#1. Because when its spelt backwards its amor, which is love in Italian
Just kidding, that is not one of the many reasons I love the captial city of Italy and I really do love Rome despite what I may say when public transportation is involved. There are a lot of fantastic things to be found in Rome and a lot of them are obvious ones, the Colosseum, the Vatican but there is more to Rome than that. So here is my list for the top five reasons I love Rome.
The Real #1.
It’s old and I mean really old and you can see it everywhere. Maybe this is just an archeological nerd talking but I love Rome for not only its history but for the thousands of layer of history. You can see old ruins all over the city in the great monuments but what I love is that you can see it where you least expect it. I was dining in a restaurant once and their wine cellar is a Jewish synagogue dating back to 80BC, thats pretty amazing when you realize that this is 100 years BEFORE the Colosseum. Pretty freaking cool. Also its layers of history are never ending and if you really want to see layers check out the church of St. Clemente. Turns out its not just a church, but underneath the church there is an older church, and then a pagan shrine from the 2nd century under that and then a public building from the 1st century under that. So layers and history make up reason #1.
Monte Testaccio. This is an ancient man made mountain of pottery which today is surrounded by clubs and bars. Only in Rome will you see this happen and I love it. By day you can go play on monte testaccio and climb up all of this old amphora from all over the ancient world: Spain, Africa, Greece and Egypt, and then later you can go back to the same area to go to bars and clubs and go to the Macro, one of Rome’s brand new Modern art museums. Now I realize that this is once again history but I think a mountain of pottery deserves its own spot.
Trastevere. Where would romans be without this neighborhood? Located on just the other side of the Tiber, Trastevere is “where real Romans go” or at least thats what all the guidebooks say. And to be fair a lot of Romans go here but then again so do study abroads and tourists, but there is a reason. Its a great neighborhood. Some of my favorite restaurants are located here and also my favorite place to get shots that are served in chocolate cups. Its a great area that really has what you want in Rome, great food, great nightlife and medieval streets with quaint cobblestone streets that will give you a twisted ankle if you aren’t careful.
Galleria Borghese. This awesome gallery is probably my favorite museum in all of Rome and yes its higher on the list than the Vatican. Why you may ask? Because its not crowded, really ever, because you must reserve tickets and a time slot. But really I think I would go there even if it was crowded. It has six Caravaggio paintings, one is even an apology by Caravaggio to the Pope (who happens to be a Borghese). It has the most beautiful Bernini pieces to be found in Rome and some amazing paintings with great stories behind them (like a Raphael that was taken in the middle of the night by the Pope’s nephew who set up the gallery). So much awesome in the art world is packed into just that one museum.
The Pantheon. Anyone who knows me or who has met me or has talked to me about Rome knows that this is my favorite spot in the whole of Rome, probably my favorite monument from all of ancient history except maybe the Parthenon….. But it is truly a must see. I could probably do five reasons why I love the Pantheon alone but I will restrain myself. The main reason you should go see it is because it was built in the 120’sAD and it is to this day the largest free standing concrete dome in the world and NO ONE knows how Hadrian built, even Michelangelo couldn’t figure it out. So it is obviously awesome.
So there are five reasons why I love Rome, I could probably go on and write a novel about it but I won’t so my advice to you is to go and check it out yourselves. If you want more information about any of this let me know!