I will always remember my holidays in Rome.
It was the end of the summer of 2009, the month of September to be exact. I spent one of the happiest and carefree weeks. Perhaps because I have dreamed of Italy since I was very young or maybe it was simply the enchantment of the eternal city that made everything so magical. Of course, I was not prepared to cross an entire continent alone, but the story between me and Mark was ending. And pulling back belonged to him. But that was supposed to be the last time. So I took the reins of the situation and I acted impulsively. In the end, getting on that plane alone was worth it.
Roman Holidays at the Kolbe Hotel Rome
Rome overwhelmed me with its beauty: every day I discovered monuments and pieces of ancient history that only the school books had made me known. The Colosseum, the Circus Maximus, the Mouth of Truth, the Teatro Marcello, the Capitoline Museums. I armed myself with maps, tourist guides and a camera and I spent mornings and afternoons walking around fascinated. And then, how can I forget the various culinary stops? Italian food won me over.
Because I felt good during that days, a strong sense of sadness invaded me on the last day. I still remember the worried look of the hotel concierge when he saw me after breakfast.
“Miss, you look very sad this morning, is it everything ok?”
The staff had always been very nice and helpful there at the Kolbe Rome Hotel, where I stayed during my holiday.
I was leaving the suitcases at the front desk before doing my last sightseeing tour in the city when something happened.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
I have never believed in love at first sight. I’ve always been a very rational and unromantic person. Until then.
As I lowered to place the trolley, the sun-glasses on my head slipped, as usual. I bent my head backwards and my gaze met the man who was passing through the sliding glass doors of the entrance. I stood there, without looking away. He entered and the doors closed silently behind him. Not even he stopped looking at me.
Today I still cannot quantify the duration of that look, but at that moment, I wanted it to be forever.
I felt a blush explosion on my cheeks. I jumped up, put my sunglasses on and went out of the same sliding doors. I stopped on the first step of the entrance and I turned back: his kind green eyes were still there on me.
A conference room that I will not forget
That morning, I returned to the hotel earlier than usual to have lunch one last time at the Garden Restaurant Al Palatino before leaving. I was walking down the corridor when suddenly my eyes fell on a golden nameplate hanging on the wall. “Sala Colosseo” was written on it. I approached and peeked inside. Vaulted brick ceilings, white walls and views of the internal garden. Without any doubts, the elegance of the style was in line with all the other rooms of the hotel.
The room was full of people. They were all sitting in silence, listening to four speakers seated on the same side of a large wooden table at the other end of the room. I looked closer. One of them is the mysterious green-eyed man! I studied him more calmly. He had defined facial features, well-groomed beard, full lips, the composed posture and a self-confident attitude. He stood up and began to argue. From outside I could not hear anything.
I had always had a weakness for business men.
Suddenly, I had the impression he saw me.
Thank you, tiramisù!
I sat down at my usual table inside the large dining room of the Garden Restaurant Al Palatino. There were already many guests who were tasting the excellent food served there. I was slowly enjoying my plate of Italian pasta while I was admiring the relaxing view in front of me. The trees in the garden were starting to color themselves in the autumn colors and the same breeze that cradled their leaves, gently stroked my hair. This place felt like home.
The waiter who took away my plate made sure that everything was ok with the dish. After a few minutes he returned to my table and placed a slice of tiramisu on it. It must have been wrong: I hadn’t ordered it. Before I could let him know, he whispered in a low voice, “This is offered by the gentleman sitting at the bar” and he disappeared with a conspiratorial smile on his lips. I turned to the bar with a questioning expression. The green-eyed man was sitting there and he was smiling at me.
Happiness is real only when it’s shared
I do not know what went through my head at that moment but I acted instinctively, putting aside the rational woman who I had always been. I took the tiramisù and approached the bar with determined steps. My heartbeats sped up. I passed the last red leather chair on my right. Then, suddenly, I breathed his perfume and our first meeting of that same morning came up to my mind.
The white LED light, that radiated the solid cherry wood counter, highlighted the golden shades of his hair even more. I sat down on the stool next to him and put the slice of cake between us. I looked up. He was already smiling at me and showed me a fork in his hands.
We shared that slice of cake and many other things in our lives from then on. That’s why I will always remember my holidays in Rome.