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6 Favorite Moments in Rome

written by Penny Sadler

It’s been almost seven years 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 as if Rome is 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 to Rome, 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 catches you a little off guard, and even though you take cover, you still end up drenched.

Is Rome Really All That? #&64;PennySadler 2014

Good memories and good trips are made up of moments in time. A collection of great moments is like a photo album; with each turn of the page, another memory springs to mind, an experience that you will always remember.

My memories of Rome are so powerful I can actually see myself in Rome walking down the street, or at a specific piazza. I remember what time of day it was, what I was wearing, and most importantly, how I felt. Excited. Curious. Hopeful. Joyful.

Penny at Piazza San Pietro, Rome, Italy

On assignment in Rome, Italy

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!

6 Favorite Moments Rome Italy @PennySadler 2014

Exterior St. Peter’s Cathedral, Rome

2. Gazing upon the ruins of the Roman Forum from the Capitoline Hill at sunset.

Here you will see the ruins of what was once the most powerful country in the world! I never get enough of this view, and I always take friends there.

6 Favorite Moments Rome @PennySadler 2014

Sunset at the Roman Forum

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.

audrey hepburn in Roman Holiday @PennySadler

scene from the film Roman Holiday courtesy Wiki creativecommons

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. I tried this on my first visit to Rome. Molto Italiano!

5. Drinking a spritz while 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.

Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy @PennySadler 2013

Tourists enjoying a sunny day in Piazza Navona.

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. Who knows, perhaps gazing upon Bernini’s sublime angels lining the bridge first thing in the morning may make you feel even closer to God.

Postcard: Ponte Sant Angelo, Rome

Sunrise at Ponte Sant’ Angelo

Of course I have many more memories but I can’t write about all of them here. The the beauty of Rome is that it is always memorable. No matter where I stay, what I eat, or who I’m with , Rome makes me happy.

What are your most memorable moments in Rome?

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Minh Anh December 15, 2014 at 8:55 am

Rome is awesome place to be happy without any thing -)), that’s my experience

Penny Sadler December 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm

You’ve got it! That’s exactly how I feel. Thank you for your lovely comment.

Lex @ LeX Paradise November 30, 2014 at 11:46 am

I have been to Rome once and I love the climate over there! After reading this, it seems like I missed something! For sure I need to revisit again and with scooter 😀

Mary @ Green Global Travel November 30, 2014 at 9:34 am

Wow, riding around Rome on a scooter! You must be very brave.

Penny Sadler November 30, 2014 at 10:30 am

Or crazy!

Lillie November 29, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Love these! My magical Rome memory is from when I was a teenager traveling in Italy alone (my first solo travels!) and crossed the bridge into Trastevere to get a great dinner by myself. It was so beautiful and so freeing. What a city!

Penny Sadler November 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

Ah Trastevere! My favorite neighborhood. So glad you have good memories! Thanks for sharing them.

Cat of Sunshine and Siestas November 26, 2014 at 6:19 am

Lovely, Penny. I feel the same way about Paris as you do about Rome. My trip as a 15-year-old felt rushed, sweaty and lacking serious soul!

JessieV November 25, 2014 at 9:41 am

Just lovely!! I’d say YES!!

Penny Sadler November 25, 2014 at 12:28 pm


Patti November 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I have this “thing” about visiting Italy, but as much as I long to visit this amazing country, I am waiting until we can do it right – maybe 3 months touring (and eating) around the country.

Penny Sadler November 24, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Hi Patti, I understand about wanting to have time to savor the experience. All I can say is, go. As soon as possible. There’s no wrong way to do it.

Cathy Sweeney November 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Six great memories. I hope to have those same ones someday. This was supposed to be my year to visit Rome — but my love will have to wait a bit longer. I know exactly what you mean about being able to see yourself in those places so precisely. It’s a wonderful thing.

Penny Sadler November 21, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Cathy I can’t wait to hear about your experience when you do go. We can compare notes! 🙂

Katie November 21, 2014 at 7:59 am

So I have been to Rome a few times now, and agree with all of your memorable moments! My favorite moment of all was my very first time to Rome when I was 16. I was on a bike trip across Europe and Rome was our end destination. We came to our first sign for Rome (50km) and stopped for a picture. Adrenaline was pulsing through my veins, I was so excited to see the city that I had dreamed about for so long. A couple of hours later, with the sun setting, we pedaled into Rome. It was a mix between, holy crap I rode my bike here and holy crap I’m in Rome, and I will never ever forget that amazing feeling!

Penny Sadler November 21, 2014 at 8:27 am

Katie I love this story. Wow, biking into Rome! That must be one of your most treasured memories. I know that “holy crap!” feeling! 🙂

Rick November 19, 2014 at 7:56 am

As an expat living in Rome, I must say you’ve hit the highlights! Just make sure that you ride on the scooter BEFORE you drink the Spritz!

Penny Sadler November 19, 2014 at 10:09 pm

I just hold on Rick!

Dennis Kopp November 19, 2014 at 4:42 am

Sadly enough, but I have never actually been to Rome, Penny! Now that I am reading about your love affair and great experiences, it feels I too would really like to meet this old friend of yours. Hopefully next year and I will certainly make sure not to sit down… 😉

Penny Sadler November 19, 2014 at 10:09 pm

I hope you can go too! I’m sure you will love it. Let me know if you need any suggestions!


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