As much as its great monuments – the Colosseum, St Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon – what I love about Rome are its details: the cobbled lanes and hidden corners, the vivid colours, the aroma of freshly ground coffee wafting out of its cafes. Rome’s streets and piazzas are an endless source of entertainment and, as a history buff, I get a real kick when I think of all the legendary events that have taken place here.
A trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the dolcevita lifestyle as gorging on art and culture. Idling around picturesque streets, whiling away hours at streetside cafes, people-watching on pretty piazzas – these are all an integral part of the Roman experience. The tempo rises as the heat of the day gives way to the evening cool and the fashionably dressed aperitivo (pre-dinner drinks) crowd descends on the city’s bars and cafes. Restaurants and trattorias hum with activity and cheerful hordes mill around popular haunts before heading off to cocktail bars and late-night clubs.
Few cities can rival Rome’s astonishing artistic heritage. Throughout history, the city has starred in the great upheavals of Western art, drawing the top artists of the day and inspiring them to push the boundaries of creative achievement. The result is a city awash with priceless treasures. Ancient statues adorn world-class museums; Byzantine mosaics and Renaissance frescoes dazzle in the city’s art-rich churches; baroque facades flank medieval piazzas. Walk around the centre and without even trying you’ll come across masterpieces by the giants of Western art – sculptures by Michelangelo, canvases by Caravaggio, Raphael frescoes and fountains by Bernini.
Tutte le strade portano a Roma — All roads lead to Rome.
This is an ancient Italian saying, and if it is true, then you’ll be visiting Rome sooner or later!