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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.