Rome. The cradle of the West. The center of power for centuries. Birthplace of Caesar. Home to the Catholic Church. A city steeped in 3,000 years of history. All around the world, everyone knows Rome. Saying the name conjures up images of the old, the new, religion, food, romance, and Tom Hanks trying to crack the Da Vinci code.
I was excited to visit Rome. My visit was supposed to last three days, but turned into a solid week. I fell in love with Rome. Despite all the tourists and tour groups that roam the city, the ungodly crowds, and the congestion, nothing could take away from the beauty of Rome. Rome is Rome…it doesn’t need to be anything else. The name alone conveys everything, and it’s easy to see why everyone loves this city.
Nothing I could write about Rome could do it justice. Its beauty and elegance has been described by far better writers and poets than I. So rather than talk about the beauty of Rome, I’m going to show it to you.
A Walking Tour of Rome
I started downtown where most of the ruins are located. There, you can explore the ancient ruins built by Julius and Augustus Caesar as they expanded the Roman Empire.
Cross the street and wander through the ancient Roman Forum, the seat of Roman power. There are a ton of ruins here, and sitting down amongst them was a humbling experience. Someone thousands of years ago sat in this exact spot, watching Senators and Caesars go past.
And then head to Palatine Hill, where the kings, Caesars, and aristocrats of Rome lived.
Then cross the street and gaze at the Colosseum. It was an unbelievable site to behold. Massive and beautiful.
Head west, through the Circus Maximus, and across the river Tiber. There, you can wander through Trastevere, a local area that few tourists see. It was my favorite section of the city – small cobble-lined streets, tiny squares, great restaurants, and not many tourists.
From there, head north to the Vatican, the center of the Catholic Church. There, you can check out the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the tombs of the popes.
From there, head back east, across the river, to explore more of Rome.
Walk through the Piazza Navarro and to the Spanish Steps for some good people watching.
Continue south, past the Parthenon, to the Trevi Fountain. Make your way through the crowds and follow tradition by turning around and throwing a coin in for good luck.
Then finish at this monument, built in the Roman style, to honor Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of a united Italy. It’s big and gaudy, but it’s still beautiful.
Rome is an amazing city. It wasn’t built in a day, and there’s more to do there than my little blog post can handle. In fact, there’s more to do there than you can fit in during a single short trip. It would take years to see the whole city… but I’m up for the challenge, are you?