|From Gare du Bercy to Roma Termini. 2007.|
Mom reading her book.
There is something romantic about trains. I suppose it's because you see the places you run through to get to your destination - the burnt red of the houses on a hill, the rich, green fields of the western world, the shadows of mountains in the horizon. Soon you'll see the thin cypress trees dotting the landscape, that farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, and you'll know you're in a new country, and a part of you will wish you grew up in Tuscany, on pebbled paths, in Mediterranean seasons. On planes, there's none of that intimacy. You just sift through clouds and an endless blue sky, spending most of your time sleeping or watching the film being shown during the flight.
On trains you could start your trip in Paris and end in Rome. Somewhere in the middle, you stop by a small town in Switzerland where they collect your passports, and enter Italy from the north, making your way first to Firenze where your compartment mate, a single French man on holiday for the weekend, bids you goodbye because this is his stop. Then hours later your train pulls into Roma Termini - you're in Rome, a city of ancient stone and potable water. Here you stay for a night or so, exploring the city on foot, sometimes cursing the Roman gods that this city was built on seven hills, and loving the secret pizzerias and the gelato stores in the smaller, lesser known streets of the capital. By then you will realize that in less than thirty-six hours, you'll be on the train again, back to the city of lights, and you'll cherish the scenery brushing past you always, forever.