It’s been almost seven years now since my first trip to Rome. Seven years and I’m just as in love with Rome as I was at first sight…though perhaps my love has mellowed. When I think of Rome now, it’s more like an old friend with whom I have created some really great memories. However, when I talk to strangers about Rome or people who’ve never been, I still feel the same passion and enthusiasm, and I want them to feel it too. I want everyone to love Rome as much as I do.
I think the reason I fell so hard was because I didn’t expect to. It didn’t happen like a lightning bolt, but more like a strong steady rain that that catches you a little off guard and even though you take cover, you still end up drenched.
Good memories, and good trips, are made up of moments in time. A collection of great moments is like a photo album. You turn the page and another memory is evoked, that moment when something happened or you had an experience that you will always remember.
My memories of Rome are so powerful, I can actually see myself in Rome, at a particular piazza or walking down a street. I know what time of day it was, what I was wearing, and most importantly, how I felt. Excited. Curious. Hopeful. Joyful.
6 Favorite Moments in Rome in No Particular Order
1. Stepping inside St. Peter’s Cathedral for the first time. The power of the Roman Catholic Church is clearly evident here. Even if you’re not Catholic or religious, it’s impressive!
2. Gazing upon ruins of the Roman Forum from the Capitoline Hill at sunset. Here lay the ruins of what was once the most powerful country in the world for, how many centuries?I never get enough of this view and I always take friends there.
3. First ride on a scooter. There’s something quintessentially Roman about this. You must do it! I ended up on the back of a scooter with a total stranger. Call me crazy. I am here to tell the tale, and obviously came through unscathed. You don’t have to be as daring as I was, as now there are many companies that will rent you one. You can even go on scooter tours.
4. Eating Bucatini all’ Amatriciana. This is a classic Roman dish the sauce is made with tomatoes, black pepper, a bit of red pepper flake, and pork jowl or pancetta. When I asked for a typical Roman dish, this is what I was served. Molto Italiano!
5. Having a spritz standing at the bar, Italian style. Or, drink whatever you like, but do it the Italian way. If you stand at the bar, you’re more likely to strike up a conversation with a local and you can practice your Italian. Note: only the tourists sit down.
6. Watch the sun rise on the Tiber River from Ponte Sant’ Angelo. This is a bridge of great historical and religious significance; it’s worth it to get up early before the crowds arrive. And gazing upon rows of Bernini’s sublime angels lining the bridge first thing in the morning may make you feel even closer to God.
I’ve got more memorable moments in my mind, but the beauty of Rome is that every time I go, I’m so very glad I am, there. No matter where I’m staying in Rome, or what I’m eating , or who I’m with , Rome makes me happy.
What are your most memorable moments in Rome?