The Art of Being Cool in Rome

Cooling off in Rome, photo by Suzette Presti

I’ve been to Rome a few times, and each time it’s been hot.

How hot?  Steamy cappuccino hot.  So hot that no amount of cold water from the nasoni drinking fountains throughout the city or 1 euro wedge of watermelon outside the Colosseum can cure.  So hot that I feel like I’m dragging myself through the cobblestone streets until near delusion.  Must get through…the entire…Forum.

Wandering through the Roman Forum with no shade in sight

And then there are the locals.  They on the other hand, don’t seem to be phased at all by the heat, even sans air conditioner.  They appear cool, calm, collect and dare I say sexy, while I’m panting like I just ran a few laps around the Circus Maximus.

The men in their slightly unbuttoned tailored shirts, and the women in their figure-flattering dresses – matched with enviable hair and glowing skin, like the flawless statues you would expect to find in the Villa Borghese – are living proof of la bella figura.  I’m in awe.

At the end of the day, I can only attribute their effortless beauty to good living, with the food and of course the wine playing a big part, along with the frequent jaunt to the beach to escape the heat of the city.

I suspect this is true because after about a week or so in Rome, I seem to fall into this lifestyle myself.  Maybe it’s the Mediterranean air or the abundance of gelato that I’m determined to consume before returning home, but I seem to find the right rhythm.  I’m sweating a little less, or at least fretting a little less, and only then when I learn to “slow down” and do as the Romans do, am I truly able to savor my own slice of la dolce vita.

The secret to la dolce vita?
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