The passage “What is Rome?” below is from Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr.
I read a few pages of his book every few days. It is like sitting down with a friend.
I am learning a lot from his experiences living in Rome with his wife and twins.
This was a book club selection for my Italian Book Club.* Some loved this book. Some found it boring.
Read reviews at Four Seasons in Rome….
“What is Rome? …
“It’s like America before coffee was “to go”, when a playground was a patch of gravel, some cigarette butts, and an uninspected swing set; when everybody smoked, when businesses in your neighborhood were owned by people in your neighborhood; when children still stood on the front seats of moving cars and spread their fingers across the dash.
“It’s a health-care service that ensures assistance to both Italians and foreigners in an equal manner and allows a doctor to make a decision such as keeping Shauna overnight without having to worry about costing her several thousand dollars.
“It’s our friend Cristiano Urbani, who is the first male in his family in at least four generations not to become a fishmonger…..
“It’s an economy in recession, the lowest birthrate in Europe (1.3 children per woman), 40 percent of thirty-to thirty-four year olds still living with their parents.
“It’s a place where stoplights are open to interpretation, lattes should never be ordered after lunch, and a man is not considered a failure if he’s forty years old and still spinnig dough in a pizzeria.
“It’s a country where parents let their kids play soccer in the streets and walk home from school unaccompanied, where your first thought when you see an adult man talking to a child in the street is not necessarily child molester. ” Four Seasons in Rome
Why This Passage?
I miss the somewhat “good old days” when kids walked to school, we did not lock our houses or cars and people knew their neighbors.
I miss small stores where I could receive help before and after the purchase. The owners were often on the premises and lived in town.
I miss Walter Cronkite.
No Place Is Perfect.
I grew up with opportunities.
I grew up safe, fed and clothed.
I want the same for all children.