Rome is exactly like it’s portrayed in the books, photos, and movies: cobblestone roads, red-checkered tablecloths, and beautiful artwork everywhere you look. In fact, the books, photos, and movies don’t do the infamous city justice. Rome is not only amazingly beautiful, but it’s surreal; being surrounded by so much relevant and historical art for four and a half days made me feel as if I had gone back in time to Ancient Rome or the Renaissance. Also, I say it’s surreal because for me, I’ve always dreamed of going to Italy someday, and now that I’ve actually been there, I feel like I’ve just had a dream come true.
What I Did and Where I Went
I think the question here is what didn’t I do and where didn’t I go. I think I made a good choice by setting aside four full days for Rome during my trip because it gave me the chance to see all of the major sights there are to see there. Those four days also gave me the chance to spread out my sightseeing and really see the sights, rather than cram them into a couple of days.
I started off my sightseeing with Vatican City: the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Exploring Vatican City was significant for me because not only have I studied a lot of the artwork found in the museum, chapel, and basilica, but I was born and raised Catholic, so I know a lot about the history of the Catholic Church. Even though I don’t practice Catholicism anymore, it was still exciting for me to see a place so relevant to how I was raised.
I saw the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. These places weren’t as interesting to me like Vatican City was because
I don’t know the first thing about I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to Ancient Roman History, but it was still interesting to see the ruins of what were once significant temples and basilicas.
And finally, I saw the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and endless piazzas. Piazzas are plazas/city squares and they are all over the neighborhoods of Rome; you know you’re in a piazza if you see a fancy church with a water fountain nearby.
What I Ate
Again, the question here is what didn’t I eat. One of the things I was looking forward to the most about Italy was the food. And the wine. And the gelato! Needless to say, I indulged A LOT.
Rome is a lot like Athens in the sense that almost all of the Italians speak English and are friendly. Well, except the Italians who were working in restaurants and gelato shops, but I don’t blame them: They’ve been dealing with tourists all summer long.
Like Athens, Italy is also slow-paced: Restaurants don’t open for dinner until 7pm and when you’re dining, the server doesn’t bother you every few minutes; instead, he just lets you take your time, relax, and enjoy your dinner. Sometimes you have to ask two or three times before he brings you the check!
Rome is much bigger than Athens, but I still found it easy to get around. I used the bus once and walked the rest of the time. Yeah, sometimes those walks ended up being about 45 minutes long, but I needed a way to work off all the gelato.
The only difference between Athens and Rome is Athens is a dump and Rome is gorgeous and romantic. In Rome, there is very little graffiti and you can see beautiful sights just by walking down the street.
Overall, I absolutely loved Rome; I can’t wait to go back someday, as well as explore other parts of Italy.