I should start by telling you that Italy is my most favorite place in the entire world, and I fully intent on living there when I retire. I’ve been to Italy a couple of times in the last few years, and I have definitely fallen in love with many of the places and things that I’ve visited. My most recent trip was to Rome, so I am really excited to share with you five of the things that I loved most about Rome. Some of these you will expect, and I think there will be a couple of funny ones too. (You’ll get to know my sense of humor!) Let me know what you think! Have you been to Rome? What did you absolutely love?
1. The monuments and ancient sites – This is one of the main reasons I chose to go to Rome in the first place. Here in the states our oldest monuments may be 400 years old at best. In Rome you’re looking at things that predate modern Christianity. It’s crazy to stand in a building that’s over 2000 years old. It truly reminds you of how big and beautiful of a world it really is! The Colloseum, the Pantheon, The Roman Forum, and so many more all give us an entrancing glimpse into life as it was thousands of years ago.
2. The ancient’s quirky sense of humor – I love how they were so irreverent, even though you wouldn’t have expected them to be! Take, for example, what they did to all the pagan symbols when they converted to Christianity. Every obliesk (pagan) is topped with a cross (Christian) Instead of demolishing pagan monuments like the Pantheon, they just covered up the pagan with Christian symbols. I can just see them looking at it and saying, “Ah, throw a cross on top of it, that will make it acceptable!” Also, in the Cappucine catacombs, they actually decorated the walls with the bones of the dead. The last panel shows a couple of skeletons standing around with a couple of hourglasses, meaning they are telling us, “Time flies!” I laughed out loud on that one, probably not the greatest thing to do in the middle of a monastery in the catacombs…
3. The Piazzas – I spent many an afternoon just sitting by the fountains in any given piazza and soaking in the view and the sun. We went in September, and there were always people around and so much going on every minute of the day…Piazza del Poppollo was one of my favorites, the statues in that one are just amazing. You almost don’t have to go to a museum to see a good sampling of Roman art. Plus, I LOVE that there were “fountains” all over the place. Our tour guide told us that water was a symbol of prosperity, so having drinking fountains on every street meant that Rome was particularly prosperous. It’s just amazing that they’re still there!
4. The modern sensibility – In a city that’s full of ancient ruins and curiosities that go back to before any of the other countries surrounding it, it is amazing to me how modern it all appears. We walked past the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain into completely modern internet cafes, metro stations, and shops and restaurants. Although it’s not a high fashion town, everyone is always so sharp looking and the feel was very metropolitan. It was an interesting contrast and quite lovely to experience. The best of both worlds.
5. The FOOD – Of course I had to put this in my top five, who wouldn’t be happy with the food in Rome? From the fresh produce in the street markets, to the pizza by the pound in the little deli pizza shops, to the pasta and sausage dinners, pastries, cannollis, gelato – and the list goes on! Don’t get me wrong, our days were very full and there were some days we only got the opportunity to have one meal and a snack, which was really disappointing. But the food that we got to eat was SO amazing that it was easily one of the things I loved most about Rome