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  • Erin Welsh

Roman Jungle

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

Waking up, sunlight streams through a crack in the faded hunter green shutters. It takes me a second to recognize where I am, before the smell of savory pastries and perfected espresso wafts through the room.


I slept with the window open last night, not caring that the sounds of laughter and the passing train drifted upwards long after I had climbed into this antique bed.

Yesterday was magical. Miraculously, I made it onto every train in the three changeovers to get from Rome to Cinque Terre- worth every sweaty minute. Along the way, I shared moments with characters whose brief interactions in my life seem somehow more substantial than happen stance. Fabio, my uber driver from the city to the train station clutches his heart when I tell him I'm headed to Vernazza. He eagerly tells me "Bello! Bello!" and makes me promise to eat stracchino pizza and carbonara, since I somehow neglected to do this while in Rome (I was too busy devouring gelato). He relays to me that besides driving, he is a chef, and proudly shows me his Instagram masterpieces. He continues to point out fountains, buildings, and pieces of history along the way, even slowing in the "jungle-like" Rome traffic so I can catch a glimpse of the ostentatiously dressed corrazierre, personal bodyguard to the president of the republic. We arrive at the station, Fabio wishes me "best travel", and I am swallowed by the chaos of Roma Termini.

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