As we know, Italy’s capital city of Rome was not built in a day. A contrast between old and new helps guests step back through time, telling the city’s story through a stunning mix of painted masterpieces, sculpted statues and architectural splendour. The hub of a once ever-expanding empire, Rome was seen as a metaphorical cooking pot of culture that brought trade to Europe from all over the world. Today, Rome is a pivotal place for sightseers, romantics, pilgrims and historians. We spoke to friend Charles to learn more of about Italy’s “Eternal City”.
What took you to Rome?
It was part of a touring trip of Italy.
What was life like there?
Well, the roads are mad. There is weaving traffic everywhere. Right of way on the roads is definitely geared towards mopeds and bikes, then pedestrians and then cars. Rome seems to run on it’s own time, especially the tourist areas. The pace of meals is slow, but everything else is fast. Unfortunately it is clear that some major parts of the city have been robbed of their valuables, which have then been put somewhere else for “safe keeping of Roman heritage”.
Tell me about your most memorable experience…
I really enjoyed the walking tour of Palatine Hill and the Roman forum, where there are lots of ruins. It was originally a place for celebrating and showing favour to the Gods. The graves of Romulus and Remus are also housed here. Palatine is where the word ‘palace’ originates from. These ruins are a giant palace with the Circus Maximus, which was the stadium used for chariot racing. It is a stone’s throw away from the Colosseum too in the heart of Rome.
Was there anything that made your trip more difficult?
No, everyone was really welcoming. The conversation was easy and the wine and food are really good.
Describe Rome in 3 words…
Touristy, historical and… great food
Favourite local food/drink?
Pizza and pasta. I have to choose one? Impossible!
What was your favourite location?
Describe your perfect day in Rome…
Wake up late, get a sandwich and walk around the big landmarks. Circle through the city and get some lunch. Then take the Spanish steps down through the palazzo to the Trevi fountain and pantheon before stopping off at a pizzeria for dinner and wine. After all that it would be back to the hotel for a shower and sleep!
Did anything surprise you about Rome?
There are frescoes and statues on every corner you walk round. There are so many ruins too. Every road has something to look at.
If you had one tip for readers visiting Rome, what would it be?
Wear comfy shoes.
Would you go back?
Obviously, yes. The food is awesome and the weather is lovely. People are hospitable and there is lots to see. It’s the perfect place for an active holiday.