"Rome is not like any other city. It's a big museum, a living room that shall be crossed on one's toes." - aptly remarked by Alberto Sordi.
Rome, when one comes to talk of it, there's so much about this city. It may be a cliché, but there's no better advice for visitors to the Eternal City than the old adage, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." This is where la dolce vita originated, after all.
London? Paris? Berlin? Zurich? Maybe Brussels, center of the young union? They all strive to outdo one another culturally, architecturally, politically, fiscally. But Rome, it should be said, has not bothered to join the race for status. Rome doesn't compete. Rome just watches all the fussing and striving, completely unfazed, exuding an air like: 'Hey- do whatever you want, but I'm still Rome'.
I am inspired by the regal self-assurance of this town, so grounded and rounded, so amused and monumental, knowing that she is held securely in the palm of history. Of course, after more than 2,000 years in existence, there's enough to explore around the city and to keep one busy for years, with decadent pasta and gelato to indulge in, places to shop for haute couture, archeological sites, Baroque churches, villas-turned-museums, and enough art to overload one's senses far and wide.
Rome is the capital of Italy. Roma Provincia of Lazio region has a complete beautiful country inside it, the Vatican City, which is the House of the Pope. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes. It is rightly said that one would always be in a time deficit while roaming around this city.
I would proudly quote Mark Twain here when he remarked that from the dome of St. Peter's one can see every notable object in Rome. He can see a panorama that is varied, extensive, beautiful to the eye, and more illustrious in history than any other in Europe. And it definitely stands the tests of time.
Right there I held my psyche in balance and realised that I had finally arrived to this Capital of the World, where I saw all the dreams of my youth coming to life, it has been only in Rome that it became possible for me to understand Rome.
From the Piazza di San Pietro, there was Bernini designed to look like arms extended in an embrace. In the offerings from this beautiful city are the highlights in the palace which include the Raphael Rooms, old master paintings, and antique sculptures. Just south of the Vatican City stands Castel Sant'Angelo, where popes sought solace during sieges. Climb to the top for splendid views of Vatican City and the Tiber. At its base you can see the Ponte Sant'Angelo with Bernini's exquisitely carved marble angels.
There is so much to go around in this mesmerizing city, be it the museum of the Basilica S. Pietro, the Fountain of Trevi, Castel Snt'Angelo, the Poaltine Hill, Roman forum Arch of Titus, Altera Della Patria, Pizza Navona and the most famous Collosseum. This city has lots of offerings on the platter, with loads to see and learn from the Roman City.
The city's mild Mediterranean climate is another persuasive draw for the visitors from the around the world. For me the main draw will always be the pulsating energy of a place which lives life as a form of theatre, and Rome had all of me at once.
If one is crazy for Italian cuisines, Italy is definitely one of the perfect place to explore the authentic Italian food. One can always hand pick a slice of pizza from any of the roadside cafes, and they would all do the justice to the taste buds. And if one has a sweet tooth, one's trip to Italy is incomplete without munching on the Italian Gelatos.
As I would narrate down my journey further, it began with my first experience with bullet train, from Pisa to Rome. The view by the train was pretty mesmerising as I could see and capture the sight of the sun setting in the mountains and the ocean, the ideal place where the sun should bid goodbye for the day.