Parco Oppio

I sit at a small cafe in the middle of a park — in the Colle Oppio.  We are just steps away from the Domus Aurea and a short walk above the Coliseum.  That means this was once part of Nero’s gargantuan Villa. An estate that in its time was even too much for the indulgent ancient Romans (my knowledge of the history of this area is superficial at best).

In this century, I am drinking una limonata, which the Italians also call – oddly enough – Lemon Soda. Not that it sounds anything like lemmin sew-duh, mind you.  It is a Roman indulgence of mine.  I don’t usually drink full-sugar (or “light” for that matter) sodas.  But, this is so good.

What I love about this park:  it is all Romans, just a few turisti like myself.  Otherwise, it’s grandmas with the little ones.  Or, old folks out for a stroll and a sit on the bench.  And, oh my goodness, the children yelling “Fabio” “Giovanni”,  kicking balls,  terrorizing the pigeons, and chattering in their perfect high-pitched “va bene”s.

Having said that,  it is very peaceful, a universal oasis in the midst of honking horns, purring scooters and German tourists screeching for attention.

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