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Life in a Modern Rome

Roman Forum with murmuration

The Eternal City has changed in the more than a dozen years since I first moved here. A lot. Some things are arguably worse now, like public transportation what with buses bursting into flames and months of closed metro stations, not to mention the endless delays of the Metro C line. Compared to my first years in Rome when it was near impossible to find out when a shop or restaurant was open so many things are easier now. From apps on my phone, I can summon taxis and tacos, book seats at the movies an on a train. 

Fellow ex-pats (yes I use that word to describe myself, unlike just about everyone else I know here I am in Italy as a guest of the Foreign Ministry and will have to leave when my husband’s job here is finished) and immigrants wring their hands at the invasion of all of this non-Italian culture. I am not worried. The first of the Erasmus kids are in their 30’s now and have seen the world, tried new foods, learned new languages and most importantly, come home. Like Italians with their confident adoption of English words like business and selfie with no fear about the loss of their language, I have little doubt that the local bar will survive the opening of the long-rumored Starbucks and no one is completely abandoning their leisurely Sunday lunches at the beach because of a delivery taco on a Saturday night.

I still eat more Amatriciana than sushi and the Pantheon still makes me gasp when I walk by but here are a few new-ish things that make life in Rome just a little bit easier.