Rome. An outstanding city which spoils me with new discoveries each time I visit it. I have lived for two years in the capital of Italy after earning a scholarship which allowed me to pursue my Master’s studies there. I am so thankful for this opportunity! And maybe I understand why the city is called eternal: you simply can never get enough of it.
After living there for so long, I can honestly say that no guide ever written does this city true justice.
In the 2 years spent there, I stumbled upon a new gem every day, weather it was a small garden, a memorial house, an adorable looking street or just ruins – reminders of the past lives of roman citizens. Still, when I talk about Rome, I feel like I am talking about a person. This person has a unique personality, or the atmosphere it creates around it, if you will.
Out of the top of my head, I will list the three things that arouse my senses when I talk about Rome:
In a city flooded by tourists, you can expect a lot of poor quality in food. However, this old citadel is a rare exception where the food is good even if you go to some random touristic place.
Of course, it gets more amazing the more informed you get: if you know the right places and eat like locals the food will be significantly less expensive and genuine delicious!
As a rule of thumb there, the level of prices of the restaurant is not the best criteria of choosing where to eat. Go where the Italians are, they like to eat meals like their mamma used to make them, so trust them, they will never eat below their standards (or if they will they will complain for 2 days about it)! Eat often: a huge variety of pasta, pizza and many regional delights are about to enchant your taste buds.
A good term for you to know: “Aperitivo” – socializing before (or instead, as this easily can be your) dinner. You buy a drink and can get unlimited snacks (which include rice, pasta, bruschettas, a ton of other good stuff).
Parks, streets, buildings
Have you ever been to a museum where you just wouldn’t want to go out from, and the closing time announcement gives you shivers?
Rome itself is an outstanding outdoor museum with no closing time!
Its streets are paved with buildings from the most important architectural ages since the antiquity until the present (yes, the ones you used to learn in school about and wondered what the hell your teacher is talking about).
You’ll stroll around palaces, churches, temples, institutions, squares, markets or just simple houses and you will get a feeling of what lives the people used to have 2000, 1000, or 500 years ago.
It is all there, you just need to put your feet in motion and keep your eyes wide open. You will see all of those and you will love them, I promise!
The Vatican city and the churches around Rome contribute to its unique atmosphere: we are talking of the religious center of Catholicism. It has left its print on the city and decorated it with many of the most spectacular churches in the world. These are literally treasures, as they contain works of art from the most important artists of all times. And I do mean of all times!
If you want to have an overview of this beautiful city, there are plenty of places to choose from – you should visit one of the hills of Rome, all offering breathtaking views!
If you want to feel yourself even more roman and escape from the tourist hassle in the city, take a bike or just walk along Via Appia on a Sunday. You will teleport back in time as soon as you touch the large pavement stones of one of the greatest roman roads of all time.
As for the modern side of Rome, there are immense amount of activities all the time – festivals, pillow fights, concerts, shows, masquerades – just wow!
P.S. Check out this link if you want to read a good article of neighborhoods in Rome from a locals’ perspective. Yes, it is in Italian, but it is pretty easy to Google Translate it! 🙂
Every stereotype you have heard that is attributed to Italians is probably true!
Coming from a serious society such as Russia’s it was a bit hard for me to adapt to their… their everything actually! :).
They talk loud and they talk passionately.
They fight and don’t mind that the whole building is hearing them.
(my neighbors were having what I thought was a wrestling match followed by a stock market trade session where they exchanged insults every weekend – but don’t get me wrong, they seemed to be a normal Italian family in the other days).
They say goodbye for 15 minutes to each person at the table.
They express their opinions and stick to them no matter if they discover they are wrong.
They use a wide range of gestures to complement their conversations, and these can mean different things depending on the region.
And men, hah! That’s the funniest thing about Rome if you are a girl :). They will throw a million compliments at you the moment they see you (“bellissima”, “principessa”, “mamma mia! Que bella donna”, ”cara” etc.). They will chase you around to try to talk to you. But it’s their way, they love giving attention to women and they have no intention to hide it – from old signors to small kids.
I said three things, did not I? It’s hard to stop writing when I write about Rome. I can’t wait to get that there, and actually, writing this article just made me want to see it again. So probably I will book a ticket as soon as I publish this post and give myself another opportunity to see my friends and eat in my favorite places (by the way ask me if you need recommendations , or read this and this) and walk the eternal’s city streets!
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