Cinzia’s Questions

Last night we were given the amazing opportunity to attend the Roma Opera at the Baths of Caracalla. After spending the afternoon shuffling around borrowing this and that from each other, we were all dolled up and ready for the night. Upon our arrival at the beautiful ancient ruins, where the Opera was being held, we went through the familiar task of getting our tickets from Cinzia and making our way to our seats.

We quickly learned that the orchestra had gone on strike and the performers would sing with just a piano. Looking around, we saw quite a few people in the audience begin to leave. I sat there wondering if we too would be leaving, heading back to the palace, having given tonight a good effort at the least, when Cinzia walks over to us to report that we are officially staying, followed by something so painfully true as our time here comes to an end, “When will you ever be back here? When will you do this again?”

As I let her question sink in, I look around drinking in the scene. The rain clouds are long gone, leaving a strikingly beautiful sunset behind, Italians dressed for the evening, many deciding to stay regardless of the strike, and the best part of it all- the girls surrounding me. I realize I don’t have an answer to Cinzia’s question. The painful realization that our time here is quickly fleeting, the best summer of our lives drawing to a close had finally hit me. It became so clear to me last night at the opera that this summer hasn’t just been about going on field trips, stuffing my face with italian food (and I mean STUFFING) or exploring Europe. It has also been a summer of making some amazing friendships that will not be lost upon our return home. Without them, I would have had a completely different experience, I am sure one not nearly as full of life, gut wrenching laughter, and utter ridiculousness. The opera may not have been what we had expected, but that didn’t matter because we got to experience the simple beauty of it all together. And when will I ever be back here, with people so amazing as the girls around me?

-MacKenzie Howard
blog Group shot at the Baths of Caracalla before taking our seats for La Boheme