I first visited Rome in May 1990. I was 13 and Rome was 2743 and polishing itself for the world football championship, Il Mondiale. The age difference did not stop me from falling in love, anzi .
What I remember most vividly is that I was sitting on the bottom of the cascade of the whitest marble stairs of Altare della Patria, carefree in the sun, looking at the ever circulating traffic of Piazza Venezia. I had never seen so many motos before and so many good looking men riding those motos, all making circles. Quilted jackets and vests, mostly navy blue, and suede crampon shoes (shoelaces, not mocassini). I was so impressed with that style that I bought a quilted vest and a pair of crampon shoes, never mind being a girl (my mom paid for them, but the choice was mine).
30 Years Later
Almost 30 years have passed. I am in Rome again. It is one of many short stays I practice.
What is perhaps important to mention, and what was for sure important for me to live, is that I actually lived in Rome for two years. A teenage fantasy or a choice of a woman (mom did not pay for my choice this time, I did)…I might never fully understand, but it was and still is one of the most important and intense experiences in my life so far. Not to mention how nutritive and important it was aesthetically.
Rome made me a walker…I walked a lot to see it all and to get to know it, not to miss a street, a piazza, a passage….and the habit remained. I walk wherever and whenever I can. In chess, a pawn that walks long enough and safely gets to the other side of the board, becomes a queen.
It made me a better cook, no need to expend on that.
It supported me, fed me and inspired me as an art lover.
It encouraged me to be more resourceful, witty and charming than ever or at least before.
Thank you Sig. Moretti!
One evening there was a gala art show opening in an elegant palace gallery, by invite only. Of course my name was not on the guest list, nor I was related to anything or anyone gala. But a spark in my head leaped as I was approaching a tall-thin-sleek- hair-fair skin-perfect make up-clad in black girl intern. She was probably some rich family’s granddaughter with a paper guest list in her hand and a little earphone mic. ‘Signora?’ ‘I am a plus one for Signor Moretti’.
Moretti came in handy – the surname I came across very often, probably one of the most common in Rome….’There are 3 signori Moretti, quale?’ …A second to think..invent..and there it is: “Ma… Moretti” I shot the name of the manager of a large state owned company that was in the headlines recently. That guy was certainly invited and most certainly will not attend. ‘Ah, ecco, Signor Ma… Moretti’. Prego, signora!’
And it made me feel and realize other people, things, emotions, insights, actions…but these are topics for another time!
By Ksenija Kastratovic, Founder & Owner of #WalkingBelgrade