands could show the living paradise, but even the darker side of the city. These islands could
be the home of the inner peace or the home of the craziest
happenings. Ive already explored some, like San Lollo or the
famous Trastevere, but I could insert them in my prepared
chapters. Although I was pretty naive that I believed that its
possible to follow my original plans all the time, if I move to
Rome. Writer is nothing else just a filter, so its normal that
the daily life effects on my written thoughts. It means that
surprises should be always welcome. Here you go! My chapter,
which is named Islands is a real surprise, even for me. After
three months of living here I had to face the situation that I
found two patches until now just two on the map of the
Eternal City, which seemed incompatible with my previous
structure because of several reasons. Vatican City and lIsola
Tiberina are different from the others. They are my unique
black sheeps, so I decided to dedicate them some separated
pages in the middle of my story, as a book in the book. As an
explanation for lIsola Tiberina, I take the most obvious fact. It
is an island, literally. It would be difficult to attach it to any side
of the river, especially if the closest point is Trastevere, which is
intense enough alone. It couldnt adopt an extra ingredient. As
for the Vatican I got two pillars, which strengthens my idea. Its
officially separated from the Italian government. It has different

Rome as we roll it

prefix number, than Italy, it has own post, own bank, and own
borders, which is pretty strict, so its a real mission to get to
the blessed saint side, but I will talk about it later. In the other
hand I have one more cause, which is not about the facts, but
about the spirit. Im not really involved to catholic religion.
Sometimes I feel that The Church build mistakes on mistakes,
declare faker saint words, than any prime minister or any
cruel cheater of the world. The difference is just they do this in
the name of God or Jesus. So, I used to tell that I believe, I have
the God in my soul, and I can find our relationship perfectly
in my room, or while Im walking on the streets. After these
pretty tough words, I still have to share that every time, when
Im roaming around the Vatican I feel something divine, which
you can smell in the air and which runs through your veins.
This feeling is strong enough to make the decision that besides
the administrative differences, it deserves another plate from
the spiritual point of view, too.
My first shock of the spectacular silhouette of the St. Peters
Basilica is almost one year old now. It was the newborn month
of the year of , when Nri and I were dug into our guidebook somewhere close to the obelisk of the Saint Peters square.
Endless queues were sneaking from our lefts and rights, but
we didnt really care about it. We were overwhelmed by the
blindingly shining marble of the basilica and the enchanting
sounds of the bells from the top of the cupola. Every skip the
line guy attacked us with their unforgettable offers, but we
have already known that right that soon we will find the way
to cut that scary long way to the entrance. The swiss guard
was shining even brighter than the marble, so we interpreted it
like a sign and went there to ask for information, how we can
enter with me and my magic chariot. As they were the swiss
guard they acted oppositely of the typical Italian attitude. They
havent smiled, but they were absolutely serious and correct.
They stepped back and opened free way to us. It felt that we
were the only civilians from this side. A policeman hopped
out of his box at the second controlling point of the Vatican,

. Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

and leaded us to a secret door, and someone else opened the


towering, heavy wooden door from inside. It assured me that
everything was very wellorganized here. Maybe its the religious version of the EUR area. We inhaled the aura of the
gorgeous basilica, gave some minutes to the popes, who were
lying in every corner of it. We tried to enjoy one of the most
brilliant creations of arts in the history, which is Pieta, but it was
hardly possible regarding the greedily fighting Asian tourists
around us.
At this point I jump into my time travel machine and I take
a trip from January to December. The story is starred
again by Nri and me. It was the first Sunday of advent, so we
followed the mass and the Italian traditions in the same time.
We got lost in the waves of people at Piazza Navona, which
gave place to the Christmas market. It was completely different
from the one, which I got to used in Budapest. There was
hot wine, but the temperature reached the celsius degrees,
so it seemed to be kind of useless. There were nativities but
spiced with palms, which are authentic, but pretty unusual
for my Hungarian soul. At the stands we could find the same
cheap goods like at the Termini. After this experience, we
decided that its time to hunt for the usual advent rounds, so
we headed the Vatican again. We took bus from Via Vittorio
Emanuele II. This bus is bearable compared to the other ones,
because it comes often, and its accessible most of the times
due to the tourists. This time the doors were perfect regarding
the wideness, only thing left was to open the ramp. This bus
had the mechanical system, which always means that there
is a nice chance for the unlucky option that it wont work.
And yes, it hasnt worked. After all my experiences in Rome
I wasnt upset because of this for a single moment. I believed
in the human power, which saved me this time, too. We were
already pretty tired but considering that Nri loves to discuss
the events of the previous hours, we kept on talking all the
way to our stop. I realized that a guy cant stop to focus on our
silly talks. I wasnt sure why, but I knew that in Rome its an

Rome as we roll it

everyday phenomenon to get in touch with random people, as


I mentioned before, so I got it as a warm up of a new small talk
from the street. As we are girls, I think its not so surprising,
that we used to warn each other if we recognize an alfa man
in the sight, so I was about to tell Nri, what my eyes have
found. Finally my instincts whispered to me to keep it now
for myself, and tell it later. The bus stopped, and in the certain
moment Nri spotted the same guy to ask for some help to
hypnotize me down to the sidewalk from the heights of the
bus. She started her monologue with selfconfident routine:
Excuse me, could you help us to get out of the bus, please? ,
she was already smiling, which was totally understandable, if
you believe in my taste.
Persze, segtek! , we got the quick respond. Keep calm, it
wasnt chinese or Esperanto language, just Hungarian. First I
thought that I cant believe to my ears. Not because you cant
meet Hungarians here, we have already met before, but that
encounters werent so big surprise as this one. I couldnt tell
that he is not Italian, even if somebody would have excruciated
me. Although we had the same on our mind maybe, Nri
expressed her thoughts sooner:
Pedig gy festesz, mint egy echte olasz! , it means you
look like an original Italian .
Majdnem az vagyok , which means Im almost Italian .
The guy has answered this in a very mysterious way. One older
man, Nri and our Hungarian in an Italian costume lifted me
down flawlessly, however at the last second Ive done my I
just lose my head show, but maybe it was only because of the
sudden crush, what I had. After the round of the obligation,
he was completely loyal to his Italian image. He smoothed
my face, winked and said Ciao! in the most Italian way, Ive
ever heard. I dont know, which of us was more melted, but we
echoed Aw! for long minutes. The funny coincidence was
that on our way from the bus stop to the basilica, we bumped
into our savior one more time under the gate of a panini shop.
He turned around like he would have hesitated to come to ask

. Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

and start a conversation, but finally he just left. I was pretty


sure that he wanted to contact us. Im not saying that it was
because of our irresistible aura or beauty but maybe just the
common roots. In summary, we have never got the answer to
this question, but it was a nice scene of the advent. Soon we
reached the square, and we headed to the belly of the basilica,
from the wellknown way, in association with the swiss guard.
We got the opportunity to admire the Pieta for as long as we
wanted this time. All the circumstances were with us, because
there were very a few people around, who did the same in
silence. The calm atmosphere of the Christmas time was all
around there.
The time machine made me hop to the carefree autumn,
when every experience from life in Rome was new and fresh.
We got off our train at the San Pietro station. This was the first
time, when we answered for the wellknown question of the
handsome controller: Scendiamo alla Stazione San Pietro .
There was an elevator, but looked completely different, than
the ones we met before. It had a door, which could have been
manually opened, and the cabin stayed halfway in the glass
tube. We found a note on the door of the elevator, which
included a phone number, which people can call, when it is
necessarily. It would have been necessarily, but my Italian cell
phone ran out of charge of money, so we had to try an also
manual option. We spotted a man in the uniform of Trenitalia
at the other platform. We waved to him, and he noticed us
soon. He disappeared for few minutes, but he turned back
with the keys of the elevator. We changed the platforms successfully, so it was time to head the same old starting point, at
the right wing of the basilica. It was Wednesday morning, the
proper time of the papal audience. Anna and I waited for our
turn in the company with a huge group of people on wheels. It
was strange and a bit uncomfortable for me not to be the only
exception. I used to enjoy the situations, when I can get in to
the poshest places of the world in the most artistic ways, but if
there are over people, who are doing the same, I feel myself

Rome as we roll it

just like an increasing issue, which should have been solved


by the busy crew of the Vatican. Moreover, I have to confess
that since my childhood I hated to be labeled as a member of
a different group, but Ive never had similar feelings if people
labeled me as someone different as an individual. I still cant
explain even for myself, what is the difference in these two
aspects, but I hope its not about my narcistic personality. So,
me and my other rolling dudes and their accompanists had
to wait almost half an hour to shoot the very front of the
square, which was the closest to the pope. We followed each
other like the ducks. The bodyguard, who reminded me to the
characters of Men in Black showed us, how we should put our
pose up. We stood in more rows: four wheels with two legs,
and simply two legs, then four wheels with two legs again,
and so on...
Everybody was extremely excited. People were dancing and
singing in the same rhythm Papa Francesco . It was like a
grandiose soccer match. Some people shouted the name of the
region, where they came from. After long minutes of rhythmic
clapping, the pope appeared on the top of the stairs of the
basilica. He smiled and welcomed the crowd. Two other priests
translated time by time to several languages the speech of the
pope. He talked to the people in Italian and in Spanish, too.
The ritual took almost an hour. A marching band started to
play, therefore I really felt myself like on a carnival or on a
festival. Papa Francesco was more lively, warmhearted and
freshminded personally, than he seemed to be from the media,
which was full with his face in Rome, every day. He didnt take
the papal car, but he walked circles in the crowd. The priority
guests, also known as the VIP, us on the wheels were welcomed
firstly and obviously. None of us could miss a hug or the kisses
of Francesco. Neither the accompanists, or at least we would
loved to believe it, but poor Annas unluck was stronger. I
got two kisses on my cheeks and one on my forehead, but
somehow Anna was late from the blessing. I could hardly keep
up the amount of the people, who filled the square and even

. Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

the long road, which linked Castel SantAngelo and the Vatican
together, called Via della Concilliazione.
I have to catch the opportunity, which this sentence gave to
me to declare an important thing. Even if the Vatican City is
pretty small, in its neighborhood we can still feel the heartbeat
of the religion, there I put this area in the same hat, as the
official Vatican. My very first impressions of this lightened level
of the religion hit me on a beautiful, early spring afternoon. It
was on that trip, which I probably havent mentioned before. It
was on my sweet secret escape to Rome, which is one of the
most rebellious ideas of my life, which I made come true. It
was the result of a persistent desire from the depth of my soul
to go back to my beloved city, which is Rome. I had enough, I
booked the cheapest offer of a low cost airlines company, and I
had the aura to convince my flat mate, and good friend Viki to
be my number one partner in crime for this action. It was an
adventure with capital letters, which would honestly deserve
an own story, so I wouldnt start to detail it here. I dont want
to humiliate it with a short summary. But I cut out from the
complete story a short, sweet and absolutely irrational, but
maximally characteristic episode of that novel. And not just
because its superfunny, but because the main character of that
episode is still an important and beloved part of my Roman
life. He is Leonardo, the original, the older, the chronologically
first one, who is a very entertaining and warmhearted, totally
absentminded friend of mine here. I met him for the first time
in the rush of Conciliazione. We were actually chasing each
other. At the point I got to the meeting point, which he has
just left and so on. Finally we found each other, he jumped
out suddenly from a small car. He was attractive in a typical
Italian way. He took of his RayBan sunglasses, and shouted
a Ciao bella! just from routine, of course! He was a bit sick,
which seemed nothing very serious to me, but he talked about
like it would be the disaster of the year. However, its not new
that men love to suffer and to talk about their serious suffering.
He told that he needs ice cream for his throat urgently, you

Rome as we roll it

know, like first aid. It sounded like a cabaret, but I enjoyed the
show. Leonardo automatically opened the doors of his tiny car,
which effects on me in a way, which made me laugh madly. I
couldnt imagine that Viki and he could manage to cram in my
not so compact wheelchair. However, that time I still couldnt
see the future, which talks about something else, if I think
about the cases, when the other Leonardo hit the road with
me and with my accessories in a cute Fiat Panda. It was one of
my biggest mistakes to decline the offer of that ride, especially
because soon it turned out that my batteries ran out of charge.
So, Leonardo, the older was the victim of the show, which
Leonardo the younger simulated before in the dark night of
San Lorenzo. After his drama, he surprised me so much, that
he pushed me up to the steep roads so cheerfully, like it would
be an everyday exercise for him. He speeded with me on the
wide pedestrian area, which was full of tourists, hawkers, and
nuns. The last group meant a great fun to him. Leo asked me
I cant forget, because it was so unexpected and absurd in a
funny way that I could not answer anything that Have you
ever hit a nun? I guess my silent meant to him that whatever
Ive tried, that time we had to try it together, too. So he aimed
the sisters one by one, and after that we said sorry one by one
like the crashes would have been accidents. We stopped at a
Snack Bar, where he asked for a plug to lend, for my charger,
which was fortunately with us.
More than half year later, but still in the very end of ,
in the company of the human shadow of my oldest friendship
Rzi and his magnificent fianc I cruised the same roads as
we have done with Viki and Leonardo. We jumped by Doma
and Rzis favorite caf from the summer, where they tasted
awesome cappuccino for , euro , and they wanted to show
me. We were surrounded by priests, and we played the silly
game that who will find more sexy ones of them. The most
exciting part was, when Rzis boyfriend joined our game too,
at the point when he felt bored enough to do that. When we
were recharged with caffeine we headed to the street, where my

. Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

favorite couple had their holiday in the summer. They showed


me their balcony, while they were doing their nostalgic sance
of remembering. When we were fighting with the huge berms
just in general, someone shouted my name. Doma warned
me that someone really called me, so we should stop, while I
was convincing myself about that my brain has just cheated on
me. Leonardo, the first ran through the street, while he was
hanging on the phone, which was the part of his usual image,
so he gave two kisses and passed by. But all in all it was so
catchy that he appeared right here unexpectedly, like the fate
would have attached this area to him, like the neighborhood of
Colosseo is attached to Leonardo.
We havent only bumped into Leo on this street but we
found a perfect market for buying food to our New Years Eve
dinner. It had an extremely special and vibrating atmosphere.
In the Mercato Trionfale we found the clearest glances, the
freshest fruits and vegetables, and the most delicious cheeses
of the Earth. I was practicing the last lessons of the Italian
course, which were exactly about the expressions of shopping.
I repeated cipolle or cipolli, which wanted to be the plural
form of onion, when one of the hawkers helped me out gently:
Cipolle, signorina! in the companion of a wide smile.
I think with that market trip we really reached the edge of
the neighborhood of Vatican, but it doesnt mean that this is
the end of the whole religious package. An invitation still left
up to the skies, on the stairway to heaven like a grand final. My
partners were for this trip Anna and Mr. Mesa Capella ( I had to
write out his complete name, because it suits the circumstances
perfectly, I hope everybody feels that), also known as Eugenio.
His brother lives in Rome, but they come from Malaga, originally. Eu has visited his brother and he came to help him in
the preparation of his new exhibition. His brother, Pablo lives
close to Stazione San Pietro, so we agreed an appointment
at the St. Peters square. We entered the basilica together. He
was like a little boy, who was sincerely wondering about the
things like skipping the security control or the not paying for

Rome as we roll it

the visit of the cupola. Ive never seen in such breathtaking


lights the inside of the basilica. The sun gave new meanings
to every corner of it. Soon we started to seek the entrance
of the stairway to the cupola. Next to the steps we found a
pretty big elevator, too, which took us to the halfway. The
view from there was already amazing, so I can imagine what
kind of experience could be for Anna and Eu to see the city in
the sunset on the very top of the cupola, after they climbed
hundreds of steps. Only those heroes deserved that spectacular
view, who completed the mission and climbed these heights,
because from the halfway there wasnt any elevator for the
lazy ones. It meant that it was again the turn of my fantasy and
my imagination.
There are few places in the world, which work like a trick.
Every time we start to believe that we know them as good as
our palms, a corner will come up, which we overlooked before.
And maybe this corner is even more surprising and fascinating,
than all the other together. When I inhaled the fresh air from
the cupola of the basilica, I convinced myself that the puzzle
is completed. Every single part of the Vatican City is explored
by us. But as I mentioned before, this neighborhood owns the
magic. It is the same magic as the versatile personalities know
so well. When you think that everything is written on those
peoples faces, it will turn out that a wellknown smile can
be so difficult to decode like to understand chinese language.
Vatican showed up this smile almost one month later from the
visit of the top of it. Or to be absolutely true, showed its smile
up to Anna. It happened to her on a relatively cold evening,
while I was drinking hot chocolate with Valeria and were trying to solve the crosswords of life close to Piazza Navona. That
time we hardly get used to our Roman life after the Hungarian
Christmas and Anna made some New Years resolution, like
we need to have separated meetings with separated friends,
maybe to have separated story. This decision redounded my
nice and deep talks with Valeria and Annas find at the base
of St. Peters basilica. Its a tiny museum of course, every-

. Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

thing is relative, but comparing to Musei Vaticani, its really


tiny , called Braccio di Carlo Magno. Actually the promising
name of the exhibition was the thing, which really caught Anna.
Metamorfosi dello spazio, it sounds mesmerizingly, isnt it? .
Besides of the gentle sounding, the meaning was also interesting: the metamorphoses of the spaces. I got absolutely excited,
too, so we decided to knock on a new door of the Vatican.
The white marble was showered by heavy rain on the day,
when we aimed the exhibition of Santiago Calatrava. We found
the shiny brand new stair elevator, which was found out to
teletransport me to the entrance of the museum. Anna went
to the info point to ask for some competent help. We needed
a pilot for the spaceship. The extremely important negotiation
has begun upstairs, while I was waiting down. Few minutes
later a man from the museums bodyguard arrived and tried to
make the machine do its job. It turned out soon that probably
I was the lucky one, who was in association with museum
during the debut of the elevator. Two more people from the
crew and the one users guide later, in one blessed moment
the lift began to climb up on the gear wheels. After this long
way up, at least, but as it used to be, we could enter for free. It
was worth to wait, because the creations of the unbelievably
talented Spanish architect make us feel like we would live in
a daydream. His maquettes were able to vitalize the greatest
architectural monuments of the world. From Spain to Italy, or
right to South America. Besides the breathtaking mockups
there were some moving installation, which really made my
glance stick on them. Contemporary art didnt use to effect
on me this way. I used to feel like me and contemporary art
would speak different languages. One of the miracles of my
half year in Rome is the fact that this genre could come closer
to me. I thought that I can leave the stage flawlessly, because
the pilots will be already practiced, after the ride to upstairs.
Well, I was wrong, because the attempted way down has failed,
and the extended crew hasnt help. Nor the users guide, so my
only hope left: manual power. The always working ace, which

