UPFD the Book

Chapter 1: The Red Tiles of Rome

Dawn was just breaking, with Rome’s sky taking on golden and pink hues. It was that magical hour when the city seemed suspended in time, still asleep, and Luca loved walking its quiet streets. The red tiles and ancient buildings were still cold beneath his feet as he made his way to his usual café for a quick breakfast before school.

Luca had always lived in Rome. Raised in an artistic family – his mother a restorer and his father a renowned sculptor – he learned to see the world differently. He enjoyed wandering around the historic districts, occasionally stopping to sketch fountains, churches, or just the people he met.

Art school was an obvious choice for him. While many of his peers dreamt of careers in medicine or engineering, Luca knew his future lay in the arts. But, despite his passion, he sometimes felt a weight on his shoulders. His family had high expectations, and he feared he might not measure up.

That morning, after finishing his cappuccino, he chose to take a detour before school, leading him to the Colosseum. Sitting on a nearby bench, he opened his sketchbook and began to draw, losing himself in the details of the arches and ancient stones.

As he sketched, his mind wandered. He thought about the future, the choices he would have to make, and the pressure of living in his parents’ shadow. He also entertained the idea of a trip, an excursion away from Rome, perhaps with some friends. Marco, his best friend, had hinted at it days before, but they hadn’t made any concrete plans.

After an hour, jolted by the beep of his watch, he got up and headed towards his high school. That day, amid lessons and doodling, there was an air of excitement. The school year was almost over, and everyone spoke of their summer plans.

During the lunch break, Marco approached with an intriguing look. “Hey, Luca, I’ve been thinking about our trip. Can we talk about it later?”

Luca nodded, “Of course.”

The day ended as usual, but Luca felt that something was about to change. And while he didn’t know it yet, the summer was about to bring many surprises.

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