Rome. What can be said. Rome is a feeling. A state of mind. A state of being. It seems hardly appropriate to call it a mere city. On that note, I will try my best to detail one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time, without littering the sentiment with cliches and/or saying the word awesome too many times.
I’ll start with my first surreal moment. A quiet walk through the city at 2am after a night out in Trastevere. After seeing the Vatican the next day, along with thousands upon thousands of tourists, I was glad I had seen it the night before, all by myself. Nobody to interrupt the moment of awe; alone with the Vatican. It was amazing. I’d suggest doing the tourist-y thing and going on a tour inside. But I’d also suggest stopping by at 2am in the morning – you’re on vacation anyway, so you can sleep when you’re back home.
Second moment of awe began with breakfast. Living in London, and catching the train in the mornings, I’m usually quite happy to enjoy my “breakfast” of a medium cappuchino and a banana on the go. Here? That won’t quite cut it. After a wander through the local market, my friends and I came back with mushrooms of all sorts, buffalo mozzarella, green beans, fresh bread, fresh tomatoes, and all sorts of fruit. Now, I’m not a foodie type or a religious person per se. But I believe this might be the closest I have ever come to heaven on earth. Especially the mozzarella. I’m not going to go on and on about it. Just get yourself to Rome quickly, and eat as much mozzarella as you can. My words of wisdom.
A little more awe to add to the list: The Pantheon. Don’t ask me why, out of the Coliseum, the Vatican, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Sistine Chapel, etc etc that the Pantheon hit me the most. Frankly, just walking around the city running into these things was enough to throw anyone back, into a kind of time warp. But the Pantheon, that was the biggest moment of “wow, this was built in 126 AD, is an amazing piece of architectural genius, is still standing, and I’m standing in it” kind of moment. Trying to envision the people who walked those floors, the people who built it, and to now think that I’m standing in that same space. Coming to Rome will give you this feeling a lot. Embrace it. It’s amazing.
Oh my Gelato. Eating pistachio gelato that was purely made from crumbled pistachio and I’m certain that’s all you need in life. Same advice as above – eat as much of this as possible when in Rome.
As you can see by most of my highlights, this isn’t a complete overview of everything you must see in Rome. You can go to TripAdvisor for that. This is simply my personal experience with a great city, along with some words of wisdom. If you take anything away from this article, it should be to enjoy Rome to it’s fullest. This doesn’t mean spend hours and hours in museums recollecting every known piece of history that has come and gone through this great city, because you’ll go mad. Give 60% of your time to the history, the awe, the architecture. 30% to the food, the markets, the streetside cafes, the mozzarella, the gelato. 10% to just sitting back or taking a walk through the city and breathing it all in.