Rome as we roll it

helped me out so often, since Ive been living here. Instead of


the elevator I took the stairs. I wobbled down step by step, we
have done it with routine, however the security had a smaller
panic. Fortunately the steps were wide enough to stop on each
of them. However, the rain and the wet floor raised the level of
difficulty, but nothing could really stop us, not even a hurricane,
so actually I found myself faster on the ground floor, than I
found myself upstairs at our arrival. All in all, these expensive
elevators are useful even in the cases, when they didnt work. It
motivates the people to solve the problem somehow, because
their existence shows that it should be solved somehow. The
breakdowns give a nice picture about the general but sweet
chaos in Italy, while the existence is representing the always
good intentions about the situation. Contrarily of this in Hungary the lack of the existence of these kinds of machines only
shows an example how to deny the problem. If the theories
deny, the practice will also deny. Thats how it works. We have
to accept that the attitude of the society is tightly linked to
background and the sources. People always comparing their
obligations to the things they got before as an example. Id
be curious anyway what would happen if wed have a broken
elevator. Would people run away or would their conscience
whisper to help, instead of the elevator? I can only hope that
the second assumption is the right one.
From the birds eye view and the encore visit, I can sum up
my impressions from the Vatican and I can confirm that it was
intense and effervescence, even if I was expecting something
plainer about the happenings compared to the more cosmopolitan parts of Rome. Although now Im sure, I was wrong. This
confession is a nice sinuosity for these paragraphs, which means
its time to row my boat to other rivers... For example right
to the Teveres curve. This is the location, where we can find
Tiberina island with its all unexpected stories and treasures.
Anna and I headed the island on a sunny day, when the air hugs
you with its mildly warm. We crossed Ponte Cestio, which
was one of the charming pedestrian bridges of the city, which

. Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

gives home to street artists and performers. It is margined


by asphalt pavements, so now I voted for the simple way to
get there instead of the shaky one, which still cared about the
atmosphere of the ancient times with its view. This was the
perfect combination. From this position I could see easily every
parts of the island. I expected something like Margarets Island
in Budapest. It is like a village in the capital city. It has an own
theater, an own concert hall, own beaches and therms, own
parks, playgrounds, restaurants, bars, own citizens for the night:
hipster ones, celebrating middleage dudes, drunken tourists.
If I wouldnt be local in my hometown, I could get lost on that
island in the matter of minutes, while I could explore so many
faces of it.
Well, lIsola Tiberina is not that monumental or unpredictable, but the emphasis is on something else. The familiar
feeling, what these tiny spaces give. They give the opportunity
of priceless encounters. Regardless the modern opened spaces
like Piazza Venezia or the bus station in front of Termini, its
true for almost every corner of the older districts of Rome.
The island guards only its romantic river bank, a hospital and
a small church. To tell the truth none of these options made
me overly excited. The shore of the Tevere was a flashing light
in the dark for a second, because we spotted a ramp, which
directs right from the upper level to the water. It seemed to
be a unique opportunity, because Ive been seeking for a way
to get to the river without stairs, but I havent found it until
that moment. The hope left me soon, because the ramp was
closed, maybe because not so long time ago it was a flood. I
tried to convince myself that this is the reason, so I promised
myself that I will return, and maybe on a drier day Ill find it
open, so it will be waiting for me. Hospitals rather effect on me
in a repulsive way, than attracts me to discover, like it works on
every human being like this in my opinion, maybe except for
some perverts. The other monument of the little island hasnt
compensated enough the view of a hospital, because I can see
almost as much churches in Rome as cars, which means end-

Rome as we roll it

less in the language of quantities. So I became kind of immune


of churches, although I can find still some unusual ones, which
makes me pray and praise God, even if I am not that elated in
religions generally, so Rome has its spiritual magic, as I got the
consequence in the Vatican, too.
So we both gave the chance to the tiny church, which maybe
it will be next one, which we can write on our top list. We put
the trust in the house of God, but it avoided us, as a woman
just closed the iron gate in our faces and cut our way to enter.
It seemed to be an unlucky day. I sighed big to clean my brain
with the fresh air and supposed to stop for a minute and rethink
our plans. As I said this to Anna, I meant just the plans for the
next few hours, but in another interpretation I had to put my
thoughts in order in general. This period felt like a vacuum for
me in that moment. It was the beginning of the year, January,
the weeks before my birthdays, which always despairs me for
some unknown reason. Moreover, it was halftime of my Roman adventure, so I felt its time to summarize what Ive done
here and what I should do in the following months. Anna sat
down on the steps in the middle of the Piazza San Bartolomeo
and started to write in her little notebook, which she got as a
Christmas present from her boyfriend. I supposed she dived
deep in her thoughts just like me. We wandered in our own
inner world parallel, meanwhile cute blonde kids were chasing
each other and chatted in German around us. It reminded me
that before summer Ill hear this language on the streets, in
the shops, everywhere instead of cheerfully singing Italian. I
havent wished anything else just to pause the time like in a
movie. I texted Leonardo, the younger one, who was my brand
new unfulfilled love from this patch of the world, in the hope
that a rapid lunch or coffee together could cheer me up a bit,
as I knew that he is working in the neighborhood of lIsola
Tiberina. Fate always knows better than us, what we need, and
this time Leo wasnt the solutions of my problems, but to get to
know a new person, a new life always refreshes the mind and
soul. For that upset day, literally and nonliterally separated

. Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

on an island hided two new people for us. As we rested in


the protection of the island, under the sun, a guy sat next to
us. He threw his huge backpack on the ground. He seemed a
bit tired and creasy, but I noticed the shine of the innate and
undeniable enthusiasm. I knew this kind of light, it was the
lights of the people who are on the road, who has so many
things to tell which are behind them, and who know perfectly
that as much things waiting for them at the next stops as much
is already behind them or more... Its the starry eyes of the
unstoppable, restless travelers. Of course, not just his eyes but
his outfit with the comfortable boots and the fully packed bundle also revealed about his Keruac lifestyle. He dug out from
his backpack the instant cigarettemaking ingredients and the
book of Patti Smith, which became the Bible of my Rome,
so it meant that I need to know more about this mysterious
man. Ive heard about the Just kids from one of my friends,
and ex flat mates, whom life was also about being on the road,
hitchhike through the world, and yes, maybe through the
galaxy. Written stories guards endless messages to their readers,
but for me that book meant that everybody has a home, where
he/ she can arrive to herself / himself. And these homes are so
determined that if we start to find them, nothing can stop us.
Money, weather, the borders of the body and the bravery wont
exist anymore, because who departs, deserves the tailwind,
which will be received. With that tailwind once upon a time
these brave ones will find themselves at their destinations and
they will feel one hundred percent sure that they arrived home,
as I also felt on my very first day in Rome. And I knew that I
will feel it before my plane would have took off, so I packed
Just kids in my bag to remind myself that my story should
tell at least one person in the world the same message, as I got
from Patti Smith. The book helped me to get in touch with the
traveler guy. It was our common language.
Patti knows something about how to be always in the right
place at the right time . I threw these words as easygoing way
as it was possible, however this attitude is so far from me. I

Rome as we roll it

just would like to be easygoing. Maybe until April, Ill learn it


from the Italian people.
You are right. Rome is our New York. I just dont know
what will be our Paris , the metaphor was clear to me. Pattis
dream was NYC, but she went for inspiration to Paris sometimes, where the hippie heroes of the s were creating something big like Jim Morrison. The only thing, which surprised
me was that he constantly used our like our ways would
have been crossed long time ago, and he would have known
me and my life just like he knows his own palms. This respond
made me feel automatically that I can trust him.
Gosh, I dont know what to do with this island, it strangles
me with its offer of nothing .
Come on, it offers the other side of the river. There is the
jewish quartier of Rome, its also small, but Im sure it has
more news for us. Actually my grandmother is jewish, so it
would be the time to get to know more about my roots. Would
you accompany me, girls? .
It was the day of freedom and random happenings and the
day of going with the stream of the river. Anna and I exchanged
a glance, which was about the agreement that its a good idea
to hang out with owner of the Patti Smith book. The other side
of the island is chained to the Lungotevere with Ponte Fabricio,
which is a bit more narrow pedestrian bridge, than the one we
crossed from Trastevere to the island. As an extra it guarded
a little obstacle course for me at the entrance and at the exit
of the bridge with the extremely narrow space to get to the
bridge. The system was like on the Ponte Sisto or Ponte Milvio.
I guess these obstacles werent made to peeve me, but to the
keep out the cars, scooters and motorcycles, but still it meant
always a challenge to me not to stick there. I hope I will never
have to cross these bridges, when I will be a bit drunk. Soon I
get to know that our brand new company is called Matteo and
he is from Florence.
He made an improvised and personal guide tour for us in
the jewish district. He started with a warm up in that four

. Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

blocks which exactly bordered the ghetto in the past. The tiny
alleys covered by cobblestones were decorated with tons of little jewish restaurants, which combined the Italian cousin with
the kosher cousin. The scents were seductive, but we all agreed
that this time we are hungrier for the culture, than for the food.
We spotted the entrance of Museo Ebreico di Roma, so we
decided that it will be our next unexpected stop. I was ready
to fight with the crowd of the tourists as it used to happen in
the museums of Rome, but there were just few people were
hanging around, waiting for the official guide. No surprise that
I had to go on a secret path to get in the synagogue and the
museum. The synagogue had a pretty cool ramp just like all
the main churches and papal basilicas in the city. We had three
different guides from the Italian jewish community besides
Matteo. The first one was an older woman, who showed the
main synagogue around and told the story of the Italian jews,
which I partly knew, thanks to the knowledge of our new friend.
Ursula, our guide mentioned that the oldest synagogue is in
Florence, at that point I noticed the smile of pride of the origins in the corner of Matteos mouth. Budapest has a gorgeous
jewish temple, but shame or not, Ive never been there, so for
me it was also new that every men have to wear kipa inside the
synagogue regardless they are practicing the religion or not. I
had to take the stair elevator, which took me to the cellar level,
where the museum and the Spanish synagogue were found.
The organization was pretty flawless, especially because we
didnt have to pay anything. I mean me and Anna, of course
its impossible to enter a jewish church for free to everyone,
but I could enjoy again the benefits of being in a wheelchair.
We got a phone guide, which educated us about the Italian
jewish architecture, habits, traditions, and history. In the Spanish synagogue a younger colleague enlightened us about some
details of the Catalan and Castilian jews lives in Italy. As we
finished the tour in the museum, we said goodbye to Matteo.
I know that he is a person, who will never be attached to any
place or any person. I knew that its possible that he will change

Rome as we roll it

his direction in the upcoming moment, so it was predictable


that we wont change contacts. But I was still grateful to him
that he arrived in the right moment in my life to show me the
meaning of lIsola Tiberina and pushed me to the other side in
every existing meaning: in time, physically, and mentally. Every
possible way.
Due to my bad coordination, Ive just realized that time
that this area is in the back of Teatro Marcello, which is in the
neighborhood of Piazza Venezia. I agreed in a rapid meeting
with the other Leonardo, the older one, who was with his great
friend this time. We met at the ruins of Teatro Marcello. He
is the character of my Rome, who grew from the least trustworthy and most absent minded person to the person of
safety. I dont know how it has happened, but nowadays he is
up to help me in every practical issues of everyday life. I think
Leonardo took the place of Leonardo, and now I hope everybody can follow that Im not talking about one schizophrenic
man, but two different Leos. Of course, not in the same way,
because in spite of all the charm of Leo the Rodriguez, I think
of him as a great friend and in spite of all the warnings and
all my willing and hopes I still cant think of Leo the Battaglia
(he is the younger) as a simple friend without any additional
meaning. Our quartet contained Anna, Leo the Rodriguez, his
friend and me, and this group was full of creative energies
that time. Leo told us that his friend will help to decorate his
bed&breakfast. He noticed my eardrops, which were made by
Anna out of old slides of a slideprojector. He had the idea that
if he gives to Anna some old film roll about the monuments
of Rome and she could do something similar out of them like
my eardrops, they will build a cabinet in the b&b, where she
could sell them. I liked the idea and I found it very promising,
as. It sounds for me perfect, because from my point of view
Rome has come to our lives to find our places. I think this is the
aim. It was an inspiring idea and I suppose that Anna bought it,
too. Ideas were been followed by other ideas, a chain reaction
was started. I got also few advices from Leos friend, when I

. Vatican city and its neighborhood, lIsola Tiberina

was complaining about some details in connection with writing, which Ive already started to use. Leo took his camera as
always, so we were posing constantly with the ruins, without
the ruin, with each other in all the existing combinations, were
joking, and had really great time together. The day of lIsola
Tiberina taught us to enjoy the surprises of the times when we
need to be off the roads, which were originally planned. Our
quartet headed from Teatro Marcello right to the famous hill
and the romantic heights of Capitoleum. All things we started
in the shadow of the Museo Ebreico di Rome, we continued
there, but I wont start to detail the happenings of the steep
streets of Capitoleum, because it would really stream us too far
from the original topic, just like in space, but either in meaning.
Despite of this the jewish district in my story is attached to
the island, or the island is a starter of the exploration of the
jewish quartier and of course Matteo. As a final, I would like
to put to the margin of the second part of this chapter one of
my favorite quotes of Just kids, which is also in the lyrics
of a Patti Smiths song: Paths that cross will cross again . I
think its a perfect summary for Leo and his friends case, the
meaning of my meeting with Matteo, and even the answer
for my certain worries about the future and the troubles with
my relationships in Rome in connection with the future. If
they have future, I have to believe: Paths that cross will cross
again .

Chapter VIII

The spirit of old times


Ostiense, Garbatella, Appia Antica

This is a chapter which gives the chance to draw on my imagined map a proud line from the origo to the edge of the horizon. I would start the line from a cute hidden hill, margined by
walls, near to blonde river. This is one of my secret shelters in
Rome, which I havent introduced yet, however I appreciate it
on the spiritual level, what it truly deserves. This point on the
imagined map is one of my petrol stations, as I like to use this
metaphor. This is minutes by walk from Piramide / Ostiense,
and my slowed speed caused by berms is also calculated. This
is the graveyard of the great foreign talents. Fortunately, it
could be the best example of the nontouristic oasis. It guards
the memory of Keats, Shelley, the son of Goethe, and the famous Italian philosopher Gramsci and more great artists of the
world. It is placed on a hill, of course like every important and
stunning monuments of the Eternal City. This topographical
phenomenon meant that I had to crawl up that hill. Ive already
done it with Anna in the summer heat, so now we did the .
version of this fight. It wasnt easy because the little pebbles
made the steep way up more difficult. However, the previous
experience gave a bit of routine, so I wasnt afraid of do it again.
From the upper level we could see all the famous tombs together. Ive never felt comfortable in graveyards before. Its very
difficult to me to face the concept of death. Im still searching
for the reason, but I know that I cant accept the finiteness,
although I know this is the rule of the life or the order of the

Rome as we roll it

life, so obviously I have to work on it. However, I forgot all my


fears here and I simply felt that I can inhale the wisdom, the
peace and arts altogether. This place works really like a peaceful island. You can just sit down there and enjoy the silence as
Depeche Mode would say so. You can take a walk and listen to
your hidden thoughts and your inner sounds. I think its the
place, where once in the lifetime everybody should pilgrimage
alone to find his or her own answers. Moreover, I think all
the great talents, who were interred there whisper some wise
word in peoples ears. We drew a circle as we were strolling
inside, and the half way we noticed the huge edifice, which was
actually a pyramid. It made a kind of disorder in my mind for a
moment, where I am, in the ancient Egypt or in Italy in the XXI.
century. I can say that this tomb was the biggest, Ive seen in
Rome, however I have already visited some. Every time I was
dropped by the fate here, the weather was gorgeous. It could
be tender summer evening, generally wet and humid autumn
afternoon, or even theoretically freezing winter morning. It
shows also the magical harmony of this place. I think Ill be
always grateful to Rome to guard such a unique paradise on
the Earth.
One of our obeisances at the cemetery of the goldenhanded
protestant artists ended up higher, than we expected. This time
we formed again a triangle, now with a real Italian in one of
the corners of it. We decided to take Nicola to the cemetery
because he is a real addict of the literature. I know it, since I
hosted him via CouchSurfing for few days in Budapest, and
he gave to me as a present a gorgeously old Marquez book
in original language from a second hand bookshop. When he
left Budapest, he promised me that he will visit us in Rome
once. As it has come true, and he kept his promise, as he is a
real gentleman, I felt I owe him to show a face of Rome, which
could be stunning even for an Italian guy, who travelled so long
to visit me, from the other side of the boot. The creepy fat
cats chased me away relatively soon from the graveyard, right
towards a sloping street. We discussed in a compact ten seconds

