Ode to pizza (Rome – Italy)

I had a pretty wild time in college. I was studying in Ljubljana and didn’t really feel the passion for the courses, which resulted in me failing the year for the second time. I had to pause a year, so I decided, that I would take a little vacation in a form of travel. I went to Rome with two of my friends. We were about 20 years old at the time and so excited, as it was our first independent travel together. We were there for five days, on a tight budget, with all our money focused on sightseeing.

One of the many things I loved about Rome was the food. I am a picky eater and I don’t really enjoy trying out new food, which is also one of my main problems when I travel. As ridiculous as it may sound, the question ‘What in the world am I going to eat there’ always pops up. Living in a small town in Slovenia, right beside the border with Italy, Italian food is strongly integrated in our cuisine. I love Italian food, so I didn’t worry about my future meals in Rome. And I didn’t have to, as it was DE-LI-CIOUS. The pizza Margherita that we ate in one restaurant, such a simple one among the pizzas, was yet so heavenly, that we didn’t say a word while eating it, which is rare for a bunch of chatty twenty-year-olds! We wanted to savor every single bite. That pizza was so good, that I even felt a bit of anxiety while eating it, because I didn’t want that moment to end. Just writing about it makes me hungry.

To tell you the truth, after all these years I’m not even sure if it was the pizza or just us being so hungry because of walking so many kilometers. We knew that we were there for only a few days and wanted to see all of it, as it really is a magnificent city. But it wasn’t really a vacation, because I came home so tired and my feet hurt like hell. You can even see from the photos how tired we were.

I am planning to go to Rome again, but I want to go there not worrying about the budget and time, so I can eat in restaurants every day and maybe have my moment with that pizza again. I am planning on taking my time with it. First I am going to smell it for a little while, so I can really get into it. Then I will really focus my taste buds on the delicious, but yet such a simple mix of flavors. I won’t care about the cheese and the sauce dripping on my chin, nothing will matter. Maybe I’ll even close my eyes. For that moment, it will only be me and the pizza, no one else. My problems and concerns will be non-existent.

The fast and constantly accelerating world that we currently live in will slow down for that particular moment. There will be no wars, no greed, no evil, no haste of getting through the meal just to start doing something else and experience more. It will be about me and the sheer act of feeding and not gazing into the screen during. It will be about the simple things, about the journey of that pizza from the plate into my belly. In my opinion that is what journeys are about. To relax, see and experience the world. And I bet ancient Romans would agree with me.

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