How could anyone think that Rome – a city with so much history and character – is awful? Sure, traffic is bad, there’s too much shopping, and it’s crowded…but isn’t that every popular city in Europe? I asked my dad what he didn’t like about Rome and he said it was too crowded. Coming from the man who refused to wait in line at Disneyworld (which meant endless trips on the ‘boring’ rides), this didn’t surprise me.

Trevi Fountain Then

However, while going through old slides with my father later that week, I realized that it was more than the crowds that soured him about Rome. Amidst all of the family photos of my brother, sister, and me were even older photos of my parent’s wedding and honeymoon. However I was stunned when I came across the photos of my father in the army. He served  in the 11th Airborne from in the mid 1950’s luckily missing WWII and the Korean War. He was stationed in Augsburg Germany, but the pictures I found were of his ‘leave’ in Rome in 1956.

I looked at these old grainy images in amazement; this was not the Rome I knew. This was Rome before air travel became affordable. Before millions of people from all countries and all walks of life could get on a metal ‘bullet’ and fly to Rome for a few hundred dollars. Before a few hundred dollars was considered a ‘cheap ticket’. Before we were bombarded with images of Rome on our televisions sets, computers, and phones. This was my father’s Rome – undiscovered.

Trevi Fountain Now

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  • Sherry Ott

    What is Ottsworld? It’s my journey! I quit my corporate IT job 2 years ago and said goodbye to blackberries, meetings and New Y…

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