. Ostiense, Garbatella, Appia Antica

that we are fresh and young enough to climb and crawl it. The
right answer was of course a selfconfident yes with capital
letters. The weather was capricious, while we were walking up
on the way to one of the seven hills of Rome, called Aventino.
When I turned right the sky was so dark, which seems almost
black. The wind was blowing with the strength of the mother
nature. We heard even a threatening thunder, as it was echoing
from far away. In the other hand, the temperature was unusually warm, and the sun shined madly compared the fact that
it was winter, when it could penetrate the massive, stubborn
clouds. It reminded me of a summer day in Rome, when the
showers characterized all our days. We hang out at Piazza del
Popolo, when matrigna struck on us with all the scary performances of a crazy storm. This is the Italian expression, which
was taught by Lorenzo. Literally it means step mother, but
people often use, when the weather is moody, like on the day
of the Aventinos discovery. When we arrived to the top of the
tops, we met a towering, strictly standing iron gate. There was
a hardly visible keyhole on it. I dug out a story from my memories about a famous keyhole. I didnt know from who I have
exactly heard about it, maybe it was an innocent anecdote from
Le Mura, but it can also happen that Ive read it in my guidebook during our first flight from Budapest to Ciampino. The
basic mustknow thing about the keyhole is the view which
it offers to the cupola of the St. Peters Basilica. The heights
entrapped me again, although Im everything but not acrophobic. The problem was how the keyhole was optimized. It was
perfect for standing people, but in my sitting position I was
under the minimum limit of the smallsized but spectacular
view. Anna and Nicola peeked through the hole, obviously they
got totally excited by the fascinating visual experience, while I
tried not to focus on the action, which I had to miss, but the
other beauties, which were around me. Every time, when I
need to face the situation that there are things which will stay
determinately covered and unknown for me, I can find another
keyhole, where I can peek and see a whole new word. Its a

Rome as we roll it

mentally created keyhole, it is only about how we filter our


reality.
To be exact, in the moment of the optional keyhole disappointment, I turned and the sky was blindingly blue above
me. The Italian language makes a difference in the everyday
talks between the color of the sky and the color of the sea. The
power, which came from above, was the power of azzuro, the
color of the blue sky. Its light painted the oranges even luscious
and streched the typical Roman tower of the church prouder
and prouder. We have jumped from one park to the other, and
all of them had the same idyllic view to the ancient ruins and
giant monuments, as the one which was detained by the form
of a keyhole. The gravel layer was crass, so my wheels were
fighting almost as hard as they used to do in the sand of the
seashores. Sometimes deep puddles forced me to slalom, as
they stood always in my way.
When we left the last park we found, and the last church,
which was closed these days the temples didnt really want
to adopt us we chose the steepest road, because its steepness
meant that it will direct us down. But not down, to wherever,
but down to Bocca di Verit and to Circo Massimo, which
seemed to be a perfect destination, as we had a guest, who was
ready to be guided by us. This was not the first time when
the discovery made me amazed that almost all the must see
things are so close to each other, like the hill of Aventino and
Circo Massimo. Regarding the coordination, Im a stereotypical
woman, maps will be real mysteries for me, but I think in Rome
because of this phenomenon we cant blame on my anti talent.
The cause is the structure of the city. Every hotspot shows so
different perspective and atmosphere, which can make you
have doubts about you are in the same country or not. To
imagine that we are in the same neighborhood, in this case it
seems to be kind of unbelievable.
After this capricious day of January, we soon get a present,
which was the feeling of the spring, also in the first month
of the year. Every circumstance seemed to be perfect for a

. Ostiense, Garbatella, Appia Antica

random fallinlovewiththecityoverandoveragain. This


is the act, which make you feel part of the whole, an important
element of the system, like an oxygen molecule in the human
body. It is the ceremony, which can refresh our relationships
with the city, which gives us home, culture, attitude. In a big
city, everybody will be involved in the system, therefore I was
partly wrong, when I wrote that this act is needed to be a
part of the system, but all that matters is which system we
choose. The easiest way, if we follow the stream. The stream
is more or less the rush. Its about running circles without
your senses in the faith that you are going to somewhere, in
the faith of linearity. The other option is to jump out of the
rush, and go offthepath. For this nobody has to be lost in
the deep forest, because its also possible on our routine ways
from home to the workplace. If we used to watch our steps
or the traffic lights, now peek in the windows, and spot some
cool furnitures inside, or look at the patterns of the cracks on
the facades of the buildings. The details warn us that tiny and
simple things are the components of this wonderful world, and
actually these things make it so wonderful. To be aware and
focus on these small beauties is a huge challenge, if we need
to focus on our destination, or on every next step we will take.
One of the greatest gift what I got from the fate that I got the
opportunity to unfold the corners of Rome in a way without
exact destinations. Of course, there are days, when I have to
hurry here to my Italian lesson, or to an appointment, or to be
on time before the exhibitions are closing. But there are many
other days, when I can point on the map, go there, and playing
with the power of the decisions at the crossroads. Its like a
logic or a strategic game.
We got to the Garbatella metro stop around noon, and we
had to choose a direction still in the underground. One of them
directed to a superfuturistic bridge, which headed Via Ostiense.
The other option was Via Ignazio Persico. As we knew the
area of Ostiense, we didnt want to find ourselves again there,
so we chose the second option. Every building was familiar

Rome as we roll it

to me, except its lights and colors, because last time when I
walked the same way it was night time. I took a look in every
inner garden. These gardens identify pretty much this area, but
they are also similar to old buildings of Budapests center. It
was possible to enter in every single inner garden, but some
of them said stop to me with few steps. I felt the adrenaline
of the mischiefmaker kids, who are roaming on forbidden
fields. We spent few minutes in the most attractive gardens of
Garbatella. Some of them had orange and banana trees, but
the lush vegetation was guaranteed in all of them which is a
surprising contradiction regarding the general semidarkness
because of the tallness of the buildings. The wall didnt let too
much sunshine in, although the sky was flawlessly clear. The
sound of the televisions drifted out, while the drying clothes
on the rope were dancing in the wind.
I spotted a corner, where the djvu caught me on the
highest level. I was almost sure that this was the place, where I
stayed with Viki during our secret trip, which wont be a secret
anymore. I was ninetynine percent sure that the building,
where we stood, was the house of Alessandro. He was our
host on the first and extremely hectic day of the trip in April.
The steps, which directed to the typical inner garden reminded
me of the fight how we got in Alessandros home. It was late
night, all of us felt super tired and washed out and nothing was
optimized to my wheelchair there. The steps were high, the
entrance was narrow, the room was crowded, and our host was
a bit grouchy. All the physical obstacles mean actually nothing
to me or these obstacles just seem to be an exciting teasing for
me, just some funny challenge.
This sentence is true until there is nobody, who has another
interpretation of these obstacles. My world is enviously idyllic,
but watch out, because it works like a chameleon, which causes
me sometimes pretty much annoyance. Anna used to tell me
that my mood is like a chameleon, so the definition comes
from her. She always helps to identify some dark side of my
personality, and I have to be grateful for this. It is a nice and hard

. Ostiense, Garbatella, Appia Antica

advantage of living together, in the same time. The chameleon


mood means that Im absolutely sensitive for others mood. It is
also like a magnifying glass: if someone smiles, my smile will
be doublesized, if someone is happy, I can feel next to him
that I could spread this happiness to the whole big world. If
someone is angry, I will be angry two times longer, and Ill
still worry, when the previous angry ones are already in a good
mood. In the cases, when we jump into the wheelchair topic,
my chameleon effect is even worse. People make me actually
omnipotent. If the people believe that we can do something,
which seems to be impossible for the first sight, it generates in
me unstoppable energies, which are growing and which are
available for those people, who generated them before. In the
other hand if my intuitions whisper that there are some doubts
about the wheelchair challenge in the minds of the people
around me, I become extremely passive. Therefore when I felt
that Alessandro is logically grouchy because of the sleepless
night, I felt myself extraordinary awkward, like a conquistador.
My second visit at his house put me in a nostalgic state of mind,
although at my first visit I felt as liberation to leave his place.
Every second crossroad was mine, because one time Anna
chose the direction, other time I was the lucky one. We wandered more in the right part of the area, because on the other
side we saw only unfriendly buildings and the train station,
which didnt really excite us. Garbatella wore a village costume.
The trees were occupied by parrots, but some other kind of
birds sang, too. Nannies chatted on the streets, and grandmas
waved to the passing cars. The steep and curving streets were
decorated by colorful mediterrean houses with small windows
and brown shutters. There were decorative clay pots with flowers in every single ledge. Sometimes the roads turned into
miniature roundabouts with some young pines in the middle
of them. I chose the direction of a white cupola, which reminded me to the top of the young basilica in the EUR district.
We gave a chance that maybe we have already reached the EUR
accidentally, but it was just another XXI century church, and

Rome as we roll it

we could still enjoy the atmosphere of Garbatella, fortunately.


Anna encouraged me to follow the noise of the kids, what we
heard from a bit far. Soon we bumped into an elite primary
and secondary school. It was the end of the school day, so children were flocking with their weird trolley school bag from
everywhere. The eagles on the top of the building represented
a promise of strict education for the visitors like us, but it was
full of life and cheerful laughs, so if I had a halfItalian son or
daughter, Id gladly take her or him to this school every day. We
changed direction again. Our new road took us to a really unexpected place, however it wasnt far from the church. Moreover,
it was literally the back of the church, which is called Ambra
alla Garbatella, as the description on the wall, right above the
entrance told us. I could say that it is a multifunctional art
source, which fed us with culture from every side. We found
here the closed cash register of the theater, as it was still early
afternoon, of course there wasnt any performance. On the left
from the entrance we could follow the ground signs of a runaway or highway imitation in a narrow corridor. Anna found
an old telephone, while I was dedicating a blackboard with a
chalk. This part of the Ambra della Garbatella works as a bar
during the night, but that time it was empty. We sneaked into
the sound check of the cinema. Our action was interrupted by
the staff, but no surprise, my presence or the presence of my
wheels convinced them soon that we can be the only exceptions, who are allowed to bother the sound check. We headed
the stairs, where people worked on the next exhibition. We
could only inform ourselves about the artist, whom name is
Annuska. Its also the nickname of Anna, so it was an obligation
to take a picture about the biography of the artist on the wall.
I think the best is to stop on the top of the mountain, as the
saying also thinks, so we finished our tour in this absolutely
new and refreshing corner of Rome.
We attacked the metro stop to take the long blue snake to
Piramide. On the ground floor of the station I saw a waving silhouette. As we got closer I realized that the smiling stubble face

. Ostiense, Garbatella, Appia Antica

with matted hair is the property of Alessandro. My nostalgic


moments about him in the very beginning of our Garbatella
afternoon put a spell on him, and dropped him in my way
at the very end of the day. Despite of our shared challenging
experiences he seemed to be honestly happy to see me again.
He hugged me and gave two kisses with the ordinary Italian
enthusiasm. We talked few minutes, then we said goodbye, but
this funny coincidence made me automatically smile.
From the blueness or sometimes greyness of the riverbank
we turned towards the feeding fields, in a pretty offthepath
style. Anna already has tried to discover the unknown and ancient lands of the thousands years old Via Appia Antica. It was
early fall and still the warm wind was the lord in Rome. She
turned home from her pilgrimage with a summary that it will
be challenging and sweating to shake my wheels up on that
notorious huge and wise cobble stones. It was absolutely on
our todolist to go for it, but the possibility of a fail dissuaded
me a little bit. Its like pouring cold water, when you fight a
lot to achieve the desired destination and one step before your
aim you will be stopped. It happened to me here only once,
because the powerful vibrations of the city usually chase away
any kind of resignation. But a short word called too came to
my mind and it reminded me to my unusual climbing attempt
of the peak of Monte Mario, where we had to wave the sign
of giving up with the white tissue. That case it was too high.
In this case it seemed to be too far and too abandoned. It took
long weeks to persuade myself about the truth of a saying: the
exception strengthens the rule. So for this time, I killed the
meaning of too. It didnt exist anymore or again. Ive already
written about the spiritual and real rollercoasters of the Eternal
City. In this case the spiritual one showed up again. Sometimes
Im able to believe in myself on the highest level, and then
it makes me omnipotent regardless my physical conditions.
Other times when I feel down, the scary toos won some
place in my spirit. But after the rainy and lightless November,
a springlike December arrived hand in hand with blue sky

Rome as we roll it

and adventurous and fresh mood. We agreed that after some


information hunting on the internet on a brilliantly planned
route well go to roam a piece of Caesars way on the same day,
when Annas brother came to visit us. I browsed all morning
before our time travel the website of the park of Appia Antica
and fished out some useful information, which I have to mark
as a rare miracle in the deep and dark forest of the Italian webpages. It contained some hint about the accessible bus lines to
the different parts of the park. We played a counting game to
decide which area we should choose for first because we obviously planned to repeat this magic combination of Into the
wild and Back to the... well, not future, but past... Finally I
voted for Via Latina, because ATAC offered a nice trip without
changing from Repubblica, which seemed quite acceptable for
us. We expected that opened gates are going to welcome us
everywhere during that trip, but Rome is famous about the
curling ways and not about the speeding highways, so it was
obviously a misbelief. The ATAC calvary has started at our
departure point. Buses have come and gone together with the
hope, because every time a little handle in the middle of the
entrance stayed in my way. After one and a half hour of sweet
doing nothing, or as the Italian would say dolce far niente a
brand new bus arrived with the desired number on the fore
of it. We took the brand new bus to the direction of Via Latina.
We expected an extraordinary smooth and paved way, as we
deserved after our unlucky previous one and a half hour. Of
course, it was a hopelessly chased dream again, and regarding
the paves it wasnt the only miscalculation. The bus shook our
brain out through the cobblestones of the center, then we hit
the endless avenues of the Cinecitt area, and finally we got
lost on the pathless hidden roads of this neighborhood. This
little trip reminded me that we are just an unbelievably tiny
component of an intangibly big world, which is sometimes
greener, brighter, and livelier, than the eyes of a human being are able to perceive. We ended up at a huge capolinea,
which means final station in the middle of nowhere. I felt

. Ostiense, Garbatella, Appia Antica

like a toddler, who lost her mom, but Anna zigzagged comfortably and selfconfidently between the buses, as we got off the
mysterious bus number .
We broke our unwritten rule, which says: in this charmingly
chaotic country, its more useful to involve in the mass of cars,
if you have wheels like me. In this case, this declaration seemed
to be too dangerous, regarding it was a six lane road. The
pavement was old, used, bumpy and narrow as always. The
unexpectedly appearing signposts were just pretty cherries on
the top of the cake. Every time I bumped into one of them, I
turned my Chuck Norris mode on, when I risked to take over
it in an artistic way. Two of my wheels were in safety, but the
other two were levitating in the air powered by Annas modest
help from my back. We passed by a parking zone, and soon we
arrived to our destination. We stepped and rolled through the
widely yawning gate. From every side we were hugged by the
mother nature. First we followed the claycolored dirt road for
long meters and meters. Anna encouraged me that this way
is hundred times more wheelchair accessible, than the other
parts of Parco Appia Antica, which she has already discovered
in peaceful loneliness. Our path was breezily margined by the
tombs of the great Roman warlords and emperors. Sometimes
the stones were changed by the familiar towering pines, which
look like a supergreen baobab, stolen from Africa. It was sunset,
so the landscape was painted in irresistibly romantic and warm
colors. The whole atmosphere was like the rare moments of
the perfect harmonization of the realitys stage and the stage of
the most impossible dreams. There wasnt noise, werent cars
or shouting, stressed people. We were swimming in the sweet
sea of the past and a kind of healthy isolation from the everyday
routine. Both of us need this kind of intermezzos, when we
remind ourselves that in this half year, we are the basic parts of
a real magic.
The idyllic feelings were extending as I realized that it was
the first time when I caught the actual and current moments of
the arrival of someone important from home. The Ciampino

Rome as we roll it

airport was surprisingly close to Via Latina. The planes were


flying so low that I could spot the label of the airlines on their
tails or their barely released wheels. It felt like a second childhood, when I was hunting for airplanes in the sky, mesmerized
by their voice. The birds of Ryanair were landing one after the
other, so we felt torching desire to check the time. We noticed
that the flight of Annas brother will land soon. Few minutes after this recognition, another recognition poured icecold water
in our face. The dirt road, where we were passing dynamically, only stopped by our will to take some pictures about
the breathtaking sunset, turned into gigantic and jagged and
patchy stones of the ancient times. I remember that Ive already
won a fight against the similar kind of stones in a small and
old village in Hungary, so I have given a chance to win again
bravely. This time the stones were more stubborn than me. My
frontal wheels were clumsily gyrating in the deep cracks, but
we moved forward two meters in five minutes. I have to confess,
it was rather a record bad proportion, than a nice achievement,
especially because we wanted to pick up Bazsi, Annas brother
somewhere close to the airport. Eventually the sobriety made
the right decision: we turned back and left the sly stones. On
our way back on the claycolored path we saw to land Balzss
flight, which made me extremely excited. With this well done
identification we could call him to say that we will be a bit late.
These kinds of phone calls are the rituals of our Roman life.
We took the same bus, which we rode right to Re di Roma.
This is a stop of metro A and another great coincidence that it
was also accessible, so we could meet our eagerly waited guest
there. That day was given to the adaptations. Adaptations of
beauty, silence, challenges and a big love package from the far
away Budapest.

