Visiting A Friend In The Eternal City

The best and worst part of traveling is the friends you make. You’ll maybe meet your friend-soulmate (or your actual soulmate) and make lifelong memories. Then….you leave. Or they leave. And it sucks.

You make plans to visit each other or travel somewhere together, but in my experience, very few of these plans actually follow through.

My Italian friend, Diana, is one of those people. We met at a French language school in Brussels in September. Since then, I’ve visited her three times in Rome. About seven days in total, but over the course of a few months, these visits have secured our lifelong friendship.

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Diana and I at a cafe in Brussels.

My fellow polyglot pal, Diana and I speak in French, Italian, and English, often in the same conversation. Sometimes, in the same sentence. We are obsessed with every aspect of language: the history, semantics, the culture that is attached to it. For us, there’s nothing more fascinating. We spend hours talking about language.

This past weekend, I visited her in Rome. She lives a bit outside the city center but has easy access there. We drank enough coffee to kill a horse, binge-watched Black Mirror and horror movies, and ate a lot of pasta. She was worried that I wasn’t seeing the city enough.

I told her, “Look, I’ve seen Rome. I studied here for a month. I came to see you.”

And that was just it. As much as I love the city, bottom line, I was here to see her. I was perfectly happy just sitting on her couch, our faces covered in a Lush face mask, watching a movie. After traveling alone so much, it’s nice to be with friends.

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We still went into the city, too! We spent a few hours at Villa Borghese on the first day. Yesterday, Sunday, we went to Monti and Trastevere. Although we’ve walked these streets a million times, we enjoyed retracing our steps. We went back to look at my old house in St. Pietro in Vincoli, downed some espresso and then hung our legs over a ledge with a full view of the Colosseo.

An unexpected surprise, Rome has become one of my favorite cities. Another unexpected but amazing surprise was sitting next to the Italian girl at Amira language school in Brussels…and her becoming one of my best friends.

I love you, Diana. x

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