If there’s one destination in the world that deserves the title of The Eternal City, it is Rome. No other place on the planet had endured since ancient times like this Italian haven for all things classical. Leonardo Da Vinci saw the potential of this city, as did Michelangelo, and even for a time the great Botticelli. Steeped in history and unparalleled culture, Rome is the place to be if you are looking for adventure.
Since its mythic beginnings in 753 BC, Rome has attracted billions of tourists from around the world, and will no doubt continue to do so until the end of time. Once capital of the known world, and home to one of the greatest civilisations the human race will ever witness, Rome has stood up to the tests of time and laughed in the face of destruction.
There is something very humbling about knowing that many of the buildings and structures, statues and fountains which surround you have been here for thousands of years, and could very well be there for thousands more to come. This city has it all; whether you are a Christian on a religious pilgrimage to the home of Catholicism, or simply a novice traveller with a thirst for culture, Rome will not disappoint.
Art, architecture, good food and great wine, along with one of the world’s most romantic languages, you simply cannot fail to be thrilled whilst you are walking in the sun down Via Nazionale taking in the local markets and a few ancient ruins along the way. Your biggest and possibly only problem will be, where to begin your adventure.
So vast are the attractions in Rome, no less than two weeks will be enough time to see them all, and don’t be surprised if after this time, you find yourself wanting to stay. The Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Del Popolo, Castel Sant’ Angelo, and of course the Vatican City are just a small fraction of awe inspiring sights available to you. Just walking down a back street trying to decide on a place to eat you will be amazed at the architectural wonders of Rome.
Friendly Italians never begrudge offering to show you where you are on a map, or how to get to this place or that. Even offering advice such as try the ice cream from the gelateria by the Spanish Steps, or the coffee in Piazza Navona, you will be utterly charmed by the locals and sad to bid them goodbye.
When you are finally dragged away and have to leave this magical city, you may even find yourself turn for one last lingering look, and whisper to yourself ‘Roma, ti amo’.
By Nathan O' Brien
JMU Journalism travel articles
One of Rome's many iconic water features, the Trevi Fountain; YouTube: Rome slidesh