Chapter IX

Visual effects
Parco degli Acquedotti, Cinecitt, S. Elena

After the visit of Bazsi, we returned for Christmas together


to our cold roots. We left the empire of the sunshine in a
spring shine. As we took off, I saw from the window the clear
blue lakes of Bracciano, the pure tops of the snowcovered
mountains and the calling seaside. The thousands of faces of
this magical country couldnt stop to amaze me, time by time.
We havent reached the ground of Hungary yet, but I was
already planning our next adventure in the infinite Parco Appia
Antica in the new year. I agreed with Anna that our first thing
to do on the first sunny day of will be to scan another
unknown point of the park and go for it. This vow hasnt given
an unbearable trial to our patience. The first days of January
in Rome were like freshening early spring. I felt perfection in
a flimsy jeans coat, even if I used to feel the cold in my bones,
when the others are sweaty as hell.
It shows the distances of that park perfectly which Id
rather call forest, melting together fields, or virgin lands
that we had to approach our new destination from completely
different ways, lines and sides. However, this route was definitely easier and smoother than the first one in December.
We hopped on to the train of metro A at Valle Aurelia, which
is almost our neighborhood. Anna dug his face deep in a book,
because we all knew that well spend a couple of long minutes
under the ground, regarding the closest stop to the Acquedotti
was almost the other end of the line. As always, we thought

Rome as we roll it

too much again. The tricky Subaugusta station played with


us a bit, but I didnt mind. We should have known: there is
no day in Rome without entertaining obstacles. We happily
pushed the button of the elevator like kids on the playground.
We were waiting for the sweet sound, which warns that the
lifting chariot is ready to welcome us on the board. The sound
hasnt arrived. We were hesitating few minutes what we should
do next, but of course the giving up wasnt an option. Especially, because I couldnt have dealt with another turning back
episode in the story of Parco dellAppia Antica. We made the
conclusion that Subaugusta is in the suburbs, where the employee of the ATAC used to take longer coffee breaks, than
in the frequented and more often controlled areas, therefore
we got ready for a neverending chasing for our saviors. Anna
loped up on the stairs, and soon my eyes lost her silhouette.
The wind of the arriving trains woke me up over and over
again from these plain moments, which I spent alone in the
darkness of the underground. I absolutely lost my sense of
time, so only my music was able to give me stronghold to
measure the passing of time. It meant I have been waiting for
Anna for more or less fifteen minutes, because Ive listened
four and a half of my favorite songs. She turned back alone,
which situation didnt seem too promising to me. However,
the result wasnt as terrible as I expected. She came with the
message that somebody will activate the elevator in five minutes. The news were indisputably good, because I believed
the elevator simply broke down, so I will see the sun in the
heights, held by four adroit latin lovers. In this cases I used
to build in my prayers the gratefulness for the fact that Im
an artist, so these stolen times are perfect to think about my
next chapters, and in the other hand I dont have to hurry
anywhere. Otherwise, I would be lost in Italy. In the months,
which I spent here, I learnt my lesson well about, here in
Rome, time has also another national currency. Five Italian
minutes worth at least one more fifteen minutes, but at least
Ive already had a company to spend it in a fun way. Our savior

. Parco degli Acquedotti, Cinecitt, S. Elena

arrived according my original calculation. Ive never known


before that Im that talented in maths.
We broke free from the captivity by a shiny silver key, which
was able to put electricity in the elevator. One floor upper we
faced another challenge. The crew should activate another stair
lift to get completely out, but this mission was already more,
than they were trained originally. Soon everybody from the
stop gathered around us and put up a real Italian comedy in the
matter of glance. They were talking about nothing, held their
hand and sighed in every third second dramatically, but at the
end a big Brava! broke out from everyone in the same time,
like it would have arrived from the common spirit. Ive noticed
the familiar flashing and beeping of the stair lift, which we
survived pretty often at Colosseo. I was already sure, it means
I will feel the sun of spring on my skin very soon. As we found
the way out and the accessible exit from the lot of stairway, I
felt djvu. It wasnt an accidental flash. Ive known this place
well from the trip of my late teenage crime, when I escaped
for some fresh air to Rome with Viki, my ex flat mate in that
unforgettable April of .
This was the area, where we stayed for that memorable
three days. I remembered the towering pines, the speeding cars
on the long avenue, also known as Via Tuscolana. This road
directs from Re di Roma to Ciampino airport which means
its not a friendly and nice walking distance. To place ourselves
and find the right direction seemed to be a jaunty game after
all this waiting. We headed towards Cinecitt, crossed the huge
road at the first possibility, and turned right. There was so a
few traffic that I could live for my passion and speed on the
road and not on the sidewalk. In five minutes we crashed into
the eternity of green again. The nature was just awaking, so
it was touching to catch these moments. We havent known
before, but we chose an Italian holiday to explore the corners
of the Acquedottis area. However, the gigantic ruins were
absolutely on the horizon, but for me again a longer and more
curving way was given by the fate, because on the simplest

Rome as we roll it

ways stairs waited for us everywhere. As we circled the park, we


realized that compared to other regular Mondays the presence
of families on the streets is extremely intense. Epiphany is
also Befana Day here, when a nice witch brings presents to the
children. We passed by our stubbornly long obstacle, which was
a short, but not enough short stone wall from the ancient times,
so we could admire from closer the overwhelming creation of
the people of the historical Rome. All our way a flock of sheeps
accompanied us, sometimes from the left, sometimes from the
right, other times they crossed our way. Randomly a gipsy
shepherd appeared too, which view gave a Balkan atmosphere
for this day. My tires were fighting hard with the elements,
but in this case especially with Earth. I was bouncing on the
varied ground, but the fun park effect hasnt bothered me as
long as the feeling of the spring accompanied us on our way.
Anyway, every time I hear the struggling voice of my motors, I
cant feel scared, because I feel I jumped into the nature, which
gives so much extra power. Not too many people can declare
that they had the experience to wander on wheels.
When we have found ourselves in the shadow of the Acquedotti a wave of visual art caught us and we felt crazy desire to
create something fun and genuine with our camera which is
blessed with five megapixels so we let our fantasy free. It was
early afternoon, but regarding the fact that it was the middle of
Roman winter, the sun was already a bit lazy and shined on us
with its orange colours like it would have set. The way of light
screened the proud silhouette of the Acquedotti to the fresh
green gross. Our shapes were also black figures on the ground
under the shadowarcades. Anna stayed behind me, I stretched
out my arms as much as my Popeye muscles let me do, and
Anna did the same, however she didnt need to put so much
effort in this exercise. Our shadow seemed like a strange insect.
The title of the other picture could be Passive You. Agressive
Me just like the Naked and Famous albums title. Anna kicked
towards me, while I was tilting my head a bit to the right. In
reality her toe was pretty far away from my forehead, but our

. Parco degli Acquedotti, Cinecitt, S. Elena

shadows magnified the facts and showed a serious and wild


fight. The third photo of the day was taken about the shadow of
an extremely tall man. The man was created with a trick of two
of us. Anna was standing again behind my back like she would
have pushed my chair, so our shapes melted together into one
giant form. The breeze became colder, which warned me that
the evening is coming. This area is more famous about daytime
fun, than about the sparkling nightlife, so we put ourselves to
the way, which takes us home.
Regarding the fact that Anna loves to break the old rule
that Dont leave the familiar way for an unknown way , we
headed towards the metro station from the other side. We had
to cross a narrow, but speedy hoof, which escalated into a tiny
artificial lake. The hoof and the lake were flooding, because of
the heavy storms of the end of December. It felt like we would
have roamed around a whole miniature continent. A continent
of the fairytales. To get to the other side, we had to cross a
strangely designed bridge. Im sure that the engineers of the
ancient times loved the challenges, because that bridge couldnt
suit too much the chariots, neither my wheelchairs (if we jump
to the present). It was covered by huge cobblestones, which
might have been more accurate to call rocks. As we entered
the bridge, I had to crawl up on a mountain high slope. I could
enjoy the more or less smooth way on the top of the bridge for
two meters or less, and then came the brand new adventure:
our way down. Some of the covering stones were missing, so
few deep holes made that way even more colorful and diverse,
than our way to the top.
After this experience I cant declare that this was the most
exciting part of the day. Some unexpected highlights were
still waiting for us. We reached our proper metro stop at the
time, we agreed with the enthusiastic ATAC controller, who
promised us that he will wait for us to activate elevators. He
denied absolutely the Italian style and he appeared on time, but
life is not so boring, so the story will surely continue. In the
last few hours the stair lifts announced a sciopero, which is

Rome as we roll it

one of the most used words in Rome in connection with public


transportation. It is the strike. In spite of the slow organization
at the part of getting out, that time nobody waited for a sign
or for a miracle. They did what they could, and it was pretty
efficient. One random passenger launched the quick acting. He
was bold and he reminded me of a dangerous skinhead, but his
warm smile and the fact that he was ready for action, proved
me that I can trust him. He convinced the controller that the
manual power will be the most useful, and finally this weird
twosome increased into a bunch of noisy and cheerful Italian
men around me. The theory of The less the better was still
alive, which means four people would have been safer, than ten
hustler, but never mind. The point is that I got downstairs three
times faster, than at our arrival. The vibes of happiness havent
stopped on the train. It was full of baby cars and giggling little
kids with giant balloons in their tiny hands. All of them portrayed the kindly winking Befana witch. Well, Befana brought
also us a present: a sunny, powerful and eventful day in January,
which was pretty rare in the grey winters of Budapest.
The period of visual effects kept on going forward with a lot
of nice surprises. A couchsurfer guy from Spain contacted me,
who I mentioned before. He sent a message that his brother is
living in Rome, but regarding his brother is an absentminded
and busy artist, he cant spend too much time with him, so
he is the proud owner of infinite free time. He wanted to
share this with me. I was totally up for the meeting, as new
encounters are always refreshing my mood, and my Italian
friends were actually spending their hibernation in those days,
or maybe weeks. The originally planned meeting has fail, so
Eugenio offered a plan B, which sounded even more calling,
than a simple aperitivo at Trastevere in Freni e Frizione. He
enlightened us that the opening celebration of his brothers
exhibition was in sight, and he invited me to attend on that
event. It was undecided until the last minutes that we go or
not, because the morning time is never too motivating for us to
step out from the house. The wonderful sunrise encouraged us

. Parco degli Acquedotti, Cinecitt, S. Elena

on that morning to go for new impulsion and new experiences.


I check the route on the internet and we headed the lovely
narrow alley, where this exhibition took place.
From Re di Roma we got on a bus right to the ancient
gate close to S.Elena train station. I felt myself for neverending
minutes like we would have been lost in the slums of Rome. We
were surrounded by tons of garbage. The pavement was spiced
with the poop of dogs on every second meters. The houses
were abandoned or neglected. I was very grateful, because I
didnt have to pass this neighborhood on a grey and foggy day.
That time with these magical natural circumstances it was easy
to get over it. We followed the irons of the train for ten minutes,
and then we turned left, where the Balkan atmosphere reached
the highest level. We noticed a burnt out van, which became a
home of a hippie. We saw him from the broken window of the
car to fry his omlette. The whole van was furnitured. It looked
like I would have involved in a strange dream. But as we had
to turn again, we stepped from a nightmare to a real beautiful
dream. That street should be called The Street of Art, however
officially it has another name. The alley was margined by sweet,
tiny and oldstyled family houses covered by creepers, with
blooming cyclamens in their charming gardens. Every second
wall was decorated by the paintings of street artists, but in
a way which was honestly food to the eyes. Some of them
were designed in an abstract style and they enchanted us by
their blackandwhite shapes of craziness. Some other was as
colorful as the spring, which didnt stop to shine in the city in
the winter, too. Actually Rome is the city, where everything is
eternal what is beautiful and of course, spring is included.
Soon I spotted the house number, which we were looking
for. A guy smiled widely and waved in the middle of the cobblestone covered road. It was a relief, because I fell into the same
old hole of hesitation before we had arrived. I havent met that
guy before, so somehow I should have informed him about
the fact that Im rolling. Few years ago it wasnt so obvious for
me, because my natural statement was that Im on wheels, so

Rome as we roll it

what?! It didnt feel that I should split it out. I felt like I would
say Before we meet, you need to know, I have green eyes
and I wear peachcolored nail polish . Well, these days I still
feel awkward in the moments of the big confession, although
Ive already accepted that in many cases it has the importance.
Once when I met a Couchsurfer in Prague I simply forgot to
mention it, and first he passed by us many times. Soon he realized Im the one, who he is looking for and then he couldnt
get out for two hours from the vicious circle of confusion. If
I think about the community of Couchsurfing there are two
different kinds of encounters. The ones, when Im staying at
someones place and the other one when I host somebody
or meet somebody. The first one is clear as hell. Regarding
the conditions of their home like stairs, doors and other small
obstacles I naturally tell about the fact that Yeah, Im sitting
all day long, like a lazy queen . It has never caused any kind
of confusion, especially because their pacing threshold is way
higher than an average humans pacing threshold. Maybe the
reason of this phenomenon is that theyre meeting so many
genuine people from all around the world that its difficult to
show them something completely new.
The other group is a bit complicated, because who didnt
use to host people regularly is not always so couchsurferlike. I
mean these people can have an average human attitude. In the
other hand, for them I need to find a way to confess, because
its not that obvious mustdo thing like with the first group. So
Eugenio made me hesitate a bit, although my intuitions whispered that he is a bright, attentive, and cool guy, which means
together that hopefully I cant surprise him with the facts. Fortunately I could be sure that my supposition was right, when
I saw his face. He was smiling, but not just with his mouth,
with his eyes too, which expresses in the best way the sincere
happiness. He introduced himself, and from then we continued
the handshaking, because he introduced us to everyone, who
was around. At the entrance just few people were hanging
around, but they were the beating heart of that event. We met

. Parco degli Acquedotti, Cinecitt, S. Elena

the curator of the place, the official photographer, and also


the artist, Pablo Mesa Capella. He looked like he and Eugenio
would be twins, but they have few years age difference. Their
eyes were starry in the same way, and all of their expressions
were similar, but maybe Pablos beard was a bit stronger and
darker.
The curator ushered us in to the exhibition room soon. I
have seen this room from outside, every wall and every corner
of it, because it was so small. I expected that we will find a
door, which will let us to the other parts of the exhibition, but
there wasnt any door or any other room. First I felt like a disappointed kid, but then I started to watch behind the curtains, and
recognize how much work it was to set up that installation, and
it really amazed me. On the front wall the title of the exhibition
was written with red capital letters: Deus Ex Machina. The iron
and sand, the plants and the earth and the symbols of several
religions showed that it doesnt matter we are muslims or christians, we are all human, so we can live together in harmony.
This message really caught me. The installation was particular,
because everybody could work on it, who followed the given
ritual. The guests could clean the united symbols of the religion with oil. This way they could support the metaphor of the
unity. Anna has done the ritual, while I was watching it. They
all offered me kindly that somehow we can manage to reach
the installation, but this time I preferred the perception instead
of the participation. After the short opening speech of Pablo,
we all jumped by to the aperitivo of the event in the aisle of
the neighbor house. It was a long table full of delicious foods
and home made Italian wines. Eugenio hasnt stopped for a
single second to take care about us. He introduced the story of
every food. He informed us that some of them is from Spanish
cuisine, because the brothers are originally from Malaga, and
some of them are naturally Italian, but all of them vegetarian,
because Pablo is vegetarian. We tasted every heavenly tapas
as the Spanish would call these kinds of bites: the snack filled
with spinach and ricotta, but we ate tortilla and pizza too. We

Rome as we roll it

drank a couple of glass of wine with Eugenio, and we assured


each other that we will meet still in Rome, because for both of
us it was a memorable encounter. I have heard about an idea
that a little group of artists will reuse the abandoned stores of
Rome. When the girl, Nicoletta told me this story I told myself
that Im sure that there is no other city in the world, which
gives so much creative energy. We said goodbye to all the welcoming people we got to know here and said Complimenti!
to Pablo, which is congratulations. We changed some contacts,
what I took already naturally, however this direct way of contacting always surprised me in my first months in Italy. With
the mesmerizing installation of Pablo, we found ourselves unwarrantably involved and addicted to visual effects, therefore
we couldnt wait for the next dip. And it seemed like that this
area, which waited for us to discover it, was also surrounded
and filled with a lot of feast to the eye. The next stop was
dedicated to the great artist, who put a spell on the screens of
Italian cinemas. It is nothing else, but Federico Fellini and his
wonderland at the edge of the Eternal City. In the past years
many gossips were flying around from ear to ear about the
failure of the film studios of Cinecitt. Some pessimists said
that the Italian movie industry is over at all, until the big boom
of La Grande Bellezza changed this paradigm. From the big
success about the underground life of Rome, people started to
be proud of the productivity of the past, and some of them attempted to revivify the everydays of the empire of Fellini. The
result was a breathtaking exhibition. When we were eyeing
with the placard on the street, we decided immediately that we
are going to visit it, but we wouldnt have supposed it in our
bravest dreams that it will be such an extraordinary experience
as it was.
We took the same old and familiar red metro line to the
direction of the airport, towards Anagnina. We got off at the
stop of Cinecitt, and started our neverending fight for the
sunshine from the depth of the Earth. The stair lift caused
again the greatest challenge, as always in the stops of the sub-

. Parco degli Acquedotti, Cinecitt, S. Elena

urbs. However the machine really didnt want to obey to our


will, but the controllers at the station were totally persistent
to solve the problem. My favorite part of these wellknown
metro apocalypses that people can always act like it would be
the hugest mystery of the world, but they never stop to keep
smiling, just like in the United States, but in a more honest way.
One of the controllers figured out soon that we can accuse for
the troubles the remote controller, and we can trick it easily.
She had to keep on pushing the wire into the plug, while the
stair lift was crawling up next to the wall of the aisle.
The Cinecitt Studios are right in front of the metro station.
We only had to find the place, where we could cross the extremely wide and extremely long Via Tuscolana. We needed to
reach the crossroad, where I should have turned, if I had wanted
to visit Pier, my number one partner in crime of our teenage
prank. But this time we just headed towards the world wide
famous title, written with iron letters above the gate Cinecitt
Studios. It was more than comfortable to enter. I havent had
to fight with stairs, everywhere ramps opened the way in front
of me, and I also havent had to fight with the madness of the
Asian tourists crowd. There wasnt a queue, so we could find
ourselves in the matter of glance at the cash register. After the
supereasy welcoming the cold shower arrived soon. We got the
news at the information desk that the participation is not free
for me and my companion just because four tires are added to
my presence. To tell the truth, I could easily get used to the system that me and one of my friends never have to pay, if we are
thirsty for some culture in Rome. Ive made the Musei Vaticani
round many times because of this advantage. This information
that at the films of the arts of movie making Im not overly
positively discriminated a little bit has broken my wings, but I
kept my head up. For sure, it will be a nice and big reduction in
the price. Well, I was wrong again. The terribly (it costs more,
than the Vatican with Capella Sistina!) expensive tickets were
reduced with only two euros. It was a pity, but if we passed all
the trials of ATAC to get there, and if we were already bathing

Rome as we roll it

in the atmosphere of La Dolce Vita or the Eight and a half, we


made get ready our pockets and paid. In addition I need to tell,
I didnt regret anything about this decision. This exhibition is
really worth its cheekily high price.
The crew was unbelievably attentive and accommodating
with us. They ensured us about a personal guide, although we
couldnt enjoy their services, because we had only one hour to
run through this magic, concerning I had a meeting after that.
We got a very informative map about the exhibition rooms, hid
in a giant garden with a lot of green and ancientlike sculptures.
There was a halfdigged in the ground head, which wasnt stop
to stare us, wherever we have gone in the garden. First we
could check all the old, quasi antique cameras and tools of the
film studio. Then we opened the door of a whole unknown
world, full of the material products of fantasy and imagination.
We entered the scenery of the legendary creations of the king
of the Italian directors. We could be a bit part of every famous
scene. Meanwhile we were moving from one room to the
other, we were surrounded by mirrors and the episodes were
running under Annas toes and my wheels, as the black and
white movies were screened to the ground. I was constantly
praying not to crash because of these effects to the mirrors
with my car, but as far as Im a fantastic driver I could deny
the frontal accident. As we left the board of the dreamland of
movie shooting, I felt completely enchanted by the pictures
and atmosphere of Roma or Eight and a Half. These pieces of
art put an effort to keep Rome Eternal as every guidebook
call it.

