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It’s No D Day today. You can read all about it here, but basically, it’s a day where we don’t think, talk and write about diabetes. I love this idea because as a diabetes blogger who also works at a diabetes organisation, who also Iives with type 1 diabetes, who also spends a lot of time talking about diabetes in the social media (and ‘real’) world, I know how easy it is to become all comsumed by diabetes. But not today. Today it’s about Rome.

Jet lag is a bitch, but it does have its benefits. On our first full day in Rome we were out the door before 7am and watched the city wake up. Our apartment was a short stroll from the Spanish Steps. The afternoon before when we’d arrived, our driver had to battle his way throught the crowds to our tiny via. There were people everywhere – tourists with huge cameras, kids with gelati the size of their heads, locals pushing their way through the crowds and annoying men shoving roses into the faces of unsuspecting women and then demanding their partners hand over a few euro. It was chaos; it was loud; it is Italy and I love it.

But at first light, the area around the Spanish Steps was empty apart from a council worker hosing down the area, getting it ready for the onslaught. We saw a few nuns walking together, possibly on their way to an early morning service. The coffee bar owners were just starting to open their doors and set out the morning pastries.

We walked into the first open cafe we saw, stood at the bar and drank our perfect morning coffees and munched on crunchy cornetti filled with creamy custard.

Fuelled by caffeine and sugar, we walked. We started with the Trevi Fountain and were the only two people standing there. We snapped photos, read the signs and listened to the water flow. Together, we threw in coins – the legend promises we will now return to Rome.

We sat at the fountain, the spray from the water hitting our faces in the cool morning air. Slowly, other people started arriving, so we up and left and continued our walk. We wandered down little streets, stopped in different campi and watched as Rome woke up. We pointed out signs, statues and looked in closed shop windows.

And then, we turned a corner and before our eyes was the Colosseum.

It was after 9am by this time and the steets were starting to fill up again. The tables outside cafes were full. There was noise, laughter, talking.

I feel at home in Italy, which is ridiculous considering that I was born and raised in Australia by parents who moved here when they were tiny children. But it makes sense to me. The craziness of it and what looks like complete and utter disorganisation is actually ordered chaos. It works for the people who live there. Yes, it may take an hour to buy stamps at the post office (this did really happen – Aaron returned home to our apartment defeated, but at least our postcards home were mailed), and yes, it may take the woman at the gelati bar ten minutes to hand you your gelati because she’s talking to someone about her boyfriend and keeps walking away from the counter to tell her story, and yes, it is possible that you will get hit by a motorino scooting on the footpath.

But this is Italy. It’s beautiful. It’s crazy. It’s loud. And when I am there I feel my senses on fire and I am more alive than anywhere else. I just love being there. Love.

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The Spanish Steps as Rome wakes up.

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