I CAME. I SAW. I LOVED.
It’s hard not to be impressed with Rome. Italy’s capital is a crazy, chaotic, sprawling city with nearly 3,000 years of architecture and art on display.
History is all around you. When you stand amidst the ancient ruins of one of the world’s most important archeological sites, The Roman Forum, in the exact spot that Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 B.C., you can’t help but feel the power of the former Roman Empire.
If it’s your first time visiting the Eternal City, by all means, go see the Forum, the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. You’ll be awestruck.
But being impressed isn’t the same as being in love.
The love part comes after you get the sightseeing out of the way. At least for me, it did. Once I stopped standing in lines and dodging the street peddlers who were hell-bent on selling me a selfie stick, the romance kicked in. Sitting on a park bench in Villa Borghese watching a puppet show while eating a cup of zingy lemon gelato, or sipping a beautifully garnished bellini on a rooftop terrace admiring the sun setting over the city. These are the moments that stay with you long after the journey has ended.
And then, of course, there’s the food!
Pizza al Taglio that is cut with scissors and sold by weight. Banana chocolate Tiramisu. Flaky araogosta pastries with a cup of cappuccino with foam so thick you’ll eat it with a spoon. Pasta dishes, like carbonara and cacio e pepe, that will blow your mind. How can a dish with so few ingredients be so complex?
Of course, there is also plenty of horrible food sold in tourist traps all over the city. But don’t worry. I’ve got your back. I’m putting together a self-guided food tour that will help you find the good stuff!