Chapter X

Offthepath adventures
Rebibbia, Monte Sacro, Conca dOro

Since I arrived here to discover every tiny part of the capital of


Italy, I had a bit of distaste about the times, when I have to aim
the suburbia. Ive known it accurately that every metropolis
has bright and dark side, too. I have also known that Centro
Storico will show a fake reality if we comparing it to the overall
picture. I was sure that in the touristic area I only have to watch
out my belongings and the cobblestones. In spite of that area
in the suburbs we have to watch out more, we have to keep an
eye on every movement, because poverty often comes together
with cruelty, especially in the crowded, overworked cities. And
even if I wont be the direct victim of any atrocities, there is
a nice chance that my idyllic image about the perfection of
Rome will fall. As Ive learnt about myself, I recognized that
Im obsessed of illusions. Small illusions, which can still fit in
the real life, but make it a bit more bearable. I dont know, when
this mechanism became an integral part of my personality, but
I know perfectly how and why it happened. To be a bit spiritual,
my zodiac sign also determines that Im always hovering half
meter above the ground and Im a kind of dreamer, which John
Lennon mentioned in the lyrics of Imagine. In the other hand, I
have to face so many irritating difficulties in the everydays
like I have to ask for help more times in one single hour for sure,
just as an example that if Im coloring the circumstances, it
gives a charming contrast for everything. In the shiny colors
of romantic illusions, every tiny difficulty will get a long term

Rome as we roll it

sense. Like in a poem, in a movie Fellini made me inspired


, or like in book, which Im writing also at the moment. So
the suburbs seemed to be a real trial for my airy personality.
Furthermore, the suburbia also promised the ultimate Easter
egg effect. We all watched documentaries, read novels, sang
songs about the Colosseo and Piazza del Popolo, or about the
alleys around Campo de Fiori, but we cant say the same about
the more peripheral layers of the onion. The isolated and more
abandoned parts can be as beautiful and peaceful as scary and
thrilling. I can bring as an example the area, where Im living
in Rome. Before we moved here, I checked our house and its
neighborhood on the Google Maps because of my curiosity,
of course. From birds eye view it seemed pretty unfriendly.
When I saw it from my low point of view it was simply stunning with the orange and lemon trees, with the blue sky and
the spectacular view to the cupola of the St. Peters Basilica.
To sum up, its pretty impossible to predict, what we can expect, if we only have a picture powered by Google Maps and
some articles, which we browsed on the web. I can tell you,
the neverending journeys to these areas, which this chapter
is about were ghostly similar to the awkward moments before a blind date with butterflies in your tummy. I was playing
guessing game with myself, what will eventually wait for me,
if I reach my current destination. I marked three spots on my
imaginary map: Rebibbia, Conca dOro and Monte Sacro and
its neighborhood.
I had no idea about these zones except little vague memory.
I knew that Rebibbia is the final stop of metro B, if I go towards
Lorenzos place. I also remembered that his stop, called Libya
is already one of the lasts. I could declare that I loved pretty
much that area. It was like a real mediterrean paradise or a
cute village in Tuscany. But I also experienced that in this city
with its thousand faces the atmosphere is able to change in
every ten meters, so this first statement, itself doesnt mean
anything. About Conca dOro my only information was that
this is the other end of the arm of the wye form of the metro

. Rebibbia, Monte Sacro, Conca dOro

Bs line, plus there worked a friend of us from the Italian language school. He is from Egypt, therefore I got the supposition
that this can be a pretty multicultural area, which doesnt mean
anything bad, but really promised something completely different from Parioli (well, maybe not so different from Termini
and Esquilino, which are also the central districts. But we have
to be clear, Rome works this colorful, literally). An image also
swam in from the past about Monte Sacro. A couchsurfer told
me that there are many wine tasting on the hills, which meant
to me, this zone could have similar features as Libya. With this
deficient background knowledge and itchy feets and tires we
headed in line all these areas, started with Rebibbia.
It hasnt mattered before, which trains run in to Piramide
station, which heads to Rebibbia or Conca dOro, therefore I
havent realized that how much we have to wait for the proper
train. We almost hung around the station twenty minutes,
when the right metro arrived. It underperformed the averages
of the buses. Regardless my partiality towards Rome, still I have
to admit that the public transportation doesnt really suit to a
capital city, but I can forgive this, because I have plenty of time,
and it gives me in exchange so many beauties, as my only task
to find these beauties here. Although I can imagine, if people
should be on time and go to work day by day, this situation
could drive them crazy. I was stuck in at least seven peoples
close, warm, and pretty smelly hug accidentally because of the
crowd, although I could peek out sometime from the window.
Some stops were on the surface and not in the deep, which
meant I could put together slowly my expectations.
My conclusion about the instant and random changes was
confirmed by the sights. In one second there were big and
toweringly tall blocks of flats all around, and in the other glance
I faced blooming fields and breathtaking nature. Finally we
arrived to Rebibbia, and surprisingly all the mechanic help
system, also known as elevators transported us without any
obstacle from the underground to the top of the world. Based
on my previous research there should have been a park very

Rome as we roll it

close, but all we could see from the stop were supermarkets,
black people, who tried to sell roses for Valentines Day with
magical persistence, and older dwelling houses. The shine
of the sun was so strong that I couldnt see the map on the
screen of my smartphone, but it didnt make me feel desperate,
because I knew it perfectly that Annas intuitions used to be
better, than any professional map. So again, and as I got used
to it, I followed her with the maximally level of trust. We went
up to hill.
The road was steep, as in general here, but not extremely,
so my little magic car could keep the average speed. From
our lefts and rights lovely family houses toed in line. These
little gardens, tiny windows and brown or green shutters made
me feel like Id be in vacation area close to a lake like Bracciano, north from Rome, or next to the amazing sea in Anzio.
The air was unbearably fresh like we would have wander in
the mountains, however we could still hear the noises of the
traffic around the station. The road soon became a blind alley, it meant we reached our wish, which was nothing else
but the Parco Urbano di Aguzzano. The typical scheme happened with us, when its time to conquer a park of Rome. I
expected something foreseeable, and instead of this we got the
infinite green cavalcade of pine, several trees, kneehigh grass,
mossy stones spiced with some paths of wanderers and strange
abandoned houses, moreover ancient and also abandoned little outdoor theater. Wherever we stepped in this reservation,
surprise followed surprise. It felt like we would have changed
dimension, and the one, where we walked around, has nothing
to do with the reality, where the metro was speeding before.
Time and space were expanding and narrowing like a DNS
chain. I couldnt decide its a time travel, or we found ourselves
in the middle of nowhere, or in another country.
From far everything seemed like a fairytale, and I felt crazy
desire to look around from as close as possible, but it was still
an issue that this terrain can be compatible with my nonrally
tires or not. It was in question that how much I can approach

. Rebibbia, Monte Sacro, Conca dOro

these mysterious spots and shelters. It was th of February,


but the temperature was so high that I felt comfortable in a
Tshirt. Anna offered that she will map the conditions of the
ground, while I can get a bit suntanned. I really liked the idea,
because these circumstances could give birth to many nice
thoughts. She returned in ten minutes with the best news from
Roman aspects: we could roll all over the park, however it will
be shaky and slow, but still there isnt any insuperable obstacles,
like walls or precipices, which we have already faced before
several times. After few minutes of bouncing on the jugged
and patchy fields we passed next to a kindergarten. The clear
air was filled with the laughs, shouts, and sounds of counting
games in Italian with the voice of cheerful children.
After this flash of civilization, we were introduced again
to the nothing and the past. There was a bigger house, like
a small mediterrean castle was standing there. Its doors and
the windows of the ground floor were walled, probably by
the government to keep out the intruders. There was a wire
fence around its garden, but the vans inside showed that the
walling wasnt enough to keep the occupatores away. Also
some hanging clothes in the windows of the second and third
floor told us the secret that many people lives there. Maybe
gipsies, maybe homeless people, but it was also an option
that young hippies with free souls. Ive already heard many
stories about the abandoned and occupied houses of Rome. We
headed toward the other part of the giant field, where smaller
and bigger dogs where playing and running around us, was
margined by old pines with mature foliages. This beautifully
green border of the natural reservation could be the symbol of
the pure nature in opposition with the poor blocks which were
sadly standing behind the proud lines of the trees. But all in all,
I think its such a luck, that in Rome nobody can have born in a
poverty, which doesnt allow to inhale fresh air, or just move
away from the daily troubles for half an hour or an hour with
your dog. I think its a kind of opportunity, which bigger cities
in Europe dont offer very often to their citizens. Abandoned

Rome as we roll it

houses, huge fields of nothing, noises of children, margined


by unfriendly grey blocks, from the poor suburbs to the pure
nature.
This park was even more overwhelming somehow, then
the famous Villa Borghese, or the pine reservation, which is
located just few steps away from our home. It put us in a mood
to keep on discovering the depth of the green, so we offered the
next days to another huge and stretching park, called Riserva
Naturale della Valle dell Aniene and to its surroundings. We
planned with the claim of mathematicians perfection how we
could get there in the most efficient way. We took again the
metro from Piramide, but this time we hit the other arm of the
wye. We speeded right to Conca dOro. The stations downstairs
were unusually brand new and clean. The walls were white
and everything had a posh and a little bit futuristic design.
It felt like it would have been inaugurated last week, so we
headed towards the shiny elevators without doubts and fears.
Shit happens always, when people are conceited, so we had to
err in the logistics and our beliefs left us a bit. The way how
I live always allows some time to be angry, be mad, be sad,
be lost, but I always mark the end of the period of the letting
out. And as the saying enlightened us all several times before:
every new beginning is the end of something old. So, when
I stop everything, which is related to the rage, then it will be
the time of res. Like restarting, rethinking, rebuilding, and
these contents are more powerful with these two letters r
and e. For example if my romantic expectations fell because
of a man, I let myself one day to worry about it, never more. If
my romantic expectations because of the elevators have failed...
Well, they dont deserve so many teardrops from me, so I used
to give to the anger only few minutes, and then I unmercifully
activate my resourcefulness and creativity and my brain cells.
In this case, we realized that elevators didnt work, we asked
some information about the view to the future from the ATAC
security guard. They informed us that the ugly truth is that at
the final station the lifts have been broken at every platform for

. Rebibbia, Monte Sacro, Conca dOro

more than one month, and they really dont know, when we
can use it again.
It meant that its not an option to hang up simply the program and try it on another day. We needed to find a new and
less direct way, which hasnt made me completely sad. From
our Rebibbia trip I remembered the bus stop at the entrance
of the metro station. Pictures flashed back that on the front of
many bus at Conca dOro was marked as a frequented station
or as the final station. So, we went to Tiburtina, where the two
arms of the line are interweaving and changed the direction.
At the stands of Rebibbia, we crossed the giant avenue to get
to the right and bright side. We spotted two lines, which theoretically could take us right to Conca dOra. The bus number
was the winner of the show, as it ran in sooner. The happiness increased when we recognized that rarely noticeable
(because of inexistence) ramp at the middle door of the bus.
It worked mechanical way. Maybe it would be the obligation
of the driver to open it, but Anna used to be quicker, and this
time she opened it sooner again, than the driver could have
twinkled one, although this project ended with an accident,
which made our following days very and extremely diverse.
The handle of the ramp sloped out of Annas hand and the
weighty iron ramp fell to her finger, what she had to use so
many times in the hectic Italian traffic, and which used to be
so useful in these cases. Finally we found ourselves on the bus,
as for me with a bit of worry towards Anna, as for her with a
lot of pain.
However, all these bad feelings were pushed down by the
surprising sociological case study, which we got as a gratis.
The travelers of bus number were unexpectedly colorful
regarding skin, age, education and physical appearance, but
also how they contacted each other. It was actual rush and
claustrophobic crowd on the bus. The teenagers were teasing
each other constantly, which ended in smaller fights. But not
only had they used their fists and muscles to win some space
to sit down, or to inhale some oxygen. It seemed like wolf

Rome as we roll it

laws would rule this district, but I wasnt scared of it. The
time of the journey was enough to get used to it. Moreover, I
had a really great conclusion after the ride about the instant
attentively in the simplicity, what I found. A bunch of sixteen
years old guys in jogging, with shiny earrings were tussling
behind my back. It seemed kind of serious, but one of them
warned the others to watch out, because Im staying also
there. The guys stepped back and left some extra space for
me, and then they continued their fight. This reaction was
something, what I honestly appreciated. They cant deny that
my situation is different and it needs different way to handle, if
you accidentally find yourself on the same bus, as me than the
other buddies on the board. But this recognition hasnt caused
confusion for them for a single second. They played their little
games and acted in an absolutely natural way. Some people
with wellironed suits and laptop bags could stare me with
worried eyes, but they couldnt move away ten centimeters,
when they are staying in my way, when I would like to get
out of the train, for example.
Allora, not only the happenings and impressions of inside
was very instructive. As we were watching out of the dirty
window, we also met a completely new and distant point of
view from our current reality. The style of the houses was
changed suddenly. Around Rebibbia the blocks were more
modern, colorful, and welltreated, but we curved fast the
meters and meters and eventually we reached a poor and grey
neighborhood. On the left side of the road the floor tall
blocks stood in lines with broken or barred windows on the
ground floors and on the first floors even. If we are naive, we
can suppose that kids playing soccer were the wicked ones,
who have broken them with the ball, but sincerely it was again
about that previously mentioned wolf laws. On the right side it
was a neverending prairie spiced and colored with the vans
of gipsy caravans. They were all very abandoned and old. The
view was like a cut picture of a Kusturica movie. The vans
were covered with colorful canvas and veils all around. It felt

. Rebibbia, Monte Sacro, Conca dOro

like we would have arrived in the middle of the Balkan desert,


however it was still the part of the Italian capital.
We have already braced ourselves in these long minutes
for some incidents, when we turned again at a crossroad, and
unexpectedly the view and the atmosphere has changed again.
Little family houses with terracottacolored walls surrounded
us instead of disgusting vans and towering grey buildings, we
passed the quartier of Monte Sacro, which is according the
locals opinion a really lively and peaceful place. The bus eventually reached the final station, where we have got off. Here
started the area of Riserva Naturale della Valle dell Aniene.
We passed a big market full of huge white tents. It attracted us
so much, but we had to accept that we have chosen the wrong
day, because it was a weekday, and the market is only open
for the guests at weekend. After the market, we noticed the
entrance of the green zone. We followed the path made for
pedestrians. It was perfectly smooth and wellstructured, as
its web covered smartly all the Conca dOro part of the park. I
could enjoy the view without any bumping pictures. Until that
time every villa also known as park of Rome reminded me
the secret forests of the mountains, which is kind of barricaded
from the civilization and humans.
This one was the delightful exception, so I had to give a
prize because of this to this area. It was very wellbuilt, and I
can declare that also wheelchair friendly, however it can sound
a bit controversial as its a zone made for doing sports. But who
did say its not my field? We found handles next to the path
together with smart description of the exercises you can do
with them. Anna tested all of them, we bumped into, but I have
realized too, that some of the exercises are also manageable for
me. I couldnt imagine better place to keep my lazy muscles
fit than that place. Meanwhile I was doing my special research
with the handles Anna felt the desire to run, and I didnt want to
stop her, of course. We have tried before to run together in
our park with the lack of success. The ground hasnt supported
us in that case, therefore my maximal speed wasnt enough

Rome as we roll it

to accompany somebody, who runs seriously. But with this


beautifully smooth pavement we could keep balanced each
others speed limits. This running action came together
with so many fun and laughs, which was the biggest present of
that day. After the big training we relaxed at one cozy bench,
when Anna realized that her finger is getting worse. Few gipsy
passed by us randomly heading the train lines, where we also
found some tents, which were used for living there. After the
fifth gipsy, Annas middle finger got doublesized and pretty
purple. This metamorphosis can be presented not only with
the numbers of gipsies, but also with the numbers of time.
After one and a half hour, we were sure that our way back will
directs to the Pronto Soccorso, alias the ambulance here. I can
declare that from Conca dOro we got many memories, like
free moments and broken fingers.
Next week Anna dressed to the style of this area with her
plastered middle finger, so she was so junky this way. If it
is possible, that time we chose even more abandoned lands
and even more dangerous journeys. We headed the same old
Rebibbia station, and we reached it in the same old crowd and
speed or rather opposite of speed . We recognized our
proper bus from very far, so with the sudden enthusiasm we
attached and conquered it. We found again the killer ramp,
which name is still in my prayers, in spite the incident last time.
While we were admiring the surroundings, got the conclusion
that we are on our way to the wrong direction, right to Stazione
Tiburtina. As we have already learnt the Roman style, we
havent felt any kind of despair, because we had plenty of time
on that sunny spring day. The bus and the pilot or driver, we can
call as you wish, made a short siesta, ate his suppl and pizza,
then few minutes and the complete changing of the population
later we already aimed for the appropriate destination, which
was Via Pietralata. This long road hugs from the bottom the
giant park, which we have already explored without the claim
of completeness. The bus number hit this road, and this
performance took more than fifteen minutes. We speeded by

