The three of us sat in the back of a defunct army jeep abandoned near one of our favorite bars. My good friend, and fellow volunteer had met, as we would later call him “the Italian” a few nights prior. As we sipped Serengeti beer in the warmth of an East African evening, we asked him, in broken spanish mixed with english about his life. Later, as a whirlwind romance would develop between them they would spend evenings on his porch speaking in the same, strange mix of languages that allowed them to communicate. She was young, and enamored. He said he was from Rome. We gushed our love for Italy, though neither of us had visited, but dearly wanted to. He scoffed, and told us, “go to Italy, do not go to Rome-it is for tourists. You won’t like it.” But, what about all the history? The Colosseum, the Vatican? Surely, the food must be fabulous! We tried to pry one positive feeling about Rome, a city we had both very much wanted to see. He shrugged and changed the topic, his distaste for his home city clear in his demeanor.