Rome is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. A beautiful yet sometimes confusing mix of art and culture, history, and chaos. Not as diverse as other major metropolitan cities in Western Europe and definitely not as organized. But say what you will, there is no other place like it.
It’s a city that is serene and boisterous, polished and rugged, elegant and edgy. The list could go on and on…A perfectly juxtaposed paradox in all ways possible. That is Rome to me.
Rome was not built in a day. How could it have been?
Like an onion, there are so many layers to it. Also, literally. Rome is a city that was actually built layer upon layer. Each one representing a different period of history and reign. So, it’s no surprise that they continue to uncover ancient relics and artifacts a few thousand years later.
Living in Rome only less than 2 years, I haven’t nearly scratched the surface. There are so many hidden treasures here (both new and old) that even my Roman born and bred friends aren’t aware of them all. You can explore the ancient icons such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Pantheon or the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica. Or discover the lesser-known, but equally enchanting neighborhoods of Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto. There is no shortage of things to do and see here.
Rome is home to many different things and rich in all of them. Wherever you go, you are bound to stumble upon something special. The perfect meal in an unmarked, family-run trattoria, a spontaneous live opera street performance, or just a brief encounter with a native Roman while asking for directions. While it’s a place you can undoubtedly tour around alone, it’s best to rely on a local guide. There are way too many stories and details that would be missed without it.
The first time I set my eyes on this incredible city was the winter of 2005. Not the most popular time of year to go, but one that I would recommend. The city is beautifully decorated for Christmas. Nothing too flashy or over the top, just simple and tasteful. Much like Italy’s general approach to everything in life.
You’ll be able to visit the many amazing churches, museums and restaurants with half the crowds. And while we’re on the subject of food, it is the perfect season for eating. December is the month of cabbage, clementines, almonds and Rome’s beloved artichoke. And because winters are extremely moderate in temperature here, you’ll still be able to eat your gelato.
The Eternal City is like no other - something you really must experience for yourself. I’m so glad I did those many years ago because for me, it was love at first sight.