Rome is one of the top tourist destinations in the WORLD – and how could it not be with the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Colosseum all within a mile of each other?! People flock for the history, the beauty and of course the food. But Rome is special to me mostly because it’s where I spent 3 months of my life before graduating college. It’s a city that helped me grow, and a home that taught me how to live. So I’m creating this post a little differently. A list of things I love, rather than things to do. Because Rome should never be about checklists – here, it is best to just let adventure unfold.
1. Gentle meows throughout the cat sanctuary
2. Grilled artichokes from the Jewish Quarter where you can eat Bloomin’ Onion style
3. Standing at a coffee bar amidst an impatient crowd of Italians, everyone in a scramble while downing cappuccinos + espressos like it’s a race
4. The meaning behind every detail of sculptures like Michaelangelo’s Moses, Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne and Michaelangelo’s Pieta
5. Vespas bulleting through skinny streets and pedestrians
6. The trill of r’s in the Italian language… grazie, osteria, campo di fiorrrrri
7. Cacio e pepe, carbonara, amatriciana, bolognese, pesto, ragu…
8. Towering red-white granite columns of the Pantheon built from a single slab each!
9. Clinking of dishes, woofing of dogs, and Italian insults in tiny trattorias
10. Sheer magnitude of the Colosseum (and I’m only a little sorry for saying, all the study abroad groups re-enacting Lizzie McGuire in front of it)
11. The elaborate decorations of obelisks and arches with colored pigments long faded
12. Apricot filled cornetti (sweet Italian croissants for brekkie!)
13. The lively street performers and artists putting on a show in Piazza Navona
14. The elliptical formation of columns shaping St. Peter’s Square to signify Christ wrapping his arms around the church
15. The surrounding Castelli Romani villages (Ariccia especially because our humble Chigi Palace and…porchetta!)
16. 150 flavors of gelato at Della Palma
17. Heraldry + crests from wealthy Roman families
18. The elaborate use of hands in conversation … and especially the signs for insults
19. All the fountains, though the Trevi is the BEST (I’ll never forget throwing my 3 coins over my left shoulder for good luck)
20.That awe inspiring feeling you get walking through the Sistine Chapel for the first time
The awareness of constant discovery is magic in this city. The monuments we have today are only a small portion of the works we have yet to excavate — can you imagine what else we will find 20-30 years from now? I love that the city is a mix of old and new. The Romans embrace their history in a way that it truly becomes a part of them. Apartments converted from old marketplaces, martyr sites converted into town squares, ancient amphitheaters converted into modern concert venues. There is something amazing around every corner. And the food, my God, the food! It’s what everyone talks about and for good reason. I hope all roads really do lead back to Rome, because boy am I ready to return again soon.
If you have “snaps for Rome” to add to this list, please write them in the comments below!