THE. MOST. BEAUTIFUL. CITY. IN. THE. WORLD.
It is said comparisons are odious, and there may be some truth in that, as clearly I haven’t visited every city in the world, but I’ve been lucky enough to visit some spectacular places. Before I came to the Eternal City for the first time my favourite place in the world was Beirut, very closely followed by Barcelona. Nowadays though, there is only one winner, and I go at least once a year to replenish my soul with Romanness.
Walking on the old cobbles in front of this piece of history, knowing that your feet are walking where Julius Caesar, Brutus, Mark Anthony et al walked before is a strange feeling. For a history buff like me its a truly wondrous moment. The Colosseum is history. It lives it. The dust coming from the slowly eroding brickwork means you literally breathe history when you’re there.
Whether its possibly the most photographed monument in the world, or
an equally seen although less photographed wall, Rome just is the most wonderful magical place.
I could (in fact I have) spend all day in the Forum. Looking at the standing monuments but also the tens of thousands of fragments of columns and buildings gives the merest whisper of how magnificent the area must have been back in its heyday.
Stood in the Forum, overlooking the modern city, I saw the top floor flat, with garden, I’d love to own.
I stay in a different hotel, in a different area of the city every time, and whilst standards change according to the price I pay, the public transport system is more than good enough to get me into the places I want to see in only a few minutes.
Breakfast taken here on my last trip wasn’t the worst place to be:
Whats not to love about the Trevi fountain, or The Cistine Chapel? They’re beautiful (although not always the original), as well as the squares, the plazas etc, but once they’re all done, put the map in your pocket and just walk. There is beauty to see everywhere, a fountain on the corner of a wall, tiny little squares, I stumbled across, totally by chance, the old fish market, still in a state of exploration. It was fascinating to take a buy an ice cream and watch the proceedings unfold. Slow, painstaking but wonderful.
On my very first trip, I stayed in a hotel only a few hundred yards from the Pantheon. During my stay I remember the hotel manager telling me how it was almost impossible to improve the city structure, for as soon as the digger went down further than about 10 cm’s, history was uncovered which all has to be recorded.
Rome is too big to be covered in just one post, further posts will follow.