By Skyler Matthews
Rome, Italy. You’ve seen it in the movies, you’ve read it in the books, and you most likely have seen it in your dreams. The cobblestone streets, the narrow alleys winding through the city, and the spectacular ancient structures associated with its long and glorious history. Rome is definitely a sight to behold, and there is so much to do. Take a walk through the windy streets, maybe stop for a quick bite to eat some gourmet Italian options. All in all, you are in for quite the trip if Rome is your destination.
Rome is believed to have been founded in 753 BC, so it has quite a bit of history associated with it. It is a center for arts and culture, as some of the world’s most famous art pieces were both created there and are currently on display. One of the most famous examples would be Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” which is on display in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican, the center of Catholicism and home to the Pope. As you walk into the cathedral area, the painting is covering the ceiling above as everyone who comes to see it views it in awe. Famous works such as this only touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Rome’s history.
Right next to the Sistine Chapel is St. Peter’s Basilica. There, it is believed that the remains of St. Peter himself are held within the cathedral. Inside, numerous paintings and statues are on display, and an area to pray is directly in the center of it. If you are someone who particularly enjoys the sights cathedrals have to offer, it is highly recommended that you go see this magnificent spectacle.
The Roman Colosseum
Right in the heart of Rome is another world-famous structure. Most people have heard of the famous Colosseum of Rome. Here, gladiators would take on death-defying challenges for all to witness as entertainment. Many movies have their own depiction of the Colosseum, most of which involve horses, chariots, swords, bow and arrows, and vicious animals. One of the most fascinating things is, all of these were truly a part of the spectator’s experience! Gladiators were captured slaves, however. They did not choose to fight in the Colosseum. Currently, the structure serves as an outdoor museum, and travelers are able to tour the entire structure, and get some really great pictures inside.
Rome is especially known for their outside structures. So, after seeing the Colosseum, you can make your way over to the famed Trevi Fountain. This fountain is one of the most famous in the world, and one of the first to start the trend of throwing coins into it. The area is covered with gorgeous statues and pieces of art and is widely deemed as the most beautiful manmade fountain in the world. It is also considered one of the world’s most romantic sights, so if you are wishing for some good luck with your significant other, it is a good idea to visit this magical area. It is important to keep in mind that some places you visit in Rome will be sensitive to pictures. If it is an outside structure, you should be fine with photography. However, if the spectacle is inside, it is always best to ask the staff or any workers in the area if it is okay to take pictures of what you are seeing.
Of course, with Rome being located in Italy, you are bound to run into plenty of restaurants. Therefore, how is one to choose? Well, one of the best ways to find good food is to ask the locals. The people of Rome are very friendly and will typically be able to speak some English. This is because Rome is a very tourist-heavy city unlike some of the smaller towns residing around the larger ones. Because of this, local businesses and people living in the area are bound to know some English in order to communicate well with visitors. Because of this, asking for directions, in this case for good food, is an easy thing to do and most people will be happy to help you in your adventure. Another easy way to find good restaurants and snacking spots would be through Trip Advisor. This site is known for their traveling information system, in which they give certain tourist and local food spots ratings and awards for being outstanding among the rest. Research before your trip can be done online to find places you want to visit before you embark on your journey, or you may look it up on a whim. Restaurants are also very proud of their Trip Advisor awards, so they will hang anything they receive in the window to let guests know that they are getting the real deal. This helps when the busy tourist is walking around aimlessly, because the award is always eye-catching. Keep a look out for that big owl logo!
Another thing Italy is known for is something many people find themselves addicted to. Yes, as you may know, Italy is one of the main stomping grounds of coffee. However, unlike the United States, there is not a Starbucks on every corner, and you will be happy there isn’t. In Rome, the best way to get your coffee fix will be to go into local cafés. Don’t expect to soup up your coffee with a bunch of flavoring, because they most likely will not have them. Italy keeps their coffee simple and to the point, so the basic Americano, Latte and Breve are the most common options.
Overall, if you choose to visit Rome, you are in for a wild ride. There are so many things to see and you will never forget all that you learn along the way. It is one thing to see pictures of the beautiful area, but it is so much better to walk in a huge piece of the world’s history, touching structures that are thousands of years old, and learning about what happened in the very space you stand within Rome, Italy.