My Trip to Rome

Trying to write about a city as well-known as Rome isn't an easy task. From history books to travel guides, countless words describe this city. But that isn't the only difficulty. Even if I knew what to say or how to say it, I wouldn't know where to pinpoint the beginning of this trip.

My trip to Italy began long before the captain's voice announced that in 15 minutes we would land at the Fiumicino Airport. But surely my trip to Rome began much earlier. In fact, it took me almost 30 years to reach a part of the map that had always been present inside me; almost 30 years to discover images, faces, smells, and impressions of the capital of a country that is deeply rooted in my dreams.

Discovering the Roots of Our History

My Trip to Rome

Image via Flickr by Luc Mercelis

I flew to Rome, get to know Italy, visit the Vatican and St. Peter's Square, and see the Colosseum from the Palatine Hill. It is not only a trip to discover the roots of our history but also a journey into the history of humanity. It is not only the setting for films by Federico Fellini and Woody Allen but also that of books, poems, dreams, and fantasies. Rome is the cradle of an entire symbolic universe. It is the starting point, the origin, and the place to which all roads lead.

Many people construct images of faraway places from books, the stories of other travelers, or the movies. I had imagined Rome lined with narrow alleys and countless pizzerias with tables on the streets and in the squares. I found these aspects, but I also discovered much more. I found the broken paths and cold water sources that only the Romans know how to use. I discovered a balcony with dried plants and a priest hosting a mass of 40,000 people.

I even found a subway station that houses a granite column dating back several centuries. I also find vestiges of the wolf that nurtured Romulus and Remus as well as a guy disguised as a Gladiator charging 10 Euros for a photo. I spotted a sign indicating that John Keats once lived in a nearby house, and I saw Trevi Fountain without Sophia Loren but with selfie sticks.

A Nostalgic Song

I drank a beer and a Negroni at a bar. I walked through Trastevere, cross the Tiber River, and watched the sunset from one of the hills. I saw domes, pigeons, and in the distance, the Colosseum between the surviving scaffolding.

Rome is a nostalgic song. It survives by reinventing itself, and I feel at home. Rome shows me everything I hoped to find. It is true that the city is a trap. Expectations often interfere when visiting a place, but Rome is an exception. It is much more colorful and much more romantic than I had imagined.

Rome is the origin. It is the city of all. Perhaps that is why talking about Rome is so easy. We all come from there. Visiting the Eternal City is not easy, even for the most experienced traveler, so check out this Rome city guide before you visit.


Daniele Antoniol said...

Rome is simply stunning, I love it. The road, the food everything, just perfect. And great article too :)

Elo said...

Writing about Rome is indeed not an easy task but you've nailed it! I can totally relate when you cannot tell when the trip began. There are places that have been in my mind for so long that I've virtually traveled there many times, and I hope to see them for real one day. Rome is one of them. We study it at school, see it in movies and read so many travel tales about it too... Such a fascinating place.

An Aussie in San Francisco said...

I feel like that about San Francisco and the US as a whole. I've spent my life up to now being exposed to US culture through movies and books - some of it I never fully understood until I moved here and now so many things are clicking. I'm glad that you had that experience in Rome!

Marquita said...

You did a great job outlining Rome and all of Italy’s glory. Great post! I hope to get there one day.

Verena said...

Rome is just so beautiful. I've been there for 2 days, but could have stayed way longer. It's just a magical city :)

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