What do you think of when you think of Rome? For most people, images of red Fiats, Vespas, and the Colosseum come to mind. For me, Rome was all that and then some. In fact, it’s the only destination I’d ever considered for my honeymoon, long before I’d even met my husband.
Rome was meant to be
It was the Fall of 2007. I had just met Will a few weeks prior in Toronto, near the end of Summer, and had now returned back to school in Hamilton. We had become fast friends, and were continuing to get to know one another on this, now ancient, online chat platform called MSN. We’d chat for hours, while I should have been studying, about anything and everything. One evening, while talking about travel (and world domination), as we often still do, the subject of Rome came up. I’d mentioned that it was one of the places I was especially interested in visiting, to which Will responded by saying it was one of the places he most wanted to visit. I exclaimed that Rome was mine, so much so that I wanted to honeymoon there. Naturally, Will proceeded to claim, “no, I’m going to honeymoon there!”.
As fate would have it, we were both right. On October 13, 2015, two days after saying “I do” in front of 130 of our friends and family, we were on a plane, headed to Rome, Italy.
First night, first pasta
We spent 4 nights at the beautiful Hotel Principe Torlonia, a luxurious, villa-styled hotel in a clean, safe neighbourhood surrounded by lemon trees, gardens and several stately embassies. Upon arriving to our hotel, we settled in and freshened up with a nap, showers, and got dressed for our first dinner out for our honeymoon. Despite being exhausted, I remember feeling so happy. I couldn’t believe we’d finally gotten married, and here we were. We’d made it to Rome, just as we’d said that night in 2007, and as we’d continued to say over the 7 years together.
Naturally, my first dinner in Italy was a fresh plate of pasta, and Will’s was a whole fried fish. We were right around the corner from the Spanish Steps, and ate on the patio outside, even though there was a little nip in the evening air, as it was the middle of October. After dinner, we talked to the Trevi Fountain, only to be disappointed to see that it wasn’t lit, and was closed for repairs and renovations. Regardless, nothing could ruin the beauty of that evening with my husband.
Around the Colosseum
The next morning, we headed straight to the Colosseum. Of course, it was a beautiful, iconic sight, and although I was happy to have had the opportunity to finally see it in person, I actually enjoyed walking the streets surrounding the Colosseum even more. Around lunch, we stumbled upon a restaurant that served the best plate of spaghetti I’d ever had in my life!
The days that followed consisted of amazing breakfasts at our hotel, lots of walking and exploring around the city, going to the Vatican, and of course, just enjoying one another’s company as newlyweds.
The weight of legacy
Honeymooning in the Eternal City was the best way to start our lives together. We were surrounded by ruins and ancient streets, but here we were with our marriage, in its infancy. As we looked at the ruins surrounded the Colosseum, I couldn’t help but think about all the lives that came before us; including those first Christians who lost their lives in that very Colosseum. As the beneficiaries of that legacy, we felt the weight of the responsibility our lives, and now our marriage, carry.
Marriage isn’t just about love, it’s about responsibility. As his wife, I have a responsibility towards my husband, as he does towards me, and we together have towards our families and the world around us. You don’t just suddenly “feel married” the second you say “I do”. We kept having to remind ourselves, “Whoa! We’re married! We’re on our honeymoon!” while we traveled through Italy. Being in Rome set the foundation of a great perspective which I still carry with me today. Our marriage will be about a strong legacy of faith, not just fickle, and tingly feelings of love. Our marriage will strive forward, just as the Church still does; while the structures that were meant to destroy it are now nothing but ruins.
Rome was just the beginning
Italy really set the tone for how much of our travels as a couple thereafter would go. We wanted to walk, to explore, to meet locals, to eat street food, and to get lost. Many people tried to “warn” us that we’d be too tired after the wedding, and would just want to relax. But, our honeymoon lit the spark within us. Having never traveled together before, I was relieved to discover that Will and I had similar travel styles. Seeing the world with him was going to be one of the greatest joys of my life. Although, I suspected that to be the case all along.
Here’s to eating so many carbs, you actually craved a salad…