Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Italy – CCXIX. Our Immigration Options (9 of 10)


While in Rome, we stayed in a pensione (similar to a bed and breakfast) which was run by an elderly couple. The lady took us under her wing. She gave us directions when required; told us what restaurant offered good and inexpensive food; and finally warned us about falling prey to pickpockets, there was a lot of them in Rome.

Our first priority was to pay a visit to the American Embassy. We completed all the necessary applications, and provided additional information to the official who interviewed us. If she wondered why two young individuals were completing these formalities, rather than an adult, she didn’t say anything.

Nobody in his right mind would find himself in Rome and not visit this fabled city.

Born of a legend, it has become the mother of Western civilization, and the center of Christianity. It has provided us with state administration (bureaucracy); our modern system of formulating enabling legislation – in a democratic forum – to govern our nations; and the court procedures as we know them today. It has given us Latin, the language used today by jurists and scientists; and the root of many of our languages including our mother tongue, French, and our most recent acquisition, Italian.

The other side of the coin, was its extreme cruelty; and its system of spying over its own citizens; a legacy that unfortunately has been honed to a fine art in many autocratic regimes.

It is with this background in mind that we visited this unique city within the constraints of time and funds available.

We took buses and did a lot of walking. Organized tours were, of course, out of the question. When I tired, Robert urged me on. Thanks to him we covered a lot of ground.

As far as I remember, this is what we saw.

The Colosseum has stood the test of time, and it still fascinates tourists by its completeness and its size. You can’t be there and not remember the numerous movies that again and again brought it back to life. Mercifully, no more blood is spilled there, nor are Christians fed to hungry lions! The only show left for the sightseers is the empty space with their imagination providing the circus part of the equation!

The Pantheon is without a doubt ancient Rome most amazing building. You enter its wide doors and have your vision directed upwards, just as it would have been in antiquity when Romans came to perform their religious rites. It was built around AD 120; and time has not tarnished its fascination; the crowds are still there, this time to admire rather than worship.

Ancient Rome had market places called forums; the one that survived today is a tourist attraction referred to as The Forum. I do not remember much of our visit there.

To be in Rome without visiting at least some of its famous fountains would be unthinkable; and leaving La Fontana di Trevi (The Trevi Fountain) out would be heresy pure and simple. This fountain was built in 1732 by Nicola Salvi. It depicts Neptune’s chariot being led by Triton with sea horses (one wild and one docile, to represent the uncertainties of the sea). The water comes from an ancient underground aqueduct, and the name Trevi comes from tre vie (three roads) that converge at the fountain. The fountain has figured in some movies; the two that come to mind are “La Dolce Vita,” and “Three Coins in the Fountain.” The tradition is to throw a coin and make a wish; Robert and I did so dutifully, but did not bother with wishes.

St. Peter’s Basilica has benefited from the work of the finest builders, sculptors, and painters this planet has ever seen. Except at mass, it’s never free of visitors. You don’t admire it at your leisure, you’re pushed through, and you eventually exit disappointed, for you ask yourself, “what did I really see?” I do not recollect much of my visit there, and even if I did, it would take pages to describe a place that encompass the very soul of Christianity.

St. Peter’s Square was designed by Bernini, and he described the double colonnade as “the motherly arms of the church.” It’s planned in such a way that pilgrims can converge on the square from the maze of medieval streets. The central obelisk was shipped by Caligula from Heliopolis.

At the time we were visiting St. Peter’s square, the Pope appeared at his window and blessed the crowd. I took advantage of the papal blessing to “sneak in” my own request to God. I asked Him to smooth the way so that we could get our visa to the States.

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