The first time in the Eternal City was three years ago, and I was completely taken aback by its beauty, palpable ease, and historic grandeur. Everywhere I turned, a part of thousands-year old history was there to greet me. I did all of the touristy things - the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican, the Pantheon, and more. However touristy these things are, they're all definitely worth exploring when in Rome. I went to Rome again two years ago, but I happened to have a layover on 15 August - a national holiday. Everything was closed. EVERYTHING WAS CLOSED. I was heartbroken when I heard this (note: always do your research before heading out to a destination!). ?
Rome treated me well this trip. I spent most of the day out and about, exploring the city, eating delicious food and taking in the sights. No real agenda, besides having a granita di caffè con panna, picking up some coffee beans, and buying a couple bottles of wine. ???
- If you visit in the summertime, be prepared for lots of tourists, long queues, and hot weather. It's usually at least 34ºC/93ºF during the summer. Drink a lot of water.
- Beware of pickpockets. And pay no mind to the people trying to sell you tchotchkes. Just keep walking.
- Rome has a lot of cobblestone streets. Wear comfortable and appropriate walking shoes. Otherwise, you'll be in for a painful walk.
- No matter how narrow the street may seem, it may be open to automobile traffic. So pay attention where you're walking. In the piazzas, there are usually signs that say "area pedonale" - "pedestrian area," meaning that you won't see cars driving in these areas.
Here's to aimless strolls in beautiful cities,