A Week in Rome

New York City is often described as a city with ‘energy’. Having lived here for 3 years now, I understand why people are drawn to the vibrancy and creative, ambitious spirit of NYC, but that energy also lacks balance. It’s either draining or overwhelming; it drags us sprinting along with it, or forces us to hide from it. The trains take you everywhere you want to go – provided they’re working. You’ll get the best food in the world, but there may be 200 people ahead of you in line. You’ll look up in awe at the tall, historic buildings – but to pause is to risk getting walked into, spit on, or having smoke blown into your glittering eyes. It’s exciting, but also erratic and exhausting.

Rome is the first city I’ve been to where I’ve thought: ‘this city has an energy to it’ and felt that there was also a beautiful balance. History and modernity are seen side-by-side, tourists and locals co-exist, live music is on every street corner, but you can still easily stumble across calm green spaces.

With one week in Rome, I found myself in a city that truly lived up to my ridiculously high expectations of what a city should be, and I loved every minute of it. Below is the week in photos!

SUNDAY – The Colosseum, eating at a Trattoria recommended to us by a priest from Kansas we met on the street, and ending the day with a free concert alongsid the iconic Roman Forum.

The Colosseum exterior against a blue skyTraditional Italian pasta dishes at a Trattoria in RomeOutdoor seating at Ristorante Abruzzi seen from the streetView of Roman cityscape at sunset by the Roman Forum

MONDAY: Spanish Steps, Piazza Colonnade, Trevi Fountain, and San Luigi die Francesi. Lunch at Armando al Pantheon, Tartuffo and gelato at Tre Scalini, and a visit to Castel San Angelo across the river. A long walk to St Peters, and ending the night with drinks at Baccano and a nighttime view of Trevi Fountain.

Trevi Fountain in RomeThe Pantheon viewed from a street in Romeimg_0102img_0103

A fountain in the historic Piazza Navona in Rome

Tre Scalini restaurant in RomePiazza Navona on a bright day in RomeView of the river Tiber from Castel Sant'AngeloReligious artwork inside a church in Rome

The River Tiber on an overcast day in Rome

Enjoying an aperitivo at Baccano bar before dinner

Tuesday: Circo Massimo and the Bocca Della Verita. Crossing into Trastevere and seeking out the local favourite Trattoria de Enzo for lunch. Stopping  by the Biscottificio Innocenti for cookies, and then visiting the historic Jewish quarter and museum in the Synagogue. Capitoline museums to end the day, followed by Cajo & Gajo for an aperitivo.

The historic stone carving the Bocca Della Verita Pasta Carbonera at Trattoria Da Enzo in the Trastevere neighborhood in RomeLooking through the window at traditional Italian cookies at the Biscotteria Innocenti in Trastevere Rome

Synagogue Tempio Maggiore di Roma in the Jewish district in Rome

Looking up at the colorful ceiling in the synagogueView from the Capitoline Museum in RomeStatue of Romulus and Remus at the Capitoline Museum in RomeAnother aperitivo of martini wine and pizza

Wednesday: An unconventional route to Appia Antica, thanks to the help of a friendly stranger. Renting bikes and hobbling our way along the ancient cobbled road. Bistot della Quinale for a proper aperitivo buffet back in the city, then a free classical concert in a church near the Trevi Fountain, and San Crispino gelato to finish the day.

Fresh salads at an outdoor table in the countryside outside of RomeBiking along the Appia Antica with greenery and ruins surroundingTall Italian trees line a country path in a field off the Appia AnticaHistoric building in the countryside along the Appia Antica

Thursday: Early train ride to Pompeii and a long day touring the expansive ruins. Returning exhausted to our Airbnb home to a simple meal of chicken and potatoes.

Standing on stairs in an amphitheater in PompeiiBeautiful faded murals in an ancient home in PompeiiGrass grows among stone walls and tiled floors in a ruin of aThe intricate rounded ceiling of a bathhouse in PompeiiStretch of Roman columnsArtifacts found in the excavation of PompeiiUp close detail of a stone carved corniceInterior

Friday: Touring the many churches surrounding the Piazza della Popolo. Walked back past the Spanish Steps, pizza lunch at Montecarlo, and amazing gelato at Frigidarium. A post-dinner tour of the Vatican Museums and – of course – the Sistine Chapel.

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