A Love Letter To Rome, Italy
By: Valeria Ramos
It’s not hard to fall in love with the city of Rome. In fact, it is pretty much impossible not to. Rich in history, food, art, and culture—this ancient city is one huge playground for tourists from all around the world.
I never thought I could be so happy walking for miles on narrow, cobblestone streets in the summer heat. Having never experienced the Italian atmosphere before, coming to Rome for the first time was like stepping into another world—one existing simultaneously in the past and present. The contrast of massive, ancient Roman structures with hip restaurants and bars was a sight like no other.
There is beauty around every corner in Rome. Colorful buildings, historic architecture, tempting gelato shops, and well-dressed Italians sipping cappuccinos in outdoor cafes are the norm here. The sounds of the city were just as cinematic—Vespas buzzing by, tiny cars honking as they navigate tapered streets, street music around the corner, and the beautiful sound of the Italian language.
Every day in Rome was a new adventure. Visiting basilicas built thousands of years ago, exploring “piazzas” or town squares, strolling through shops of fine Italian leather, and eating copious amounts of pasta were all accomplished on our week-long family trip.
My favorite spot in Rome is hard to narrow down. I loved the iconic Trevi Fountain and its surrounding area of shops and restaurants. To avoid flocks of tourists with loose change and cameras in their hands, it’s best to visit the Trevi early in the morning. Luckily for us, our hotel was a mere two-minute walk away from the Trevi, so I got to see and hear this flowing masterpiece every single day.
Built in 80 AD, The Colosseum is a landmark of Rome that is impossible to miss. Not only is this enormous structure the perfect backdrop for stunning photos, but it is also a reminder of Italy’s ancient history. Be prepared to take in jaw-dropping views here, but now without waiting in long lines of tourists. If you’re short on patience like me, buy a fast pass to skip the lines and avoid an unwanted sunburn.
Contrary to popular belief, the best place to see Rome is not from the Colosseum, but from the Altare Della Patria. This monument to King Vittorio Emmanuele has many aliases. It is often referred to as “The Wedding Cake,” or “Il Vittoriano.” Whatever its true name may be, the views from the top of this monument cannot be described as anything other than breathtaking.
Walking around its entirety, and then making our way to the very top, I was amazed at all the sculptures, statues, columns, and stairs of the Altare. The sight of the large Italian flags billowing over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was just another view that made this place is so special.
Walking around the city was part of our daily routine. So was getting lost. It didn’t matter though, because there was something new to discover on every street.
The best thing about walking for several miles every day, however, was definitely the building of a large appetite. Bread, pizza, and pasta never tasted better after hours spent wandering the streets of Rome.
After eating a large Italian dinner and taking a momentary break from the tourist life, we were quick to continue the rest of our day exploring more of the city. Whether that consisted of simply strolling around, following the sound of live music, or finding a spot like the Spanish Steps, where we could just sit and people-watch, the options for ending a night in Rome felt endless.
A full week in Rome, Italy felt too short. While we completed everything on our travel to-do list, I couldn’t help feeling like there was still more to do, see and explore. The truth is, I could probably spend months in Italy. Exploring more of Rome and visiting other beautiful, Italian cities is something on my bucket list I hope to accomplish soon. For now, however, I am just glad I got to spend a week in what is now one of my favorite cities.