5 Reasons not to visit Rome
I just returned from Rome a couple of days ago. I still feel the espresso smell in my nose and the traffic jams in my ears. Even I have seen so many cities in Italy over the years, I was always postponing visiting Rome on the last moment and changing the destination with no real reason. As I am trully aware that each experience comes when the time is right, now was the perfect time for Rome. Did I like it? Didn't I like it?
Let me tell you 5 reasons why you shouldn't go to Rome:
1. Crowds everywhere. Being the 3rd most visited city in Europe, after London and Paris, and ranked the 12th most visited city in the world on 2017 Top 100 City Destinations survey, Rome receives around 10 million international tourists a year. So it's not surprising that you should expect to find huge crowds waiting in line to buy tickets or enter the touristic objectives. Do you think 4 km line for Vatican and 2 km for Colloseum in a week day of mid March is little? Try the summer days then.
2. Annoying people. Around all the objectives, you will find "good willing" people trying to sell you something - skip the line offers, guides in your language, hop on-hop off bus tickets or a "friendship bracelet". They have all the skin colors and they speak all the languages in the world. You will start recognizing them soon after you met them. The best way to keep your calm and enjoy your beautiful vacation is to just ignore them and seem not interested in their offers (if this is the case).
3. Noisy and chaotic traffic. Remember that scene in the Roman Holiday movie with Ann and Joe riding on a Vespa in Piazza Venezia? Now consider that was happening in 1953, exacly 65 years ago. No, do not expect for that traffic today. It is noissy, chaotic, with lots of cars and scooters trying to find their way on narrow cobblestone streets. Pay very much attention while trying to cross the street - the drivers are very determined and see only their way, so do not expect any courtesy on allowing you to cross the street. They even cut off your way when you are half way on the cross and then make a hand apology. Like that would be enough.
4. Dirt. If you even think to compare Rome with other european cities you have visited before (especially in german areas) then you are so wrong. No, you will not find the cleanliness and organization from Munchen or Vienna. Instead, you can find huge trash bins in front of the buildings on the main streets at each 250-500 m and a lot of mess around them. Not to mention how the streets look like after a weekend night party around Termini station.
5. Slattern buildings. It is such a pity that a lot of historical buildings are left into neglect and are not being repaired or taken care of. You will see plenty of grafitti and notes on beautiful architectural buildings and nobody cares about cleaning and maintaining their shape and beauty.
Ok, NOW. If you have already read the above and decided that you can live with those for a couple of days, let me show you 10 OF THE HUNDRED REASONS why you should visit Rome:
1. History. Oh, you will not find so much history on m² anywhere in the world. The Eternal City amazes you with bits and pieces of history on every step. It is an impressive open air museum, the heart of Europe, the mother of all our mothers, the beginning of the world. It is enough to start your visit with a walk on Via Dei Fori Imperiali and you will become stunned, emotional and in love with its ancient past.
Especially if you are latin, you must pay it a visit at least once in a lifetime, to discover your roots and your history. I highly recommend not to miss the Collosseum, Trajan's Column, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon.
2. Architecture. Rome is an amazing mix of buiding materials - you can find from concrete to bricks, marble and gold, as well as you can find most of the architectural styles intertwined - from Romansque to Rennaisance, Baroque, Neoclassical, Fascist and Gothic. Each square, fountain, building or church has a story to tell and some awesome architectural details to reveal.
3. Coffee. Of, coffee! Basically in Italy coffee equals espresso. With slight variations like ristretto or cappucino, the italian espresso is the real authentic coffee. For a tipical italian experience, order one espresso and enjoy it at the counter (standing, not sitting) early morning before you head to your daily activities/visits. A shot of energy and motivation to keep you awake and focus all day long! It goes directly on your veines :)
4. Italian food. I am pretty sure that when God created Italy, he imagined it as a food heaven, with the the most divine and perfect food that will ever exist. Pasta, pizza, truffles, carciofi (and a lot of other "verdura"), cannoli, gelato, tiramisu - can you wish for more? Even I have heard stories of "not that good" food in Rome before, I swear that all I have eaten was just perfect! We went for recommendations in some of the places, but most of them we just picked randomly. A-mazing food!
Are you a local market shopper? If yes, you must pay a visit to Campo de Fiori, a traditional market where locals bring their own grown vegetables, spices mix, cheese and cold cuts. Even if you do not intend to buy, you can taste a bit of their produces. I bet you will change your mind and leave the market with some bags of goodies. I even bought some interesting zucchini for home :) - believe me, their taste has nothing to do with what you find in our markets or shops.
5. Men's fashion. It is a known fact that italian men are the most elegant and well dressed across the world. With so many local brands men exclusively and dedicated shops at each street corner, with so many colors and cuts, the only remaining thing you need is a fit body.
If your man is complaining that in your city there are so many shops for women's clothing and so few for men, you should take him to Rome, for a shopping session. He will be delighted!
6. Italian leather. I have found Rome to be the heaven of leather jackets and leather bags. At some very good prices you can buy high quality italian leather items that you cannot find in another country. So, prepare your cash and go shopping!
7. Safety. Even people and cultures are so diverse, starting with locals, emigrants and ending with tourists, I felt safe in the center area of Rome at any hour. Inclusively walking late at night or heading to the airport bus station at 4 a.m. in the morning.
Anyway, you should consider assuring your belongings are safely stored and in your area or vision and attention when you run into crowds or queue at the main objectives.
8. Spirituality. There are more than 900 churches in Rome, most of them Roman Catholic. This means that everywhere you turn your head you can find a church in your sight. Even you can find similarities in some of them, each one is unique! There is so much beauty in their architecture, marble statues and sacred silence! There are feelings that cannot be described in words, so I invite you to live your own feelings when paying a visit to Rome.
9. Tiramisu. Did I say tiramisu? OMG! I am having flash-back memories with that pistacchio tiramisu every day since I got back from Rome. The standard tiramisu is outdated and boring, believe me! Follow me on Instagram or email me in you want to find out about that secret place with the best tiramisu ever! And other secret locations of Rome, too!
10. Vatican and San Pietro basilica. I can only say that it is the main objective that you should have on your list when visiting Rome. If I would be to pick only one place to see in Rome, it would be Vatican and, most of all, San Pietro Basilica. Take time to book your ticket for Vatican Museums in advance, otherwise you will have to stay in queue for some beautiful hours in order to enter. The museums are impressive, but most impresive is the basilica. Schedule 2-3 hours only for the basilica and cupola, if you would like to enjoy it fully. It is mandatory to make some courage and walk the long and narrow stairs to the cupola in order to enjoy a nice view of Rome and Piazza San Pietro.
From each trip I make I return more enriched and more fullfilled. With emotions, art, food or just some zen mood and drive to keep it going. (Shhht! I believe this time was the tiramisu! I returned home filled up with pistacchio tiramisu! :))) ) Getting back to serious stuff now:
I trully believe that each travel experience shapes the way we think, the way we live and our whole existence. So, let's continue to discover the outside world! And our own inner world!
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