A Traveler’s Memories of Rome

IMG_0509Just like Paris, I had always dreamed of visiting Rome. Fueled by alluring images in books and movies, I had conjured an image of the Eternal City that was both romantic, ancient, and just about perfect. Upon my arrival there last summer, I was disappointed – and very much so. Perhaps it was the all-nighter my friend and I had to pull at Luton Airport on our way there. I was exhausted, and the shock of coming from the deliciously cool London weather to witheringly hot Rome didn’t help.

After checking into our hotel, my friend and I walked to the Coliseum. The city rose and fell away from us as we walked, and there were ancient ruins everywhere. As we approached the Coliseum, beggars and street hawkers further served to dampen my hopes.

IMG_0461This was not at all what I had pictured. I was stunned not so much by that fact as I was at myself for feeling incredibly disappointed in the city that had held my greatest vacation expectations. Looking back, I know it was exhaustion from travel and the heat, but at the time I just felt incredibly upset that Rome was not what I had hoped. My sweet friend sensed this and even offered to leave right away if I wanted to and go to Paris instead. Once I start something, though, I don’t give up on it. I was determined to see this trip through, even if it was the disappointment of my life.

After a good night’s rest in our beautiful hotel, I felt better. Strolling through the streets in the cool morning lifted my spirits. Getting away from the massive hordes of people around the Coliseum was a tonic to my spirits. Within a day, I had begun to discover the city’s beauty. By the time I left, I knew that I wanted to return someday.

IMG_0610Everything about Rome, from her Mediterranean beauty and lovely people, to all of the years she has stood there with her cobblestone streets and buildings built thousands of years ago, and that are still standing, were mind-boggling. I marveled as I walked the streets, imagining the stories acted out through the years, the buildings looking at me having borne silent witness to it all. If only they could talk and speak of the history they had seen…

IMG_0487At dusk, as the sun set and a cool breeze blew through the streets, soft light encapsulated the city and music would float across the air, over gurgling water from the ever-flowing and omnipresent fountains. Even the hum of people as they gathered in the squares was not inharmonius with the setting. And this is what I fell in love with. Rome at dusk. Rome at night.

IMG_0651Under the stars, beneath a summer sky, Rome glimmered under a canopy of night as enchanting as day anywhere else. Night in Rome is why you should go. The night may be terrifyingly dark in some cities, full of terror and fear; but in Rome, it is bright and like the day. It is glorious.

In the next post I will give details of my visit there: hotel, food, transportation, and the sights worth seeing. Until next time, dear friends… xo 

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