. Rebibbia, Monte Sacro, Conca dOro

the station signs because the traffic was so rare in this direction.
Our magic van was curving crazily. This journey was indeed
Italian, colored with the surprising usage of the brakes and the
noisy horns behind us. We passed our station, before I could
notice the name of it, therefore we got of at the following stop,
as a perfect and chill plan B. The bus stopped without any traffic
island, so we needed to face a huge difference in level, but we
got pretty much used to it. Things like these couldnt make
us cry after we have been lived here, in the sweetly chaotic
Rome for months. The better acting we show the more help
we get in these cases obviously this could be our motto.
For the Pietralata trip we should have won the Oscar prize, as
Leonardo DiCaprio couldnt, because so many people ran to
help us with pleasure.
In this area not just the traffic islands missed in the bus
stops, but also the pavements in general next to the two sides
of the streets, or at least at Via Pietralata. Anna and I tried to go
forward in Indian file, stuck to the parking cars, like we would
have beetled in an action movie to escape from the enemy.
Usually I didnt use to have fear if its time to get involved the
passing cars and other vehicles, but this time the collection was
maybe too diverse with some overly big fishes like camions,
buses and sanitary trucks. This time I became really religious
it happened to me so often here, fortunately. At least now I feel
like my soul would be susceptive enough for spiritual thoughts.
The house numbers were decreasing by leaps and bounds
and in an unbelievably illogical way, but it is a totally ordinary
phenomenon in this city, so none of us was really surprised.
We looked for the number , which was partly the name of
the place, what we spotted before. I read an article about the
unique presence in the Roman artist world and nightlife of
Luficio , thats why I thought I should crown this chapter
with it. According to those pieces its a bright loft with a lot of
sunshine and exceptional atmosphere. I was always the fan of
these kinds of hidden places. We passed the searched number,
because we were seeking label or any other sign that it is a

Rome as we roll it

social space for youngsters. When we realized that we left our


destination behind our backs, we turned around second time
for that day.
We entered to the half empty parcheggio and garden
with a pretty shy attitude. A couple was chatting at a van covered with artistic graffitis. We were hesitating about the option,
that we will ask them where we can find the loft. From the
opposite corner of the storage area Ive noticed some sounds
of music. We followed our ears hints, and we recognized the
wellhidden entrance of Luficio . After our first cheerful
hurrays, our mood got worse because with the sounds we
also recognized some teasing steps in the doorway. However I
can only blame our lack of attentively this time for the panic,
because from the right side a ramp waited for me, like a long
flicking tongue. Or maybe instead of accusing my disregard,
I should say it was rather the fault of my stereotypes. I supposed that an artistic way like this couldnt be compatible with
me. I brought this assumption from Budapest with myself. All
the original, chaotic and bohemian places at my hometown
work like an obstacle mountain for me. It doesnt mean that I
didnt use to climb them, but more in a literally way on stairs,
than on smooth and tabulate ramps. Although few large flower
stands were still in my way, but in summary my entering was
absolutely easy and simple. This tiny mistake was averted by a
superhandsome Italian guy, who looked like a Calvin Klein or
Armani model, however he was just an average employee of
the place.
As we stepped into the loft I really felt like it would have
been the zone of all the light of Rome. The old and sometimes
vanish glass windows covered the left wall from the very top
to the very bottom of it. Very close to the entrance a nice stage
was set up in the corner. The members of the band stood on
the stage and they played their instruments around p.m. All
of them was extraordinary stylish. They were leather hats and
fancy jerseys with white shirts. One of the players was sitting
on the step, which directed to the stage. A girl was working

. Rebibbia, Monte Sacro, Conca dOro

on a makeup on his face. I was a little bit confused, where we


have found ourselves again: on a concert or at a rehearsal. It
was a mystery for that time, but not for too long. Whatever
it was, we didnt want to bother them, because the relation
between the guests and the performing band seemed pretty
intimate. Our luck was that loft was enormous, so we could
hide in the background. That place flawlessly reminded me to
my favorite ruin pubs in Budapest again. We found an ancient
sewingmachine, the strangest furnitures, I have ever seen,
and also some strangely dressedup standins. The counter
was closed, which was another weird sign of our undesirable
presence. There was a little island bordered by metal handrails.
I was really curious what it hid, but this was the only few square
meters of the loft, which wasnt accessible for me. Anna was
also excited about the undiscovered parts, so she caprioled
up on the stairs. There were extremely long tables for bigger
companions, and in addition like the dessert after the main
course she noticed an old, worn and rusty bathing tub, filled
with tons of corks. She grabbed deep in the cork bath. Soon
we discovered a stairway to the first floor, which was rather a
gallery of the building, so its secrets were partly unfolded for
me, even from downstairs. Anna looked around and told me
something about the overall image. She summed up like there
is a great but pretty common contemporary exhibition, so she
set me at ease that I havent missed too much.
I could have spent here endless time, just hanging around,
hovering in the artistic era, but the sharp sound of the electric guitar from the front, has broken the silence, and it has
shaken me up from the sweet dreaming times. Suddenly cold
lights were turned on, and we realized that we have accidentally involved in the shooting of a video clip. The cameraman
shouted to someone from the crew with his singing Italian,
which showed that it was action time. A waitress approached
us in an unusually shy way, so we have already had the suspicion that we will be kicked out gently very soon. The girl
explained the situation, which was already pretty clear. We have

Rome as we roll it

chosen the only exceptional day, when the plebs including us


had to stay away from the Roman rock stars, and find another
way and place to go out and hit the suburbs. We were led out
from the stage in a polite way. I was pretty excited about our
companion, because she showed me a new and unknown way
to get out of the loft. She opened a weighty iron door next to
the bohemian and stylish toilet. We entered into the darkness
and we were traipsing through the musty stock. Soon we were
informed that from the stock there are many secret exits. We
could even find a less steep way, without ramps, stairs or any
other challenges. As a memory we picked a program magazine
from the short wooden table at the entrance. It made me feel to
come back and discover this huge box of many alternative surprise in a less sterile way, when it is full of La Grande Bellezza
atmosphere with the power of young blood. The waitress also
enlightened us about the famous brunch of this hidden treasure, which causes heavenly experiences to every participant
on the weekends in the mornings.
After the stretching minutes of waiting at the bus stop
which we have already got used to it our sweet driver
took us towards home in an absolutely different, but on extraordinary beautiful and mesmerizing roads. I put the pieces
of the puzzle together soon, pointed myself to the current state
on the chaotic map of Rome, and at the same time I realized
that we reached the romantic Monte Sacro. The streets and
alleys were curving like at the countryside in Tuscany. The
small brown and wooden windows with colorful flowers in the
ledges were like the perfect subjects of an idyllic painting. It
was again an unexpected corner and a completely new face of
this magical city. We couldnt smell the scent of the humid air,
but I could still feel it through the typical mediterrean sights.

Chapter XI

Breezes of the sea


Lido Centro, Cristoforo Colombo, Ostia Antica

However, the seaside is literally the edge of the landscapes of


Rome, and not just Rome, but also of Italy, I felt insane desire
already in my very first days as a Roman citizen to settle down
there for few hours, and enjoy the harmonic relation of the
elements, or at least three of the elements. I wanted to be part
of the great encounter of water, air, and earth. As I confessed
before, Im addicted of the city vibes, noises and even of the
filth of the rush in a capital, so the silence of the countryside
rarely makes me calm. The sea is an exception, since I can
remember I felt that the coasts of the salt water are homey
places for me. Sea is like a friend for me, who can treat you
with the perfection of listening. Sea is the stage of the cleaning
of thoughts. At the shores of it I can fix every broken picture, I
can put in order anything from the absolute chaos.
I always used to mention different episodes from my Rome,
which was experienced like a tourist. I used to draw the edge
in the rush of the scenes, which set up two periods: the before
and the during my Roman life parts. It means that I had two
parts of my Trastevere, my San Lollo, my Colosseo, or my
Vatican, but the lands of the seaside is special from this point of
view. We can call it the fault of the lack of time, maybe we can
believe that it is just a coincidence, or we can call it fate with
capital letters, but the inward relationship between the sea and
me could start just in the during my Roman life part. It was
the dawn of October, which felt for me like the summer fever,

Rome as we roll it

as a Hungarian, who got used to the wet and grey autumns.


People around us were wearing scarfs, and sweaters, which
sight could make me sweat. We dressed in our flimsiest clothes
and stared into the sun with our sunglasses.
Anna and I surprised ourselves with a day, which we offered
to the beach. I would be probably more accurate, if I told: the
beach offered us that day, and we accepted happily its invitation.
We woke up with the morning sun, sipped our coffees with
a cigarette on our huge terrace, put in our bags everything,
which should help us to relax and let flow our minds at the
same time. I put in my diary, to note all the small pieces of
impressions, which will be smuggled in my head by the soft
waves. We put in two huge towels to enjoy the sunshine on
our skin, in my case and at this time out of my usual position,
and left my chair a bit behind. Both of us took an inspiring
book and some good music, which could increase the peaceful
atmosphere.
We took our wellknown trenino to Ostiense, passed the
familiar underground way, and finally we reached the departing area of the electric railway of RomaLido, which is called
Porta Sao Paolo. We have waited for an average of course,
in Roman context fifteen minutes in the stop, and then we
took an as ancient train as the ruins outside and everywhere
around us in this city. It had also the familiar difference in level
between the platform and the ground of the train, although
the only thing, which surprised us, was there wasnt a deep
and dark gap also in addition, as a cheering up extra gift from
the ATAC. It made me feel definitely more secure. We were
literally stuck in the dirt up there, and the smell stunned us,
too, but it had the charm of being rundown. It made me feel
the freedom, like a real hippie, who speeds towards the eternity
on the rails and doesnt care about the circumstances, moreover every circumstance, is her friend. The journey took a bit
more than half an hour, and we passed by many stops, which I
wrote on my bucket list, like Ostia Antica and Castel Fusano.
I promised myself that these cards will be all fold during this

. Lido Centro, Cristoforo Colombo, Ostia Antica

half year, which I got in the name of Rome. According to my


previous researches, Lido Centro stop was for sure accessible.
This time for the joy and fun we sacrificed the challenges and
big fishes, however I had no doubt that this first trip was just
the warmup.
We got off at the proper stop and approached as old and
grouchy elevator as the train was. I have the conclusion that
the peripheries got less attention, or expressed in a more material way the peripheries got less money, than the touristic
and historical center, however soon it was proved that this area
also hid breathtaking treasures. The lift pulled us up lazily and
snailslowly to the overpass, it opened sleepily its rusty doors,
so after this act I had to pray only to find the other one also in a
working mode. This time we had luck, because the second trial
was successful again, and we found ourselves at the level of the
exit and the first platform. The breeze whispered to us some
promises already at the station. It was salty, fresh and humid.
We had nothing else to do just follow the enchanting scents of
the roasted fish, fresh fruits and the rhythmical sound of the
deep blue water.
Our glance stopped at an attractive, romantic pier, which
was stretching along in the blueness. At the end the road studded with stones got fatter, like an old man, which stomach was
at the very end. Anglers have relied all over the rails of the pier.
At the right side and at the left side of the jetty I found the
counterpoles of the waterhunters world. First I have noticed
a young, tall man. He was standing proudly, I could almost
feel that his muscles were ready for the action in any second,
if a big fish will be in sight. At the other side there was an old
man, who was wearing shabby coat and baseball hat. He was
waiting for the bite with hunched back. He also had much
worn bicycle with the needed equipments in its back. He was
changing the worms time by time, in the hope of better luck.
He was struggling with incredible persistence in spite of his
bad conditions. He wasnt fresh and flexible anymore, but his
eyes showed that he wouldnt be able to give up his passion. It

Rome as we roll it

was so obvious that the ritual of fishing was the basic part of
his life, like the oxygen for all the humans around us. He took
it extremely serious, like a job, or even more like a mission.
The other guy only had fun. He probably found some boring
gap in his schedule, and he filled it up with a peaceful and a
bit lonely program. His face was emotionless, maybe also a
bit bored, because he yawned over and over again. He checked
his watch in every five minutes, which planted the flea in my
ear, that maybe he will have an appointment soon, and he has
been already planning his next hours. The bite of the fish didnt
really matter for him.
At that repeated djvu movement, when he shook his wrist
to set his expensive watch in a better and more comfortable
position, something has happened. The stretched picture was
broken, and it started to move. The calm surface of the water
has become muddling. He rode the windlass of the fishing rod
with excitement with an adolescent satisfaction on his face.
The desperate fish thrashed itself about on the ground until
his body has given up the fight. It was over. The fisherman put
the dinner in a box, what he could take to a romantic picnic
or to his home to represent his homemade specialty if I
let my fantasy flow, it can be also an option. When the young
guy reaped all the credit, the old man hasnt realized anything
about the happenings and circumstances around him, because
he was focusing hundred percent on his mission, with capital
letters. The young guy left the stage soon, meanwhile the old
fisherman held the rod with trembling hands. While the other
guy bagged the booty, me and the grey haired gentlemen kept
on fishing. He did it in reality, meanwhile I have done the same
in the jumbled jungle of my mind, looking for meanings and
reasons in the tons of weighty thoughts.
My mood has become a bit melancholic. This episode
proved me that in life people who dont care about the advantages, because they cant value it, will get it sooner and
easier, than the ones, who could be characterized with absolute devotion. I have waited ten more minutes as I wished to

. Lido Centro, Cristoforo Colombo, Ostia Antica

see how the old man gets his prize, what he deserved because
of his enthusiasm. My wish couldnt come true, but I left the
pier with a great and optimistic consequence and with a wide
smile on my face. Before I turned around on the jetty I stared
deep into his eyes, it felt like watching the stars, they were
shining steadily. I can imagine that on that day he returned
home with empty hands, but I was convinced by his glance:
he wouldnt have been upset in this case, because it makes
him wake up on the next day. He could be happy and satisfied
without the prize, because to him the progress was the real
gift. Its like playing lottery, we do it, even if we know that the
statistics proved billion times that its almost impossible to win
it. Anyway, the adrenaline and other additional feelings always
are compensating enough.
I paralleled the story of two fishermen with life. Sometimes
I feel like Im struggling hard to keep my body together, to hold
my head on my neck, to breathe deep if I have flu, or simply
caught, or move my fingers in a very cold night to pick up my
phone (these are completely simple and tiny movements of my
life). Sometimes I feel like I put more effort than my borders
would let me stretch, and I used to feel also, that Im able to
push myself with this huge energy in this fight, because I want
to get my deserved prize. In this bewildered craziness I realized
that I dont know what kind of prize I want. I could not define
it. I have also found the answer for this contradiction. I have
so many prizes, at each level, that actually with my abilities in
maths couldnt let me calculate with them. I found so many
ways to get out of a metro station, go home by night in the deep
night of Rome, steal mens coats not to feel that its freezing
outside, have conversation, which showed the biggest beauties
of almost unknown peoples souls. And for now I won a ticket
to ride into the sand of Roma Lido, more accurately in the sand
of Lido Centro.
We followed the sidewalk next to the railings. When we
have found an opened door, we hoped that we can reach the
coast, but most of them directed to fancy restaurants and cafs,

Rome as we roll it

which werent available for us on that day of the month. We


walked and rolled hundreds of meters, maybe one or two
kilometers, when we achieved the entrance of the public beach.
Regarding the fact that this time Ive seen people in winter
coat on the streets and in the stations, furthermore it was an
ordinary weekday, but the beach was full of people. I found a
pavement, which was covered with a thin layer of sand, but it
broke me at least a nice way in the deep and stubborn mounds
to approach the sea. As only I and Anna went for inhale the
atmosphere of the shores, we realized that plan A wont work
out. We played in mind with the possibility that I will plash
together with Anna. I had only two tiny problems. First was
that I couldnt cram in my luggage a bikini and I havent bought
that time yet. The second problem was that we would have
needed a backup, who would have rescued us, if one bohemian
wave would be more powerful and stronger than Anna. All
in all, except a little devil of small desire I could deal with the
compensation of sunshine and lying in the warm and tender
sand. However, for these benefits we still had to manage to get
further with my clumsy city tires through the high mounds,
which were dry at that part. This detail also made things more
difficult. If a little sheaf of water would have reached it, the
grains would have stuck more together, which would have
eased the moving.
We considered leaving my magic chariot at the end of the
tongue of the road, but as I remember some unexpected happenings of the past, we thought its better to keep an eye on it.
We headed the sand, my motors were crying, and my wheels
were gyrating like I felt they could burn the ground below me.
Anna has tried all the variations of pushing and pulling to get
closer to the aim. We have done the general show, there were
no glance, which could have denied stopping on us for few
seconds. This phenomenon resulted that some of the glances
have become helping hands, so Anna and two guys in sexy underwears tricked all the evil sand obstacles. I found myself very
soon almost in the sea. We put down my outrageously pink

. Lido Centro, Cristoforo Colombo, Ostia Antica

towels, which absolutely havent suited my personality, but it


was pretty practical this time. I lied there, I was reading my
book, sipping my relatively cheap Pina Colada cocktail from
plastic glass and with purple straw and found my peace and
also in a queer way parallel, for the first time in Rome, but
totally not the last.
Few weeks later we returned with a real absentminded and
crazy Hungarian, who teletransported right from the rainy and
cold United Kingdom, I have already mentioned her. This bomb
is called Dalma. She wore her strawhat and squittish smile. We
took the same old rattling and rumbling train, and we got off at
the same station. It was the end of October and the weather was
freaking hot, even more than at the first time. Maybe this fact
caused the lazy strike of elevators, because after our freshman
luck, we got the double trial for the second round. But besides
our completely irresistible attitude and aura, what Anna and
me both had, and of course, we had the cute shameless attitude
of Dalma too, which helped us that time a lot. She collected a
bunch of men, who spent their carefree holidays. She enjoyed
the advantages again to touch the workedout busts, and it was
a vice versa affection. Her charm achieved what she wanted.
The Baywatch guys grabbed me and run with me and my chair
up dynamically to the overpass and then even more dynamically
down, because besides the freedom feeling, the gravitation also
helped. I havent suspended in this literally elevating moments
that this act wont be the last modelcollecting action of this
sunny day. We took the same way, next to the sweet holiday
houses, we passed a school, and we met few kids, who rolled the
ground just like me but on skates and skateboards. I felt myself
in the clip of Phoenixs song called Rome, where the teenager
guys rule the slopes with their boards. We gave instructions to
an American old couple, where they can find the closest beach
caf. It made me feel proud, because they considered us as locals,
and not as tourist mates.
When we reached the desert of Ostia, I have challenged
myself. I have tried to go further and further without any help.

