Saturday, April 25, 2015

Roman Holiday

Rome was our first stop in Italy, and let me tell you, it is an absolutely marvelous and not at all overrated destination, in my opinion. Though we spent nine full days there, I felt like there was still so much left to see.

Rome is simply grand. The streets are wide and the buildings are tall and majestic. Almost every building is an architectural masterpiece – every avenue brings a new surprise, a new draw. There are almost 2000 rated attractions on TripAdvisor (Basilicas, cathedrals, fountains, piazzas!), and even the lower rated ones, like churches in non-tourist populated areas, are surprisingly hidden gems.

It's such a fascinating city that covers a wide array of adjectives: romantic, mysterious, historical, artistic. There are many faces of Rome, from the stunning Colosseum, talented street performers, awe-inspiring cathedrals, delicious gelato shops, hidden alleyways...

Rome is just so classically gorgeous. Perhaps during the summertime, when the tourists arrive in hoards and the weather is humid and hot, it is a less pleasant experience, but I really had a good time exploring the city and all of its neighborhoods and nooks and crannies.

It's a city that has something for every type of traveller, whether you are interested in ancient history, religion, Italian leather, gourmet food, or architecture.

One of the disadvantages of the city is that public transport is not the best - buses run most places but the metro only has two lines that don't extend into some of the popular areas. The good thing is that Rome is fascinating to walk around, and you can discover so much by just wandering around, so if you have time you won't need to take the metro as often as you think.

Another general fact: there are so many churches! Each one is more stunning and elaborate than the next. The most well-known ones are St. Peter's (in the Vatican) and San Giovanni in Laterano, but there are countless others, all magnificent and breath-taking, even if you are not religious. A person well-versed in religion and art would probably find these places extremely fascinating and rich in history.

There will be a few upcoming posts about specific sites in Rome that I recommend, as well as one on Italian food (hint: it's wonderful!), and then I'll move on to other places in Italy that I visited on this trip. I'm really excited to share all of my experiences and photos, so stay tuned! 

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