Some of my best meditations are not on foot or sitting down but on two wheels. Meditations on what? Like how can I contribute to the great history of Rome? What can I do, what can be done? How best to suck the marrow out of the city and give something back? Because of my day job as an archaeologist and educator, I can get under the city’s skin in unique ways. As a foreigner, heavily immersed in an American reality, I can still step back and approach issues from a different perspective. Still, it’s tough to move within and outside of the archaeology-classics bubble and into, say, the fields of conservation and multimedia, lately on my mind.
On my scooter, I love cruising around the Quirinal and Viminal neighborhoods, slipping down toward the Roman Forum area through the Salita del Grillo– truly one of Rome’s quietest streets (when cars don’t pass) because of the still imposing fire wall of Augustus’ Forum. Every time I cruise along the Circus Maximus, especially with the view of the Palatine, I’m reminded that it’s another personal favorite.
On my bike, I head down along the Tiber River, usually with the family. We bike from Ponte Milvio all the way to Hadrian’s Mausoleum, Castel Sant’Angelo, passing favorite modern monuments– Richard Meier museum housing the Ara Pacis and the random face sculpture at Piazza Monte Grappa. That’s about as relaxing as it gets… taking in the city and the river like an animated postcard.