My week in Italy is almost over. I have one more day here where I'm headed to Florence for a quick day trip. This week has been full. Today I went to Monte Cassino, where Benedict's monastery is. On Saturday I was in Assisi and Orvieto. I've been all around Rome seeing monuments and ruins and churches and eating my way through all the pizza and gelato I can.
I've been wondering, this whole week, do Italians here know how beautiful this place is? Rome is a gorgeous city, with beauty everywhere. You can go into a church here that, in the United States, would be the main tourist attraction in a city, but here it's only one of hundreds. Around the block there's another church that's just as beautiful. On every street there's a fountain or ornate monument. Cobblestone streets are filled with sidewalk cafes. The whole city is a showcase for the history of great architects. I wonder if Italians know how beautiful this place is.
When I lived in Montana I was, at first, amazed at the mountains. Every day I'd wake up and see this majestic landscape and be surprised that was the view I was blessed with each day. As time passed, though, the mountains faded into the unnoticed background. I remember telling someone, "I don't even see the mountains anymore." I read that most Romans live unconcerned with the ancient history all around them. I notice on the subway these are people living normal life, going to work or school or out with friends. Do they regularly see how beautiful the city is? My guess is no.
Every place is beautiful in its own way. Every location has its own unique scenic quality. Every person is beautiful and every place is worth seeing. We live numb most days. We need to open our eyes, now and then, to really see how good it all is. My time in this beautiful city reminds me to see the beauty in my own place when I come back home.
"In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome." - Rule of St. Benedict