Thursday, September 8, 2011

Leaving Rome

Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble
Ancient footprints are everywhere ...

This ain't Lambeau Field: The Colosseum by day.
ROME, Italy -- There is only one way to leave Rome at 4:45 in the morning. By limo. A cab ride to the airport is no way to put the finishing touch on a brief, magical brush with the ancient city.

The streets were nearly empty as a new day began to flicker. The limo arrived at the Baglioni Hotel, exactly on time, with two Italian gentlemen dressed in white longsleeve shirts, ties and black trousers. The driver was slightly older, with thick black-rimmed glasses. (He could have been the guy driving the Charger in the car chase scene from "Bullitt," sans gloves.) The other man, riding shotgun, was much younger. He carried a clipboard and spoke English well enough for a conversation.

When the door to the limo opened you could hear music blasting through the speakers. This was not music to help ferry passengers around the city, but rather something to help these men get into the spirit of their work day.

We weren't expecting Emilio Pericoli singing "Al Da La," although that would have been a nice touch. The Band's version of Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece" (lyrics above) had been buzzing around in my head throughout our tour of the city the previous day, but again, the limo music hadn't been chosen for our listening enjoyment.

So what do a couple of sharp looking Italian men jam into the player before their first morning cappuccinos? The music du jour was the Allman Brothers, with Berry Oakley's instantly recognizable bass line to "Whipping Post" filling the limo and making, for a brief moment, this big old world seem just a little bit smaller.

Strumbum adds: I couldn't resist the Rome, Italy dateline. I mean, how many chances do you get?

No comments:

Post a Comment