By: Audrie Marton
Caught up in the memorizing and captivating beauty of ancient Rome sprawled all throughout the city, I could understand how many would wonder about the idea of living in Rome permanently. As wonderful and magical of a time as I have had in Rome, I do not think living there would be the same, at least not if I was born there. After talking to multiple Romans, it seems as much as they love their city, they also harbor some negativity. As with any place, Rome has its faults, but in direct contrast with the United States, Rome’s biggest flaw seems to be its stagnancy.
While the United States is intended to be a forever growing and developing country, Rome lives in the present, not the future. This also serves as one of Rome’s greatest qualities. Much of Rome’s charm comes from this concept; to live in the moment, take one’s time walking down the street, allow a meal to last all night and to enjoy what is within reach. But these philosophies also create limits, especially within a person’s career.
In Rome it is highly unlikely to get a job without knowing someone already in the business, most commonly a family member. Most of the jobs are service jobs, working in shops or at restaurants, with nearly no room for advancement. In addition to the limited career options and availability, the economy evokes low pay and few benefits. All of these factors create a paradox like situation in which Romans are trapped. With no opportunity for progression, the city’s system remains fixed and its growth stunted.
I loved my time in Rome, and can easily envision myself returning again and again. However, it seems to be very difficult to try to forge a life there beyond the rituals of a service job. As a student on the verge on graduation, I am grateful to live in a place that elicits so many career opportunities for all. It is interesting that a place many people find to be extraordinary can also be considered limited.