Bella Roma

Venice was floating opulence, the Cinque Terre was picturesque peacefulness, and Rome was epic history. Every street corner, lamp post, church, and water fountain seem to tell a tale in Rome. There are thousands of years of stories stamped into the cobblestones and carved into the sculptures that line museums and streets. We arrived in Rome via train from the Cinque Terre which took us through Tuscany, and the views were lovely. Next time in Italy, we will add Tuscany to the list. As soon as we left the train station and walked to our hotel in Monti, one of Rome’s old residential neighborhoods, I began to fall in love with Rome. Grandeur, importance, and beauty run down the streets like rainwater.

Our first night there, we walked to the Pantheon, ordered rustic Roman pizza at a quiet restaurant in an old church, and explored the floodlit streets from the Spanish Steps to the Colosseum. I think the first night was the best part of our time in Rome. We relaxed and soaked in the splendor.
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In addition to undeniable importance, excitement, and romance, Rome also has the qualities that challenge every big city. Difficult, outdated public transportation, hoards of crowds, and heat that radiates off the stone and concrete. We found a peace and retreat away from the noise of the city along the Appian Way, Rome’s ancient highway and an engineering marvel of its time. The early apostles would have traveled this way, and we visited one of the catacombs where early Christians were buried. The breeze flowed more freely along the Appian Way, and despite some frustration figuring out the bus system, it was worth the trip.
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We soaked in all the major sights of Rome. The Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel (which surprised us by how much we loved it), the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica, The Palatine Hill. We wandered around hipster Monti and shopped in vintage clothing stores and leather shops where I purchased an Italian leather bag. We listened to an evening jazz concert on a bench in the Vatican Museum courtyard, we celebrated our trip with a fancy dinner at Ristorante Fortunato on the Pantheon square. We walked for miles and tried to appreciate the history that was before us. We waited in line in the rain and waited for what seemed like forever at bus stops. We missed a concert hosted by the Pope because we didn’t understand Italian. Every inconvenience and confusion was worth it for the Roman experience which is unlike any other city or culture. For 1000 years, Rome reigned as a world power, and that power is still palpable.

At the end of our few days in Rome, we reluctantly said goodbye to Italy. Jeremy is always such a good sport about going home; however, I tend to pout about it a bit. I’m so grateful for the adventure and for all that we saw, and I hope someday we can return. Ciao, Italia.

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4 Responses to Bella Roma

  1. jackie says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful time full of memories that will last so many anniversaries! Lots of 3-letter words characterize a trip to Italy: Wow! Awe. Fun. Yum! OMG (well…that’s a stretch!) On your next trip, add Siena (Tuscany), and end it at Lake Cuomo (against the Pyrenees) to totally unwind!

    • Jackie, those are the two places definitely on my list for the next trip! We knew someone who visited lake Como recently and it made me want to go so badly. I wish we could have done everything this time!

  2. Marion Neufeld says:

    I have just recently started following your blog and so glad that I found you. My husband and I are fully retired and are leaving on August 31 for a 3 week vacation in Europe. We’ll be in Rome for 3 days and hope to make some awesome memories … then we’re renting a car and will make stop overs in Firenze & Venice before travelling through parts of Switzerland, Austria, Germany, French Riviera and the Amalfi coast. We definitely have Lake Como & Milan on our “to Do” list, so we’ll see.

    You are a gifted writer and we enjoy all your posting(s). Your pictures are outstanding … would you share what kind of camera you’ve used? I’m taking my iPad and a little “point/shoot” Olympus Stylus Tough camera AND our iPhone … We’re travelling lite, each only taking a week-end and duffle bag. We travelled for 2 months in California this past winter and did just fine, albeit, stayed in Condo(s) with washer/dryers however, I’m sure we can find public Laundry facilities in many cities as well. Looking forward to continued blogs by you.

    🎶 Happy Anniversary, and wish you both many more blessings 🎶 💞

    John & Marion Neufeld 23 Willart Place Winnipeg, MB, Canada R2G 3H7

    Sent from my iPad


    • Thank you for your comment! I appreciate your kind words! That trip sounds like a wonderful itinerary. What fun! We had friends that have raved about Lake Como and it made me wish we could visit! But our quick trip through Milan on the way to the train station didn’t impress me as much.

      We took photos with a combination of our Canon Rebel t2i (DSLR camera) and our iPhones. I highly recommend downloading an app called “Camera Plus” for your iPhone or iPad. It allows you to customize your photos with exposure and focus better than just your normal camera. It costs $2.99 or so, but worth it.

      We only brought backpacking packs, too, and you will be so glad you’re packing light! I’m doing a post tomorrow with some of the tips and tricks of travel we learned 🙂

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