All Roads Lead to Rome
"Maximus, Maximus, Maximus" roared the crowed as Russell Crowe descended into the dungeons of the colosseum. It was Gladiator, the Oscar winning movie of 2000, that had first captivated my desire to visit Rome. From that point on, my interest only grew the more I learned about this ancient city during my many years in Italian class as well as my 'tenure' as secretary of treasury for the Italian club. Fifteen years after the release of Ridley Scott's flick, I finally made it to Roma and it surely did not disappoint.
|Inside the Colosseum where Gladiator took place.
Within the first few hours of touching down, it was clear Rome is a special city that can only be matched by a few others. Engulfed in ruins, Rome boasts a profound history (that spans over 3,000 years I may add) while still remaining the bustling metropolis of a nation's capital. The traces of one of the oldest and greatest civilizations (and empires) the world has ever seen are visible throughout most of the city; the same way yellow cabs are visible everywhere in New York. While there are of course the major sites such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum etc…one could easily walk by a building that was actually used as an apartment during the time a guy by the name of Jesus Christ was born.
|History is every where you look.
The food was exactly how I had remembered from my last trip to Italy, eccelente! The general rule of thumb when visiting Italy is that you can't go wrong no matter where you choose to eat. Rome was no exception, from the late night gelato to entire pizzas for lunch. Almost every meal we had tasted like it was home made in your grandmother's kitchen. The best part of it all was the food only got better in Positano...although that is not a knock on Rome.
|Enjoying some gelato.
We spent a total of two and half days in the Italian Capital which was a perfect amount of time to see the major sites. With all of the touring, there was still room in our schedules for leisurely activities; which consisted mostly of eating and drinking vino. The one major decision you will have to make is how in depth into the history of Rome you want to go.
|The Pantheon is a must while in Rome.
If you are looking to go a mile deep, you may not want to tackle everything on your first trip to Rome or you may not have time to breathe. There were certain sights, such as the Vatican, where we were only able to see it rather than learn about the history. You will also be exposed to the many different time periods throughout the history of Rome that it can often be challenging to keep everything straight. My suggestion would be to pick one to two major attractions (Colosseum, Vatican, etc...) to do an in-depth tour. Then along with that, do some sort of tour (biking, Segway) where you can see everything else.
|We ended up doing a walk through of the Roman Forum.
I have no doubt I will be back to Rome, most likely sooner rather than later. There is still plenty to see, plenty to learn and of course plenty to eat and drink.
|Samantha enjoying a house white.