Translation: Get your butt to Rome, you won’t be sorry. Mi dispace (I’m sorry), the real translation is one lifetime is not enough to experience all Rome has to offer. Just like New Yorkers, Romans identify first as citizens of their city, secondly their country.
Viva Italia! It’s one of my favorite places on the planet. The juxaposition of Ancient Rome and modern life makes it so special. The first time I went to Rome with a friend we were wandering around saying ‘look at all that fabulous lea-tha’ and suddenly there was the Trevi Fountain. It’s a magnificent place to behold at any time day or night- even when you have to wear a ski boot & almost topple into it….
When you drive through the official gates you are immediately thrust into Rome with a view of The Colosseum. What a spectacular view Rome gives to you– hey, it’s not a subtle place and why should it be?
A few tips:
1) Travel Irons are your friend: the law has changed & hotels are no longer give guests access to irons. Sizzled skin…ick! If you do opt to give your clothes to the hotel to iron you’ll be waiting quite a while. This is Rome and it wasn’t built in a day.
2) Learn a few Italian words: per favore (per Fa-voor-ray= please); Vorrei un bicchiere di vino rosso (I need a glass of red wine); Grazie mille (Thanks a million)– these simple things will get you far.
3) Avoid long queues by buying a walking tour. It adds to the enjoyment and understanding past ‘Gladiator’ (watch this before going to get you in the mood) what the secrets of that great venue. You might want to side-step those faux gladiators outside in fishnet tights….!
4) Hit up Campo Di Fiori at night for drinks & night life in the square but remember to watch for pickpockets. I’ll never forget the look on my sister’s face when she realized someone had switched a $50 Euro bill for a $10– “but I’m a New Yorker” was written all over her face. Hey, at least they left her with ten so she could get a cab.
5) The battle for best gelato is a matter of pride! I suggest trying as many places as possible — the gelato con nutella….delicious.
6) There are often strikes around Italy. Hey, I told you they don’t move con veloce in Italia. This means delays in travel by train and air. Be sure when you do catch a train to punch the ticket in a machine prior to boarding or you will be fined sometimes as much as the original ticket price.
7) Check museum hours!!! A lot of museums are closed on Mondays in Italy and remember this is a Catholic country so Sunday there are limited hours. If you get a chance go over to The Vatican on Sunday because sometimes ‘Poppy’ aka the Pope, if he is there, will stick his head out the window and wave. It doesn’t matter if you are Catholic, Vatican City is not to be missed. Climb all the way up to the top of Saint Paul’s Chapel. The stairs are small but the vistas show off Rome like no other spot.
8) Don’t forget about going to the catacombs. I know it’s a little creepy but again, you are stepping back in time and you are visiting another country to get out of your regular world. Explore!
Sidenote: As always a friend of mine has an upcoming trip to Rome and asked me to whip up a few tips. Next up Firenze (aka Florence.)