Blogging from Rome

Oranges growing along the road

Oranges growing along the road

On the face of it, writing from here should be easy. When short of ideas, I can just go out and find something striking: the Coliseum or any of hundreds of stunning world-class monuments, churches, piazzas and fountains. The Tiber at sunrise and sunset, the museums and art galleries. The orange trees along the road.

That’s what you see if you’re just a visiting, yet the divide between “The Great Beauty” and actual daily life for most of its inhabitants is a chasm. A year into this blog, I’ve been trying to tread lightly on the less inspiring aspects of life here, except for traffic jams which notoriously top industrialized-country charts.

If you’re a tourist in Rome, you put up with all the dysfunction and chaos, perhaps even enjoy the nice change from your own staid and rule-abiding home environment. You happily join the queues and subsequent assaults on unreliable buses, and actually thrive amid the honking cars and jaywalkers. You don’t think anything of disregarding basic garbage disposal etiquette.

In other words, you do as the Romans do.

Flowers in the parking lot

Flowers in the parking lot

Italy is meant to be about good food, history and art and gracious living. It can be, if you have deep pockets to insulate you from everyday problems, or if you live away from the larger cities. Counter to the myths and expectations abroad, foreign newspapers have finally taken notice of the degradation of the city on many levels, and astonishingly detailed articles have recently started to appear on world sites. This could disappoint a lot of people, except for Italians from other parts of the country who have always had a love-hate relationship with the capital anyway.

What’s more serious is that it doesn’t look like it’s moving in any real direction. People are fed up but it’s too much of a hassle to try to do anything serious about it. In our Mayor-less city, we’re heading towards elections in June, with walls and billboards and rear ends of buses plastered with smiling candidate faces and vapid slogans. Tons of extra paper trash the new Mayor will have to deal with before tackling anything else.

Effortless gardening

Effortless gardening

One candidate focuses exclusively on “Family”, reflecting the egocentric life-view of a culture where a sense of community is generally absent.  Just me, myself, my spouse and my kids. Another candidate’s heart-shaped logo sports a variety of populist slogans, some of which one may agree with, like “Stop unauthorized building” –  logical coming from him as he hails from a family of real estate developers. Others are perplexing. “Close the Gypsy camps”. Yes? And then? Do we push these people northward to bump up against the wall the Austrians are planning at our border? Or just push them into the Mediterranean to join the overflow of destitute refugees drowning in the sea by the thousands?

A young woman candidate is meant to be pregnant, which is fine by me, though most far-right parties like hers thundered until just a few minutes ago that women should stick to being homemakers. A grassroots party has a woman candidate too, a lawyer, and their only real claim to votes is their professed honesty – so far. Honesty would certainly be a welcome first, but a dose of experience in managing large and complex entities should also figure. The only candidate with relatively recent and relevant managerial-municipal experience has the sort of colourless low-profile that risks being out of sync with media-influenced voters nowadays.

Roman philosophy

Roman philosophy


Where am I going with all this? My dilemma is where to take this blog forward in its second year. Rome is indeed frustrating, yet occasional comments on daily life and its unexpected angles could be of continued interest. Italy attracts, but don’t expect Tuscany here, there’s so much more that’s more authentic in this country. So maybe I should just carry on and stick to the eclectic mix I’ve been meandering along with over the last year, following the peaks and troughs of my moods.

Any opinions and/or advice? 

Pictures about things in Rome that are fine: ©





This entry was posted in Blogging, Creativity, Cultural, Italy, Opinion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Blogging from Rome

  1. Hi Bea,

    No words of wisdom or advice, just a note to let you know how much I enjoy your posts. You have a gift for writing. I feel like I know your city, Rome, like a native. Thank you for sharing your life with us. 🙂


  2. Joel F says:

    Keep blogging, you just didn’t know how many smiles you’re giving to some strangers across the globe by your writings.

    Oh who am i to give advice when i myself also feel the same way at one point in my blogging life.

    Whether in Rome, or in any city, i think just like what that john lennon song says, ” anywhere you go people will be the same.” Places are places, people are people. Oh my why am i talking too much?

    Seems like i’m enjoying your post. Thanks for always having the time to share your thoughts through your writings Bea. I enjoy dropping by.

    • Bea dM says:

      Hi Joel thanks very much for your generous encouraging words, and for taking the time to comment like this. So glad you enjoy dropping by! I too enjoy dropping by your way 🙂

  3. We are in our 5th year of blogging and luckily there are two of us to share the work. We’re primarily a travel blog and the vast majority of our posts are about travel and destinations. However, we don’t travel all the time, and from the beginning, we’ve pretty much had the philosophy that we will blog about whatever interests us at the time. This not only keeps us motivated but helps keep us fresh. We feel that the important things are good writing, good art, and interesting posts. This is a long-winded explanation encouraging you to just go where your interests lead you. It’s your blog after all, and in addition to your readers, it should make you happy too. ~James

    • Bea dM says:

      Long-winded … but very encouraging 🙂 Thanks for dropping in, I’ll be visiting you too, I wonder if your individual styles will be noticeable …

  4. herschelian says:

    I find your blog fascinating, and this particular post was particularly so – I had no idea that Rome – Rome!!!- was without a mayor. Agree totally with lundygirl – write whatever you feel like.

  5. lundygirl says:

    mmn blog writing is harder than it looks! – but I say carry on and write whatever you feel like saying.

  6. zipfslaw1 says:

    Follow those peaks and troughs! They’re part of what makes your writing charming.

  7. eurobrat says:

    Glad to hear we’re not the only ones dealing with election silly season right now….

  8. Ellen Hawley says:

    No advice, but I do understand the dilemma.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s