Rome as we roll it

I knew that its always a lot about the technics. There are many
sheet acrobats in Italy, well, I wanted to be a tricky sand acrobat
after them. My snobbish independence drove me pretty deep, I
mean literally deep. My wheels dug themselves like a little mole.
It was comfortably placed there, I couldnt move, but I really
didnt need to move. The sand around my tires functioned
like brakes, nobody could have stolen it, and it couldnt have
gone away by its own, neither. We put down a blanket and
made our tiny individual picnic at siesta time at the coast. We
brought from home pasta with tuna, lemon, and olives. We ate
it like real hippies, from the same plate, with three different
forks. The sea was colored by surfers and wake boarders. I
entertained myself watching them falling in the clumsiest ways
to the water. It was like a perfect parody, meanwhile Anna and
Dalma collected some shells, as souvenirs and decoration for
our little residence. When the sunset has arrived, we decided
take the last shines of it and ride away with them. We wanted to
show our backs to the beach, therefore it took its own revenge,
because I couldnt get out of the jail of the cave, what my
motors created before. It meant that it was time for Dalma and
her private seducing show. In five minutes she came back with
one blondy Leonardo DiCaprio with extraordinary biceps and
triceps, and two chubby retired men, who were up to help us,
while they were shooting jokes constantly. Dalma wanted to
picture every experience, especially these embarrassing ones,
because she was obsessed of them. My brand new crew posed
with us happily, after they shot me to the moon, or at least to
the pavement. However, these kinds of stories will be always
unforgettable, but we had our next mission. Next time we
wanted to find an even more comfortable and accessible beach
on the line of RomaLido. Although if I dont want to lie to
myself, this decision wasnt born because of our comfortzone,
but rather because of our curiosity. We wished to discover new
stops and live new experiences, obviously with new starring
on our side. Before we left this area behind us, we spotted
one more thing to feed ourselves with some spirituality. It was

. Lido Centro, Cristoforo Colombo, Ostia Antica

a local church with the most unexpectedly beautiful rosacea,


which I have ever seen, although I could only peek inside from
outside, because I faced millions of steps, and we havent find
any accessible entrance.
After this trip we neglected the seaside for a while, until
Nri has arrived, and she headed the unknown ways pretty
soon. Our trio Anna, me, and Nri was ready to grab
the tail of new winds, so that time we pointed as a destination
Castel Fusano. I have looked up on the superwise Wikipedia,
which always gave me useful tips and advices that the stop
of Castel Fusano is absolutely accessible. As we were on our
way, I totally forgot about the last memories with the elevators,
because I was concentrating about showing all the beauty to
Nri outside of the city center. We pushed the button over and
over again in the hope of a miracle, but nothing has happened.
The next wellpracticed step was to warn someone from the
crew of ATAC, but as far as we stepped out of the map in
Roman context, we couldnt find anybody, who would have
been competent in this situation. The last hope was to find again
some people to show their strength for us, but it wasnt as easy
mission as it was at the last time. It was already November,
and it meant it was totally out of season. The weather was
also worse, bit windy, and in this period the sun wasnt shining
so strong. There was nobody there, except for us. We were
thinking about our possibilities very hard, but there was only
one solution left. We had to take the next train, go further, and
accept that Castel Fusano is not a place for me, for now. From
there we needed to travel only few minutes to the final station
of this line, which is called Cristoforo Colombo.
It was perfect because the train stopped at the first platform,
which meant nothing depended on the statement of the elevator. Later we discovered that it wasnt accidental, in this stop
the train always runs to that platform. This conclusion based
our future trips to the seaside, because most of the time, we
have chosen this stop just to be sure. There we found huge
avenues but almost without any cars. Traffic hasnt existed

Rome as we roll it

here in this season. Most of the beach entrances and cafs were
closed. It was a real challenge to get close enough to the waves,
however in this case not the mounds were our enemies. We
found one opened gate, but it was barricaded with sandbags.
Anyway, it didnt mean serious obstacle for us. I pushed some
of them away with my wheelchair, meanwhile the girls kicked
them out of our way. It was a real representation of teamwork.
It took few short minutes and the way was free towards the
empire of pirates, to the blue sky and good winds. This pedestrian alley in the endless sea of sand directed longer, than the
one at Lido Centro. This one was almost licked gently by the
stretching waves. I was reading there The unbearable lightness of existence by Milan Kundera, while the girls went for
a new and usual shell hunting tour. The sea was always for me
a big sance of get rid of bullshit with a book, it could be at
the shores of Ostia Centro, or the coast of Cristoforo Colombo,
doesnt really matter. We were walking parallel with the line
of the water, but outside of the territory of the beaches. A nice
little caf appeared soon, which we attacked immediately as
we were about to run out of the spare caffeine. It was opened,
but we were the only guests near and far. Maybe thats way or
maybe just because of the average Italian huge hospitality we
got the hundred percent of the attention. Next to our supertasty cappuccinos we found little cakes and some chocolate as a
present. This round looked like all the typical winter session of
us at the sea. Nri used to call it as a little tour of inspiration .
This definition determined that during her stay in Rome we repeated this round a couple of times, and we couldnt get bored
of it. We conquered this paradise in the morning, when the
sun has hardly risen behind the resorts, villas and block of flats.
We settled down for few hours, when it was mezzogiorno,
before a sightseeing trip. We found ourselves here in the afternoon until the stunning double sunset. Only the water is
able to give you a double shock of this beautiful phenomenon.
One on the horizon and the other one, where the whole world
is upside down, in the mirror of this deep blueness. When I

. Lido Centro, Cristoforo Colombo, Ostia Antica

had this visual charging, I used to hit the night of San Lorenzo
or Monti with doubled energy in the doubled statement of
freedom.
The winter edition of these wanders was always like being
in a fairytale. We were always a bit separated in a magical
bubble from the things outside. There were no people, just few
dogs and its companion. It was totally the opposite of the sweaty
holidaylike days, when we could shamelessly get a bit buzzed
by our Pina Coladas, or when the summer hits have flattened
from the closest bar, which was still full of life and fun. The fact
that it was an opposition doesnt mean I didnt like it both. So,
of course we showed it like proud mothers to every guest of us
from Hungary, not just to Nri, who was actually a partner in
crime to discover it. The two impressions are completing each
other. These two different kinds of feelings, which I could relate
to the seaside havent given a full image yet. The spring breezes
which have been eventually experienced already in the very
middle of February at Cristoforo Colombo were still missing
to represent my emotions towards this area accurately.
The temperature climbed zealously upper and upper until
it has reached unexpectedly the twenty Celsius degrees. To
celebrate this late birthday present from the fate to me, we
decided to ride the hysteric and capricious RomaLido train
again, what we havent done since the trip in December with
Annas brother. This period was full of birthdays, so the day
given for the sea wasnt only my birthday wish. We were visited
by Tlia, who paints and she wanted some landscape models.
One of them was Lake Bracciano alone, and the other was the
saltier water in our companion. I percept some little changes.
I could count a bit more Asian tourists and less school kids
on the train. It was also a bigger amount of cars at the parking area of the beach of Cristoforo Colombo. I got more chit
chats around us, more babbling babies, and laughing little
children with their caring parents. And yes also the number of
the slapstick dogs were multiplied. It was the early renascence
of the summer rush. The routine has chained us, therefore

Rome as we roll it

despite the fact that it was kind of new season we still couldnt
stand not to repeat some beloved episodes. These were my few
lonely philosophical moments at the very and of the pavement,
and for the girls the shell challenge. Meanwhile I was staring
in the nowhere with absentminded glances, I found more
partners for some heartwarming short conversations.
I have met an old man, who took her dog called Luna. He
told me proudly that now we both are part of Lunas first visit at
the sea, because she was so young that she hasnt experienced
something like this before. As I was looking at the dog, I got
the conclusion that there is nothing better and nothing more
instructive than the enthusiasm of the children, doesnt matter
it is a human kid or a dog kid. Actually Luna has stuck a part of
this enthusiasm on me, and I was really grateful to her. Everybody has something which carry him or her forward in this life.
This statement is very evident, although I have started to think
about it this concentrated and so seriously since I moved to Italy.
Every advertisement, every TV show and every expression of
art is organized around the concept of passion. This concept,
which pushes everybody forward without exception, there is
no doubt. The only question left that personally what are the
things which are able to wake up the passion in the souls. I
didnt know the reasons but maybe it was the intention
of destiny but I bumped into the most diverse answers for
this question, without I would have asked anyone. I was just
talking with many valuable people, and somehow sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly this topic swam into the
picture. I got the result that for someone the motivation is the
carrier, whose causes direct far, but they had many acceptable
arguments, and finally we got something immaterial, like travel
around the world. I got from the bunch of dreamers the answer
that the feeling of giving makes you feel that you are alive. A
typical Italian man told me that everything, which helps him
to jump up to a higher level, is the effect of competitiveness.
Others lost something, which were their motivation, and they
couldnt define what it was. It is awkward or not, but I found

. Lido Centro, Cristoforo Colombo, Ostia Antica

the same answer as Luna has found, who was chasing its tail
happily in front of me. The secret thing, which powers me the
enthusiasm.
In the moment when I summed up and defined almost everybody and everything around me with this word, the girls
have got back from the raid. As far as many places have opened
their doors for the visitors, which were still closed last time,
we wanted to pick a new one. We passed by one, which looked
extraordinary fancy, called Caf Venezia. It had two entrances,
one of them directed to a challengingly steep ramp and to
downstairs. Behind the other entrance two options waited for
the guests. One was the stairs to the rooftop, and the other was
the accessible way to the same paradise in the sky. I was really
impressive. I mean we found a way to reach our destination,
but it has been never this easy and unequivocal. Furthermore,
it couldnt hide any error factor, like the elevator used to have.
First we took the steeper ramp, just because I love to warmup
on levels, which promise the bigger adrenaline rush. Fortunately the weather was absolutely dry and warm, so it had a
good effect to the ground. It wasnt slippery, therefore with a
bit of usage the motoric brakes, I could stop the crazy speeding,
so we landed on the level of the beach again well. We were
sneaking into the bar, and tried to stay invisible, which is a
tough mission with me and my garish chariot. We had luck,
because in the opposition of the lost case, now the waiters were
pretty busy with tons of tourists and suntanned locals.
We had a very quick peek to the menu, to place the relation
of our purses and the prices of this place. We had the consequence that in spite of the posh outlook, they matched, so we
could attack a free table. Regarding the sun smiled on us without a single cloud, we turned out from the indoor space, and
went for the other ramp, which directed to the roof terrace
and to the cozy deck chairs. Anna had itchy feets this time
or simply she wanted to be alone for a while this feeling
easily comes here, so I could totally understand it , therefore
she went for a walk, meanwhile me and Tali found our perfect

Rome as we roll it

shelter for a girly conversation, sipping our soft and perfectly


done cafe latte and enjoying the warm air and the shining sun.
Ive already planned with myself parallel in a completely inner
conversation my schedule and my upcoming aims. The next
one was to get off the train sooner and to find myself again
between the mesmerizing ancient ruins outside of the city in
an almost scary but also charming silence.
My next destination was Ostia Antica, although it took
pretty much time to make these plans come true. This was
the last bigger chaw of the unknown places and spaces of the
Eternal City. It was like a farewell from the ordinary tours,
walks, and discoveries. When we finally decided to head it, we
havent supposed yet that its not only a final round, but also a
great trial, which demands a lot of patience and persistence in a
maximally balanced way. The first puzzling detail was already
the question: how could we achieve this famous spot of Rome,
because even on the map of ATAC which is so theoretical
wasnt marked the proper station with the little cheeringup
sign of wheelchair accessibility. I was struck by lightning of a
potential solution on our way back from Cristoforo Colombo
with Tali and Anna. I thought our only hope to go right until
the final station, stay on the train, and then go back to Ostia Antica. It could work out, because the trains, which were speeding
to Roma direction, used to stop at the first platform, which was
on the ground floor, so we didnt need to touch the sky with
an overpass. It seemed a bit complicated and long, but at least
opened for us a way to Ostia Antica. I scratched my brilliant
idea to Anna, which made her do her own logistics in her mind.
Soon she came up with an obviously better and catchier plan.
She found out that we dont have to waste time with going
long minutes to the final station. According to her, it should
have been enough to reach the wellknown Lido Centro stop,
and then take a ride with the elevators, change platforms, and
finally we would have gone just two more extra stops to Ostia
Antica. Of course, the elevator topic was always like lottery, but
I was convinced to give a try to the shorter journey, regarding

. Lido Centro, Cristoforo Colombo, Ostia Antica

the fact that an area like that stores so many surprises and so
many treasures to explore.
We took the train to Lido Centro and then we changed the
platforms without any inconvenient surprise. We prayed hard,
and our prayers were listened, because the lifts worked well,
so we ruled the rails with huge smile on our faces to Ostia
Antica. We havent counted with the surroundings outside
of the station. We expected the same circumstances, which
welcomed us at any other neighborhood in this area. We got
used to a wide avenue with zebras, but we havent dealt with
wide avenues without zebras, but with unclimbable overpasses.
First I had tremendous djvu. I was afraid that the heights
will stop me again. This time I couldnt bow this fact, because
the picture of Ostia Antica was floating so acutely in front of
my eyes. I couldnt let this experience go, because I felt that it
will be a milestone of my Rome, even if I have had no idea how,
but it was a strong and sure intuition. We stayed puzzled and
helplessly in the middle of a parking zone, facing the tall and
towering stairs, which took the people to the other side of the
road, where were all the historical magic, what we wanted to
aim, too. I was a bit mad of the world at that time, and in the
lack of other people, who could work as lightningarrester, all
my anger was banged on Anna. We found a map, where was
marked all the sights in the near.
Anna was a little bit calmer, than me, so with clear mind she
was able to find a way, where we could cross the road without
steps. She walked very fast towards that direction. I couldnt
decide it was only because her dynamical way of living, or she
was also so angry that she had to deduct her bad energies, too.
The sidewalk was overly cloddish to hurry with my wheelchair,
so as a protestation I gave up for few minutes and I stopped in
one place like an offended little girl. It took surprisingly long
for Anna to notice that she lost me somewhere behind her. Its
also a mystery that she really hasnt noticed that I was missing
or just like a good teacher she wanted to teach me that these
tension moments arent right for acting in this hysterical way.

