by Marinka on April 16, 2014

I’m in Rome.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but I thought if I did, you’d get all clingy and start dropping hints about how you love Rome/always wanted to go and/or have a Prada purse. So I took the easy way out and snuck out behind your back, without alerting you.

And there’s nothing that you can do about it. You don’t get a say.

I’m here with my daughter, who’s sort of the perfect traveling companion. We’re very gelato-compatible–it’s like I birthed her or something. I’m working on a post (tentative title: Meaning of Life/Key to Happiness (and Younger Looking Skin) but that will take a while and in this age of instant gratification, I wanted to share some of my off-the-cuff thoughts about Rome with you. I know you’re still mad at me for leaving you like I did. I’m mad at myself too.

1. I’ve been to Rome more than any other European city. Paris may be a moveable feast, but Rome insists that you visit. Or that I visit.

2. All Italians are attractive. I have no idea how they swing that, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of those miracles that the Vatican keeps harping on about. (Also, Italian men need to get themselves to NYC and other major American cities and give classes at the Learning Annex and maybe Harvard on how to look at women.  Because no one does it better.)

2a. You have no idea how hard it has been for me not to tweet “when in Rome, do a Roman.” But I’m a lady. Or something.

3. I know smoking is bad, but why do the Italians look so good doing it? Wait, is this related to 2, supra? Whatever. I’ll check with the Surgeon General if there’s any wiggle room on the denouncement.

4. You must have a native Italian friend when you visit Rome. We’re staying with ours. And when he embraced me and said in Italian-accented English, “Marinka, I hear you are getting  a divorce and also a new cat, yes?” he made it sound like not something I’d need to slash my wrists over. And not just because he held out a bottle of wine as a salve. (I didn’t tell you about the new cat. Sorry again.  I did mention that I’m going through gender reassignment, right?!)

5. This native Italian friend will make comments about you being American. Like when you want to take a very hysterical photo, he will say “oh, sure, go ahead. You’re not the first American to do this.”
This could have the potential to lead to an international incident, but fortunately I find Rome intoxicating. Besides, my cats need me to come home in one piece.


6. There are a kazillion museums and churches, but Rome is basically an open air museum. Just walking down the street is a treat.



7. So is stopping by St. Peter’s Square on a late morning and seeing that the Pope is addressing the masses. I had no idea what he was saying, I’m guessing something the American Blogger movie. (Also, really disappointing that there was no Q&A at the end).

8. There is no Starbcucks in Rome. My friends told me this, and I said “that’s impossible, I have a Starbucks-locating app!” Because apparently I believe that the app comes with a brick and mortar extension so that a new Starbucks store could be built. But I checked and Rome is Starbuck-less. And when I insist on getting my cappuccino to go, they insist on pouring it into a urine-sample plastic cup. But it’s still delicious.


9. There is a water fountain app that people in Rome use. And today we learned how to use an Italian water fountain correctly. With this knowledge, how far behind can relocation be, really?

Italian water fountain from Marinka NYC on Vimeo.

10. I can eat gelato every day. I can spend endless hours walking the city with my daughter. I never forget how fortunate I am.


I’m over at Alpha Mom Book Club with a review of Drew Magary’s Someone Could Get Hurt. You should read it immediately.

One year ago ...

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

April 16, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Without a starbucks, where do Romans get their coffee?


April 16, 2014 at 5:47 pm

This sounds like a riddle. Now I am going to waste my entire evening trying to think of a punch line.


Susan Weinstein April 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm

So, when do you get on that red motorbike and ride around Capri? Ciao, Bella!
This blog made my day.


Barbara Sigelbaum
April 16, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Pinch a cute Italiano for me. Then look innocent.


julie April 16, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Have a great time!!! so jealous


anna whiston-donaldson April 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Sounds wonderful! Not that windy, snowy April Wednesdays aren’t great or anything, but I’d much rather be w/ you in Rome!


ssheers April 16, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Two words: Alviero Martini.


April 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Maybe you should bring one of those cute Italian guys home with you. Unless you are still hung up on that Paul Ryan Gosling chap, of course…


deb quinn
April 17, 2014 at 8:10 am

molte bene (or words to that effect). I think everyone should have an old friend who lives in Rome. Perhaps your friend would like to rent himself out, sort of like airbnb, to tourists visiting Rome so they feel less like tourists? Am sorry to hear about the d-i-v-o-r-c-e but Rome seems like a pretty good place to go to gain perspective on The Next Stage. And whatever that next stage/phase/chapter (insert tired metaphor here) may be, you should move in that direction in new shoes, maybe a fabulous jacket, a soignee scarf, and probably a new bag. Plus sunglasses. Sunglasses are key. Proven fact: things bought from street vendors in European cities are WAY cooler than the (same) things bought from street vendors in NYC.


Calitonyc April 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm

I KNEW the divorce had to do with getting a second cat.


tracy@sellabitmum April 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm

I love Rome. And Romans. Enjoy all of it. Even the dixie cupped coffee. xo


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