I'm on my last full day in Rome (I leave for Florence tomorrow morning), and I have to say that I'm kind of glad about that. This city absolutely exhausts me. Of course, I walked all over hell's half acre yesterday, which contributed to that exhaustion, but there's also a tiredness of a different kind that I seem to get in Rome. It could just be me, but I feel like I always have to be hyper-aware of my surroundings, always have one eye open (and when I've got a giant camera in my face and I'm taking photographs, that's tough), always have my hand on my purse... It's partly because I'm traveling alone right now - normally Chris is around to keep an eye out as I'm blissfully ignoring the world and taking photos - but I can't help but think it's also partly this city.
The first time I visited Rome, I was absolutely knackered after only three days, and yet I was kind of surprised to find that I feel roughly the same way this time. I thought that with a few years of Italian language classes under my belt (not to mention more overall Italian travel experience) I'd be more able to handle Rome. And I do feel much more confident here than I did last time - I've gotten myself all over the place via the bus and walking, not asking directions or getting lost, and that counts for something in my book. But I can't help it... I'm just not built for Rome. I appreciate it (how could you not?), but I'm longing for a city on a smaller scale, a city that doesn't seem poised to eat me alive every time I step out the door. In short, I'm really looking forward to getting to Florence, a city I dearly love.
Rome, it's nothing personal. I think you're a fabulous city, overflowing with history and with oodles to offer, but I guess I can only handle you in small doses. So, no hard feelings, okay? I'll be back. I promise.