Rome - February 17, 2000

Our third day in Rome was rapidly drawing to a close.

For the first two days Phillip and I had walked or rode the subway, seeing most of the city. When Phillip's friend Pio arrived on the 17th, he asked what we had seen in Rome. Phillip had visited Rome a few times on business. This was my first visit to Italy. After making a few mental notes, Pio whisked us off to his car to give us a final day, whirlwind tour of his city, Roma.

As the sun began to set in the west we arrived at our last stop, the Romano Foro, the Roman Forum.

From a vantage point off of the Via Del Cerchi, I was able to look down on the ruins of the Stadio and Palazzi Imperali. In the background was M. Palatino, the Palatino Hills, where Caesar's residence overlooked Imperial Rome. The white marble columns were beginning to turn pink as the sun's rays reflected off the low clouds.

Pio and Phillip were off to the side discussing dinner plans for the night.

I stood alone for about a half hour taking my last photos in the fading light of the day, lost in thought.

Pio came up beside me and said, "Michele?"

"Yes?", I said.

"How long?"

"How long?, What?"

"How long Michele?, How long ago did your family go to America?"

"Well my grandfather Ignazio came to America in 1907"

"So about 90 years, yes?"

"Yes, I guess, why?"

"Just a drop", Pio said.

"Just a drop? What do you mean Pio?, I asked.

"Just a drop of water, in time Michele"

He motioned with one wave of his arm to the ruins of the Foro before us.

"Compared to the ocean, in time, your family lived here" he said.

"Welcome home Michele"