Falling In Love With Rome

Posted on December 9, 2012

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Rome

It took me a while to get started on a post about our trip to Rome, simply because I had no idea how to put the immense beauty and charm into words. Certainly it has been done before, by writers far more eloquent than me. In the end I figured that everyone’s perspective is different and all I could do was share what impact the city had made on me personally and how. So without further ado, here are my highlights of our 3-day trip to The Eternal City.

The Atmosphere

Atmosphere RomeIn Holland this time of year tends to be rather grey, but in Rome we lucked out with 2 beautiful sunny days, which certainly added to the experience.There is something about this city that just warms my heart. The colors of the trees and grass seems livelier, the sky seems bluer and the way the sunlight hits the gentle colored buildings is almost magical. The city teems with life, everywhere you look people are going on about their day. You will see brightly colored Vespa’s race up and down even the most narrow cobbled streets and during the early afternoon you will smell delicious aromas of food everywhere, making your mouth water. I understand why the city would be too chaotic for some, but I felt that the chaos only added to Rome’s incredible charm

Fountain RomeThe fountains

For some reason, I have a soft spot for fountains and Rome definitely did not disappoint. It seems like there’s a fountain on every square and around every corner, and they come in all shaped and sizes. Despite surrounded by hordes of tourists, the Trevi fountain remains one of the most impressive sights I’ve seen there. The sculpture has been positioned so that it catches the sunlight perfectly, causing the white marble to light up with a brilliance that almost hurts the eye. But apart from majestic, big fountains, the city is also scattered with 2,500 smaller drinking fountains called nasoni. Yes, the water is safe to drink! It’s surprisingly good, actually.

Breakfast at Campo di Fiori

Forno Campo De FioriBefore coming to Rome, I had read a tweet by Beers and Beans about the oldest bakery in Rome, situated on a corner at the Campo di Fiori market. There are few things in life that make me happier than the smell of fresh warm bread in the morning, so naturally I had to go check it out myself. The crowd inside told us we were at the right spot. 5 minutes later we were enjoying warm slices of pizza bianca (fresh pizza dough covered with olive oil and salt), delicious fruit right off the market and some freshly squeezed orange juice. The breakfast of champions. The market itself was a sight on its own, with vendors offering countless different kinds of pasta, oils, herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables.

CappuccinoThe cappuccino

Coffee and I have a weird relationship. Apart from the occasional Baileys spiked-whipped cream topped treat I almost never drink it at home, but when I’m traveling, I can’t get enough of it. In Rome, a good coffee surprise can be found in unexpected places, like a tiny café on the crowded Via del Muratte (that leads to the Trevi), where the cappuccino was so perfect it nearly moved me to tears. But the best coffee of all was the one we had at Sant’Eustachio il Caffe, situated just around the corner from the Pantheon, where the espresso machines are shielded to guard their super-secret recipe.

The Trastevere Neighborhood

Dar Poeta Rome

Heaven on a plate

After watching the sun set behind the many-colored buildings, our riverside stroll took us down from Vatican City to the Trastevere neighborhood, where we wandered around looking for a place to eat. Trastevere had a certain charm I hadn’t seen anywhere else in the city, with its many cobbled streets, bars and restaurants, yet still relatively quiet. We followed our nose and ended up in a tiny wood-oven pizzeria, tucked away in an alley, where we had the best pizza of our lives. No, really. The best. When we left there was a huge crowd of Romans standing in the rain, waiting for a table. Turns out, we were at one of Rome’s most famous pizzerias (and with good reason!), Dar Poeta. Another place I loved in Trastevere was cafe Ombre Rosse, where we sat back to enjoy a good cup of coffee and some jazz.

Wow, come to think of it, most of my highlights were food related…

Gelato!

Oh… Gelato. No words necessary.

And finally… Ancient Rome

You can’t leave The Eternal City without paying a visit to the Colosseo and Foro Romano. I could write a book about the beauty of this site, or how it feels to stand among these relics of ancient history, but it’s something you just have to see for yourself. Seeing the ruins of ancient Rome was an unexpectedly exciting experience. Despite my exhaustion, I wandered around for hours, amazed at how grand it was and how well everything had been preserved. It’s a place where your imagination runs wild when trying to picture what it would have been like to live in that time. Occasionally we’d come across a closed gate or door, which raised questions about what mysteries or hidden treasures are still off limits to us tourists.

Our short trip to Rome has been fantastic, and we both fell head over heels in love with this city. Thankfully, we both tossed the traditional coin into the Trevi fountain, to make sure we would return here someday.

 

Rome Colosseo

…Almost straight!

Have you ever been to the city of love?

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Posted in: Italy