Eternal draw of Rome

Ahhh, the Eternal City, the City of Love, the City of the Seven Hills, Rome by any other name is still a place of daunting beauty, unmistakable panache and unending appeal!

I never tire of visiting Rome. I love the crazy fast paced rush of the day time tours, crowds and city dwellers. It’s the quintessential mix of architecture and culture with a splash of Italian impatience! All and all, an amazing place to spend at least four spectacular nights!

My first visit was interspersed with moments of awe. At every corner, on every hilltop, in every piazza, was a monument dating back thousands of years. I wanted to stop the modern day Romans and say, “Do you see what you walk past every day on your way to work?” “That’s the Colosseum!”

Rome wakes up early and so should you! Begin your day with a ramble about your hotel neighbourhood. Take in the crowded Vespa parkades, noisy cafes and hundreds of mewling cats wandering the streets. It’s impossible to do Rome in a day but your “must see’s” for a short visit are St. Peter’s & the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and of course, the Colosseum! There are numerous ways to visit these sites. Rome is a place I would highly recommend for a private guide. Yes it is a pricey commodity but one that is so worth the investment, especially if sharing amongst couples! Skip the long lines and get a local’s view and insight on the historical as well as the cultural aspects. For those of you who wish to be more spontaneous, go to Rick Steeves Audio Tours and download a walking tour of Rome (and other cities) so you can do your own free-style tour of Rome. Personally, I always make use of the Hop On-Hop Off bus tour in all major cities. It orients you to your surroundings and is a great way to follow a circuitous route throughout all the major sites as well as connects you with fellow travellers.

The real Rome comes alive after dusk. I always recommend staying at a hotel with a rooftop terrace so that you can begin your evening with the traditional aperitivo (before dinner drink) and watch the “dance” unfold. The city that is so grand and monumental by day becomes soft, endearing and approachable at night. Her streets within the Historic Centre are safe to wander and enjoy without fear of reprisal. Discover the side streets of vibrant gelato stands and trinket stalls, watch the local teens gather for light-hearted horseplay in the various piazzas. Dinner in Rome is about slow food. Be ready to dress up a bit and relax. The true Italian eateries will not begin dinner service until after 8 PM and each course will be served at a languorous pace. The bill will never be offered unless asked for! Outdoor patios abound and are the best place to watch the city life relax and unfold.

Anytime is the best time to visit Rome. Be aware that many of the boutique and art deco hotels consider “air conditioning” to be a ceiling fan! The city is extremely hot and humid June through August and your choice of accommodation at that time is of paramount importance if you value comfort!

Rome...enduring – inviting – intriguing. Throughout the centuries and forever a city of medieval grandeur and mystery. Be sure to visit her one day!

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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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