A cosmopolitan city, Italy’s capital, full of legacy and history, piazza paradise, crowded and a sprawling metropolitan full of surprises. That was Rome for me in a nutshell. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, so true to its word. Whether you have been to Rome before or no, what will take your liking are the pastas and gelato cafes, a dedicated place for haute couture, the mesmerizing baroque churches, and the stoneworks on the pavements.
Here are the top things that are necessary on your visit to Rome.
- Take a walk through the Pantheon, a temple built for the burial of Roman kings. It was considered to be the world’s largest dome during Renaissance and is an architectural marvel. Its ingenuity brings lot of name and fame to Rome.
- Piazza Navona, a wonderful fountain and oval shaped promenade that is a bustling public place in Rome, full of vibrant cafes, gelatarias, and Baroque architecture. Some of the statues here are exquisitely crafted to perfection, reminding me of how far the Romans might have gone with their intricate understanding of the human anatomy.
- A wonder of the ancient World, Colosseum, has a long and rich history that dates back to 90. A.D. It still is one of the largest amphitheaters ever built, and a chosen destination for fighting pits. On the day I visited Colosseum, it was a public holiday and close to 10,000 visitors were in a queue for just three hours.
- Trevi Fountain or the wish granting fountain, where you can throw a coin in the water and hope to visit Rome once more in your lifetime. Any foreigner who does the same is believed to come back to Rome once again. Its a gorgeous fountain for a perfect evening time with your loved one or just sit back in solitude.
- Drinking the best coffee available, Starbucks and Cafe Coffee Day are not the type in Rome, you must grab your one good cup of Expresso, which comes in various flavours like the macchiato (with an extra oodle of skimmed milk), or the usual expresso to boost your caffeine needs, and then there is simple latte (which comes with loads of milk).
- Food scenes in Rome include trying out the Spaghetti Carbonara and the cliched Penne Arabiata, various kinds of red and white wines that the fine dining restaurants offer, the specialised Red Sauce Pasta Pomodoro, boisterous and crispy Pizzas with dollops of veggie toppings and chicken barbeque pieces, the lasagne at the cobbled street restaurants and most of all, the long loved coffee dessert Tiramisu. Its a royal treat to eat in Rome inside one of the fresco restos.
- Santa Maria cathedral in Trastavere
Rome is more about the famous show La Dolce Vita that airs on Fox Star. Its a hot place as the temperatures rise throughout the day until evening, and let you heave a sigh of relief. Since most of the summer days are sunny, people love to chill and relax, with a glass of wine or beer. The so called hidden corners in Rome take you in well placed alleys that are cobbled with old stones. Each street you pass will take you through an aroma of freshly brewed coffee, and lots of gelato flavours, some unheard of, some never tried, I like the smell of smoked wines wafting out from the cafes, as wine is used not only for drinking but also an integral part of Italian cuisine. What is most unlikely is the kick I got in Rome due to the legacy that this historical city has buried within itself. I am not a very great history buff but Roman and Egyptian culture fascinate me to a large extent. My favourite dish in this whole trip was the bruschetta, a toasted garlic butter flavoured bread, with ripe red Vesuvian tomatoes sprinkled with freshly blended oregano.
There are very few cities that can match or rival with the heritage of Rome. Michelangelo and Renaissance have given it the much hyped glory it truly deserves. Medieval era was flanked with everything Roman. It would be an incomplete story of the medieval era if Rome failed to exist. I was truly smitten by every inch of it. Night life in Rome is very jolly. People are heard to be whispering with their lovers and strolling the capital streets near the Ruins of Julius Caesar and the Senate. Some are seen to be tasting and smelling their wines to take in the flavour of the whole process. I had a good foodie ride across Rome and of course witnessed the city too.
Signing off until next time.
Rucha Sudhir Khot