Rome as we roll it

We are obviously not these kinds of girls, and she knew that.
We didnt use to give up that easily. It was like our minds would
have been a bit connected to each other, because I have started
to approach her alone on that challenging and shaky way, and
in the same time she turned around and she was walking back
to my direction. Soon we were walking next to each other,
although still in bigger silence, than we used to be. Soon we
arrived to a crossroad. Both of the ways offered some sights
according to signals, so we pointed one of them randomly.
We had to cross a road with two zebras. At one of them
a traffic light helped us, but the other one was a bit more
complicated task, because there was a huge curve and no lights,
so the only thing we could do to pray and hurry, and repeat
our mantra at least my mantra If I die, I will die in
Italy! , meanwhile we were hunting for an idling. As a spicy
little detail, Anna had to fish me down of a giant berm, and we
had to keep quick this way. After all our worries, we managed
to get to the bright side, and the stone fell down from our
hearts. It was already the earnest of the trials, which were still
waiting for us on the horizon. I realized that the pavement has
become too narrow, so I have decided next to the same routine
way, which I used to take in the center: follow the cars on the
streets, regardless how fast they are or how densely they are
coming.
We have spotted the silhouette of a medieval castle, so we
decided that firstly we will approach that one. It turned out
as we got closer that its a complete castle quartier. When we
entered the enormous iron gate of the quartier, we have found
ourselves in a hidden little village. I felt myself like I would
have lost in a black hole, would have changed dimension, or
like I would have done a time travel. It was a pretty dazzling
feeling. The cobblestones were a bit more shaky and older,
than I got used to in the city center. However, seeing from
the present it was also just a preparation for the upcoming
challenges. Fortunately, my stomach was absolutely empty, so
there werent anything to bother inside. We aimed the second

. Lido Centro, Cristoforo Colombo, Ostia Antica

and a bit shorter gate, which was the entrance of the towering
castle, which looked like an empire of a princess. We hoped
after all the struggle, which we have done that day that every
door will welcome us opened as compensation. Well, it was a
fake expectation, because we found the entrance of the castle
closed. We tried to stay optimistic, so we took some picture
about the breathtaking view, meanwhile we were hunting for
other beauties, which we could approach. At the opposite side
of the castles piazza, stayed proudly a little and simple church.
Between the two monuments cats were fighting in so wild
and instinct way, how I have never seen before. They have
done everything to keep their own territory. As they hurt each
other, the cold was thrilling through my body. They were
also reigning the steps of the church. Anna noticed a small,
but supersteep ramp for me to get in to the church, although
I barely dared to come closer and closer to the bewildered
cats. We have tried to chase away the little monsters, but they
werent scared of humans, moreover they expressed towards
us too with their horrible, tremendous yowling that who is
the boss here. After we played our match with the cats, we
found ourselves somewhere, where it is really possible to feel
the presence of God. The church was tiny also from inside, and
there were hardly few decorations, the walls were severe, but
in the air I could feel the archaic scents of the ancient times. I
felt myself like I would have been enchanted by its power and
energies. I lost my sense of time here, so I realized a bit late
that we should have hurried if we still had wanted to visit the
giant park of Ostia Antica full of ruins.
We followed the same road, where we bumped into accidentally to this cute medieval quartier. We crossed it, because
the cashregister of the park was flashing on the other side.
The nice surprise of the day was that the originally cheekily
expensive ticket was reduced for disabled people and for one
accompanist. Well, not only reduced, to be honest, but absolutely free. We got our shiny tickets and entered the park. First
we hit the road, which was made for cars, because it was way

Rome as we roll it

smoother than the ancient one. We have seen so welltreated


terms that I could declare, it wasnt a challenge to image how
Caesar had his bath here. Soon we noticed the beautiful ruin
of a huge theater. It was so seductive that we decided to take
the risk, and we crossed the field towards the road, which was
covered with the hugest, the least comfortable and the least
compatible cobblestones, which I have ever seen. I could move
forward one single meter in five minutes. My wheels stuck
into every burst, and it took ages to mine it out somehow. I
was almost tumbled many times, as the surface wasnt in the
same level everywhere. For few short runs we found a little
way out of grass, which was far better, than the cobblestones,
however to get back to the cobblestonecovered road seemed
to be almost impossible from the grass later. My chair was like
a bewildered steed as Anna tried to push it on the stubbornly
repellent road. My head escaped from its normal place more
times, than altogether in the past in my life. We have suffered in
such a spectacular way that some tourists have run to us to help
a bit, however I felt that they only held us back. We decided that
at the first possibility we will get back to our nice old smooth
street. It seemed for me that this moment will never arrive, but
once it has happened. When I found myself on a way without
insurmountable obstacles, I started to feel that every tiny part of
my body hurts after this underestimated adventure. Well, this
was the first time, when I have said, I would never repeat this,
even though the sights were unforgettable, but not enough
compared to their sideeffects. I can say, we closed our Ostia
chapter with a beautiful trial of tolerance of body and soul.

Chapter XII

Arrivederci Roma
The goulash party
and the memorable episodes of the farewell week

The recognition of the closing of the end of my Roman life


slapped me in face, when a Hungarian friend of mine, who lives
here, mentioned that a house party should be organized at our
place in the name of the anniversary of the s revolution of
Hungary, and also as a kind of farewell party for us. I opened
the calendar at my computer, and I realized that the date of this
party is the fifteenth of March, and it is only few glances away.
I could never feel before the strength and justice of the clich
that time is passing incredibly fast, when we feel really and
sincerely good in our skin. Well, I experienced this in Rome.
We started to organize our goulash party one week before
the Hungarian national holiday. We agreed that each of the
Hungarian crew is allowed to invite five people, because
of the finiteness of our flats capacity. However this amount
still promised a nice friendship exchange. Eszter, Anna, and
I organized this with hundred percent devotion. We played
with the coincidence of our flag and the Italian flag have the
same tricolor, just in the second case turned to the side, so
we have bought red, white, and green plastic plates, forks and
spoons, and of course glasses for the moodmaker wine. It was
a beautiful clear and pretty hot spring day, so we started at four
in the afternoon, because this way we could enjoy the gracious
weather from our stretching terrace on the fifth floor, and the
perfect view to the cupola of St. Peters Basilica. The period of

Rome as we roll it

the preparation was organized in the name of a little Hungarian


unity. The chiefs and organizers arrived around noon. We
made a DJ counter out of the ironing board in the kitchen,
while everybody was in crazy cutting, peeling, and boiling.
The kitchen was filled with the powerful Hungarian spirit.
However, we hardly have got to know each other, we had many
topics to discuss. We could tell to each other also new things
about Rome, or about the Italian guys, which actually surprised
me a bit. In the background an alternative band from Budapest,
called Quimby sang about how it feels to be abroad, far
from home. It has really made the atmosphere. To speak as
a real local, we were totally pronti also known as ready
with the food and decoration on time in the company of few
bottles of wine in our belly. According to our common previous
experiences we had still time to enjoy ourselves in this lineup.
Nobody expected that the Italian delegation wont be late.
The first guests, who arrived were Valeria and his brother,
who I have already met on her graduation. Valeria entered
with the exclamation: Im pretty sure that we have arrived
first! . And it was absolutely true. We settled down at the garden table and chairs outside in the company of Annas brother
Andris, Anna, Gabriele, and Valeria. Hesham, our new friend
from the Italian class, or in extended context from Egypt
joined us on the terrace soon, while Eszter and her crew still
ruled the space inside with their happiness. With Hesham
it was the exact part, when I realized that we have created
together a new language. It was the language of love, without barriers and misunderstandings, but full of mistakes and
nonexisting Italian words. Everything was communicated
perfectly with the tools of will and a lot of smiles. Hesham
cant speak English, so we all had to try to talk in a Spagetti
Italian, as Lorenzo would say so... He was also as beginner in
this beautifully singing language, so our performance surely
entertained the Cocco family. In spite of this theoretical disadvantage, I couldnt remember for one single moment of the
wellknown awkward silence.

. Arrivederci Roma

The second rush arrived around sunset, which was a pretty


colorful group. I invited Roberto, who is a real bull of the Monti
area, who I have known before only from the cyber space. He
was a potential competitor of being our host in the summer
from CouchSurfing. Because of our previous conversations, I
knew that my editorinchief is one of his best friends, which
turned out totally accidentally. But I havent known that he
will take him to my house party. It was a completely new
situation. We welcomed each other as good friends, and not in
a formal way as employees and bosses used to do. However,
these borders or edges were always unbelievably vague in this
country for me, and I always enjoyed it. Every time made me
smile, when at the council or at the post office the people said
goodbye with a Ciao bella! , or when my job interview took
place in a bar, next to a glass of wine, which was paid by my
potential future boss. So, I havent had any problem to share
some drinking and dazzling moments again. Roberto also took
with himself his flat mate, who was totally new for me. The
Italian trio took as companion also few nice bottles of Tuscan
wines and prosecco next to the best goulash and lecs of the
year, which is the vegetarian and nonvegetarian edition of our
traditional cuisine. The Erasmus bunchs and Annas cooking
reaped the credit, because both of them were extraordinary
successful.
When the sky has become deep dark I noticed two things:
first is that the attendants were completely swapped, second
that I have felt already a bit groggy and I talked far more, than I
used to in a largely unknown agent. I have met a young doctor,
who I was provoking shamelessly, maybe because of my sublime repugnance came from my past towards this profession,
or maybe I wanted to get a prove that cool doctors also exist
on the planet called Earth. Whatever was my aim originally,
the second one happened. The biggest advantage of this party,
which was the greatest heartache in the same time, was that
I got some very valuable new people for the last episodes of
my Roman life in change of some unexpected loss of people,

Rome as we roll it

who were integral parts of the very beginning of my Italian


adventure.
After this charging, the sparkles of love havent stopped to
attack me. The next freshening and also shocking with the
best meaning of it surprise was the unexpected arrival of
Nri, right from Paris, right from behind my back at the local
caf of Trastevere. It was the time, when another university
friend, Balzs has visited me, who also has known about this
tricky and funny outcrop. Anna also kept this secret for long
days brilliantly. We had so many feelings and so many experiences and stories to discuss that this present of that four days
was almost enough for nothing. Nri was working again as a
Duracell bunny, which made me have a serious flashback of old
times of . We made a pilgrimage of common memories
about Rome. We went together to Piazza Navona, where we
spent so much time at the Christmas fair. At that part Valeria has joined us, and accompanied us on our wellpracticed
touristic route, which banded together Piazza Navona and Pantheon. Nri added a bit of intermezzo to take a peek on the
Caravaggio paintings, and then Valeria took us to her favorite
gelateria close to Via del Campo Marzio. We walked together
through Via del Corso in the rush of tourists, when we eventually reached our cultic and memorable common meeting point
and storage of powerful experiences, which was Piazza del
Popolo. As far as Valeria and me had a little business together,
which is about to map Romes accessible hotspots, like bars,
restaurants or aperitivo places, I left my mettlesome friends,
Balzs and Nri alone for a while. They headed towards our
favorite hill of Rome, to Pincio, and we promised them that
we will catch up their tempered duo in half an hour. Valeria
showed me a street, which is actually the street of artists, called
Via Margutta, which took me hundred years ago to Paris. It
was hidden from the noise of Via del Corso, however it was in
the absolute vicinity of it, and also parallel. Well, I could say
it was the parallel opposition of the popular pedestrian area.
After this impression, I felt crazy desire to choose this direction

. Arrivederci Roma

for the way back. We caught up Nri and Balzs, although they
couldnt stand not to begin their salad picnic under the moon
and the stars.
We let Valeria go, but the night wasnt over for us at all.
We were about to hit our haunt, the Le Mura again. We were
roaming on the streets of San Lorenzo, and I was constantly
convincing myself that I have to accept that this is the last time,
when I can pass by those houses as a local. I have tried to
save every picture, the paintings of the buildings walls, the
windows of every tiny pub, the sounds of the drums at Piazza dellImmacolata. This time even the torching moments
of spending time on the night bus felt nostalgic for me. However, I felt like the all the cars and people outside of the bus
were gyrating, I still couldnt get enough from the night lights
of Castel SantAngelo. Even the adventurous getting off with
mostly drunken travelers from the bus felt like an unique moment of life, which can happen this nostalgic way only once.
I could also smile to the traffic light, which used to trick me
with the imagination that we have reached our street, although
it was just the previous one. I think I needed Nri to save this
moment with the highest dignity, which all these sights, monuments, and hidden corners deserved. Our dense and intense,
repeated vacation in Rome with Nri was a nice starter of my
farewell week, what Ive just started to organize that time.
I have decided that I want to spend quality time with the
people, who took important place in my heart, while I was living here. Some of them hugged around my overall impression
of Rome, some of them were dropped in my life in the most
unexpected moments, suddenly as a lightning arrives. Some of
them defined and determined all my weeks here, and some of
them appeared just for few times, but then they gave me a lot.
Some of them have been and will be on my mind every single
day, and some of them maybe more rarely, but I could guarantee to anyone that all of the people, who I got to know here has
become important to me. Im sure that I could shock everyone
with my head losing performance, even if we have known each

Rome as we roll it

other just for two weeks. All of them could laugh with me,
while I was bouncing on the cobblestones with my magic car
in my clumsy way. After this all of them deserves, and also I
deserve, or to be more accurate, all these relationships deserve
to give them time and not mix everybody together in a big
farewell party, without honest concentration.
I put together my schedule cooperating with this people
with the highest care of me. Tuesday was firstly for Leonardo
from April, my bnb and Ikea king, my number one partner,
when it was time for some psychoanalysis. We have met at
Piazza Risorgimento, which was actually the place, where he
was pushing me up, down, and cross, when my batteries ran
out of energy during our secret trip in last April. He chose for
meeting point lInsalata Ricca, where we ate the best bruschetta,
I have ever tasted. The weather was sad and grey, as my mood
because of the pain of saying goodbye. However, he was able to
make me smile with his scurrilous humor, which I have always
enjoyed. Of course, he was in hurry as in general, so after
our super rapid lunch, he has left the stage unexpectedly and
suddenly, which was the part of his beloved image. Then the
next competitor of the day was Antonio, my editorinchief,
who I met at his favorite place at Periodico, which gifted me
also a lot of impulsive memory. It was the deadline of the April
issue of the magazine, so our last conversation was a bit more
professional, than the one at the goulash party. In addition
as a goodbye present I got from him some useful advice for
planning our trip to Naples.
My Wednesday could be also called as the day of the counterpoles . I crammed in into that twentyfour hours Marzio,
the dottore from the house party, and my strangest Argentinian,
the other Leonardo, who was the spice of my half year here:
it was the bitter, the sweet, and the salty, and the spicy taste
in the same person. First I have met Marzio, although the order was chosen by the fate, which won the meaning later, of
course. I asked him to take me to his favorite place, because I
wanted to bring home totally new pictures too, in my mind.

. Arrivederci Roma

We started from Colosseo to Piazza Venezia. His choice was a


Roxfordlike international Irish pub, called Scholar Lounge in
the shadow of Altare della Patria. Next to a Peroni and a Cuba
Libre, we could finish every existing topic started from the
dirtiest, through the funniest and totally fictional ones, right
to the most real and most serious ones. I could sit there and
keep on talking for more long hours, but I had to be back for
my next appointment with Leonardo. I showed Marzio my
special ways from Piazza Venezia to Colosseo. I introduced
the adrenaline of taking the risk and speeding together with
the cars. Im pretty sure that he has never walked this way
through Via Fori Imperiali. It was an extremely cold and windy
night, so I really had to focus to use my muscles properly, as
the freezing air has frozen them. I was concentrating crazily
to keep my body together, and my feminine pride powered
me in this mission. There was one more thing which kept me
balanced and it was nothing else than the inner harmony of
this insanely blueeyed and warmhearted doctor. The more
desire of prove towards him, the more selfesteem I felt during
our way to Colosseo. When we arrived I felt myself in one
complete piece. It proved to me that our surroundings really
effect on us, and I honestly enjoyed this affection. Although
this feeling couldnt last too long, because on that day I still had
to experience the counterpole of it.
When Leonardo said hello at the metro station, Marzio said
goodbye, as it was written in that famous The Beatles song. In
the last period our friendship has had more emotional obstacles,
than I have experienced altogether on the streets of Rome, but
he had to face each other. I wanted to say sorry, and I wanted
to leave him here without bad feelings. It has just raised the
weight of the stone on my breast that we have met at the
place, where everything has started for me in Rome, where
I became hopelessly attached to this city. The cold wind has
already reached my bones. We sat outside, I was looking in
his eyes and I have tried to decode something, but all I have
found was confusion, a bit of anger, and a bit of emptiness

Rome as we roll it

towards me. I was running out of motivation to hold my tired


body in the cold straight, so I was literally falling apart, and it
shows perfectly that in my life most of the things are decided in
mind, even my physical statement and condition. It has always
scared me and fascinated me in the same time. These hours
tried my borders again, just like the ones at Ostia Antica, but
this trial has arrived from a different side. We tried hard to
understand each other, and he still tried hard to care about me,
however because of the circumstances it was difficult for him
for sure. He gave me his coat against the cold, but it couldnt
save me from some dark thoughts, which we have shared with
each other. Originally I planned to meet Balzs at Colosseo,
but finally Leonardo had to accompany me to Termini. A bus
was approaching, but it passed the station, and ignoring our
pretty desperate waving. Soon the n night bus stopped there,
so Leo and a random backpacker lifted me up somehow. At
the end we ended up luckily at Termini, and I felt like during
our journey our bad feelings have flown away. I try really hard,
but I cant say that it was a happy meeting, neither that it was a
happy end, but eventually everything happened as it had to. I
let him go, and we havent been elevated each other anymore,
because it protects ourselves from falling he thought me
about this phenomenon, and I wont forget my lesson. But all
in all after half year of being a bit or bigger part of each others
life we could say goodbye with dignity, and its more important
than anything else.
If I should define Rome with one word, I would say Luzzi .
It shows perfectly how the people are living and the whole
atmosphere of the city. Regarding this fact I really wanted a
last supper at Luzzi with a perfect team to redefine it without
any Leonardo content. Our Last Supper group was some
people of the original goulash party crew, Balzs and Marzio.
This dinner has had everything, which Italy is about: flirts,
dirty talks, emotions, little and unserious verbal fights, love,
good food, and good wine. The evening was crowned by one
of my favorite waiter, who surprised us with a killing strong

. Arrivederci Roma

goodbye limoncello, and three roses, which he has paid by his


own pocket. Actually Ive never supposed that during my stay a
guy from Bangladesh will sell me roses indirectly or directly,
however the roses determined that evening pretty much. When
it was closing time at midnight at Luzzi, and we were softly
kicked out of the place, the guys, who were the other two
participant of our trio, which left here, were involved into a
newer rose haggling, but it wasnt the last surrealistic point of
the night. When they finally changed their mind and chased
away the roseseller guy somehow, has come the other crazy
idea. We all wanted to continue the farewell drinking, but
we all were lazy to head any of the areas, which are related
to nightlife, except for the closest street, which is also known
as gay street. In the cavalcade of rainbow flags we sipped the
cocktails, which was so strong that it was able to teletransport
us home.
Allora, I hope one day I will drink up another cocktail, which
will teletransport me back to Rome, to relive again all these
indescribable encounters, all the great beauty, and all these
sweetly sweaty challenges, which Rome has given me. I have
learnt a lot about the public transportation, about teletransportation, about other cultures, about similar or same troubles
and doubts as mines, about others, but Ive learnt the most
about myself. Rome taught me that the only way to be free as
a human to dare to fly above your borders day by day.

Esempi di architettura | Esempi di Valore


collana diretta da Olimpia Niglio

Geografie, storie, paesaggi per unItalia da cambiare.


La geopolitica come politica del territorio e delle relazioni
internazionali
Gabriella Bonini, Chiara Visentin

2.

Il Pastificio Cerere. Una riflessione tra recupero e progetto


Andrea Bordi, Rossella Caruso, Massimiliano Coccia

3.

Rome as we roll it
Mira Budafoki

1.

Finito di stampare nel mese di giugno del 2014


dalla ERMES. Servizi Editoriali Integrati S.r.l.
00040 Ariccia (RM) via Quarto Negroni, 15
per conto della Aracne editrice S.r.l. di Roma