Ah, Rome, the city of love. But is it really?
If you’re looking for a city that has great energy, friendly locals, temperate weather, amazing sights, and Food to die for; Rome is where you want to be. The historical sights alone are reason enough to visit but what I found made me never want to leave.
The locals are incredibly welcoming. They humored all of my attempts to pronounce words, assisted me with ordering, taught me new words, recommended sights and eateries. At first glance everyone may appear to be too busy to notice you but approach with a friendly smile and they’re more than happy to offer suggestions for you to get the most out of Rome.
We stayed at the FortySeven Hotel which is in the heart of the major historical sights of Rome. We were able to lazily walk to the Coliseum in ten minutes, Palatine Hill in five, and the Vatican in twenty; as well as several others - which saved us from having to spend on Uber rides or bus fare. You’ll find nothing like wandering the streets in Rome and popping in for gelato as you stroll. The architecture will leave you breathless and you’ll catch yourself stopping at nearly every street corner to admire and photograph the buildings. History and romance permeate your surroundings and it sweeps you up in it.
From the moment we stepped into the FortySeven the staff went above and beyond to make our stay comfortable and the best possible. They took the time to point out on a city map some of the best places that locals enjoy for food as well as the best place for shopping, and wisely advised my husband to hide his wallet from me. No matter what our needs or questions were the staff handled it with grace and a smile.
From a nearby restaurant we wandered down the street one evening, gelato in hand of course (because...GELATO!), and found a street full of vendors and artists. One artist in particular caught my eye. She created amazing art using basic decals, cardboard, and spray paint. In less than 10 minutes she was pumping out pieces that used stunning color blends that even someone who is as artistically challenged as I am could appreciate the talent behind. So yes, I purchased one and I only wish that I had caught her name so that I could give her the proper credit that she deserves. That piece successfully made the trip across the Atlantic and is now proudly framed and hanging in my hallway.
Shortly after acquiring my new art we came upon the Trevi Fountain. If you believe the lore that tossing a coin into the fountain promises a return trip to Rome, then you should know that yours truly will definitely be visiting again. It began to rain as we admired the fountain and tourists and locals alike began huddling together under the awnings, shopkeepers threw their doors open wide and welcomed the rush of people trying to stay dry. No one seemed annoyed by the unexpected inconvenience of gathering up their instruments, materials, or merchandise. They huddled together and chatted; introducing themselves to one another and striking up conversation. There's a sense of community that is present that welcomes even an outsider such as myself with open arms.
So yes, I must say that Rome is the city of love! Though maybe not of the romantic variety. Rather it's a city that can indulge each individuals passions. Love art? Go to Rome! Love food? Go to Rome! Love architecture? Go to Rome! Love history? Go to Rome! But seriously, the food? It’s amazing! Once you eat true Italian food you’ll never want to step foot in an Olive Garden or Carrabba’s again. The flavor cannot be described in a blog post it must be experienced. It’s the freshest, richest, and filling food you could find. So even if it’s to knock seeing the Coliseum off of your bucket list, go. Fall in love with the city, the food, and the culture. Then come back and inspire others to go.
|“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” – Wendell Berry|