Song Lyrics Sunday -Rome

The first time I visited Rome the Capital City of Italy, only 6 hours away from our farm in South Tyrol, I felt at home. I had never been there before, but had walked the streets of Rome for many hours in my mind at school, when we learned all about the Roman Empire. I had wept for the innocent and poor who were tortured, or were just a human toy in the brutal games the rich invented to entertain themselves and the masses.

I had hardly any money, but my old VW Beetle and and our old farm dog and I, we went on the road to visit a few places in Italy. 1982, just 19 years old I had a few thousand Lire in my wallet (the former Italian currency before the Euro app $200 today) an old map, and an adventurous spirit.

I knew the rules. Only eat at places where the Italians eat, or you get a tourist menu with prices you can’t afford. Only sleep in small bed and breakfast motels in the outskirts, and arrive late at night, so you can negotiate the price for room and board. Never show your money -or fear! Be kind but confident. Ask for help and yell loud -if needed. Never wear anything that could offend the people living there. Never show off what you have -if you have it to begin with. Drink and eat what is offered to you, even if you don’t like it.

I arrived in Rome in the morning around 9 a.m. ready to explore the city. I parked a bit outside and walked from monument to monument, and visited all the historical places I seemed to know so well.

At noon I found a small store and bought 2 pound of fresh Mortadella, and 2 pound Bel Paese -my favorite Italian cheese and a bag full of fresh Italian rolls. The owner of the store was nice enough to make me fresh coffee, and the dog I enjoyed lunch on a park bench overlooking Rome.

I knew this was my city right from the start and I never questioned it. The city and I had a connection that is still existing to this day.

Later at night, I started to look for a motel and soon learned that the prices were out of my league. I had to leave Rome and find a room at a small village close by. Quite entertaining if you don’t know where you are going. I was young and unafraid, not sure if I would do the same today.

It seems we have more to lose when we get older -or at least we think we do.

40 miles south of Rome I saw a small town and sure enough, they even had a restaurant with a motel. When I walked in, a huge Italian woman came toward me. She grabbed my hand and placed me at a table. I asked for dinner prices and the prices for the room, and she looked at me and the amount she named I could afford with ease. She had empty rooms and it was late, it was that simple. The dinner was fantastic. Homemade tagliatelle with rabbit Bolognese, a glass of red house wine, and our dog was fed leftovers and bones from the kitchen.

Feeling special doesn’t have to cost much.

I walked upstairs to my room, saw the big bed with the feather comforter and felt right at home. Before I knew it the dog jumped on it and fell asleep right then and there and I did the same. We were worn out and happy. We stayed for five nights, and I got to see everything I wanted to see -and so much more. I gained a few pounds, the owner of the place had always food waiting for us.

When it was my time to leave I felt sad.

Arriverderci, Roma
Goodbye, goodbye to Rome

City of a million moonlit faces
City of a million warm embraces
Where I found the one of all the faces
Far from home

Arriverderci, Roma
It’s time for us to part

Save the wedding bells for my returnin’
Keep my lover’s arms outstretched and yearnin’
Please be sure the flame of love keeps burnin’
In her heart

Arriverderci, Roma
It’s time for us to part

Save the wedding bells for my returnin’
Keep my lover’s arms outstretched and yearnin’
Please be sure the flame of love keeps burnin’
In her heart

Arrivederci Roma” (English: “Goodbye, Rome”) is the title and refrain of a popular Italian song, composed in  1955 by Renato Rascel, with lyrics by Pietro Garinei and Sandro Giovannini. It was published in 1957 as part of the soundtrack of the Italo-American musical film with the same title, released as Seven Hills of Rome in English

If you like music, you will like it a lot. Just be better than me. Write more about the lyrics and not about yourself. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Song Lyrics Sunday -Rome

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