Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ciao Bella Roma: an Introduction

This post is actually written months ago for my friend Eileen. This is the first time in a loong time I've tried to write again. I want to make my first post on traveling about my favorite destination. WARNING: this is a long artie so I'm making it a series.

A few months ago, a good friend of mine echoed a question I was asked on the final interview when I was still applying for my current job. “What is your favorite destination and why?” (I know, I know, sounds like a like a beauty pageant question but trust me the questions after that are a lot tougher. It was just an icebreaker.) I answered my friend the same way I did my interviewers; a face filled with reverence, a great big smile playing on my lips and said in a heartbeat, ROMA. She then asked me to write about it. I told her, it would be so difficult to encapsulate Rome in words but here I am trying.
Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world, whole year round. I have a theory why, it is simply because Rome has a lot of offerings that will surely catch your fancy. This is the place where the ancient and the modern coexists amazingly well. A city filled with beauty and history. A history lover or enthusiast would certainly appreciate relearning the exploits of the Roman Empire in the Romans own turf. An art student, collector or just about anybody who likes art would be happy to know that they can come face to face with artworks created by Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Bernini and Rafael. Any architect and engineers would undoubtedly be impressed and inspired by the monumental buildings the Romans built ages ago and survived many calamities both human and natural. A gourmet, would have the gastronomic pleasure of eating pizza and pasta at the heart of the country that made it famous.

Since, I am to write about Rome and the last time I was there was over a year ago, I decided to book a flight and fall in love with the city all over. This time, I can only stay for three days so I have to make sure I cover the “must visit” places in Rome. But not to worry, Rome is actually one of the few cities that I have been in that is easy to explore. How great is it that everything that the city’s must see is within walking distance to another. Walking is actually the best way to go around Rome. First of all it is free and great for your health. However, the best part is that it means you can load up on your carbs and burn them all whilst visiting the places on your list. Clever eh? So don’t forget your shoes that are made for walking!

The night before I leave, I listed all the must visit places in Rome and divided them into two groups in relation to their proximity. I labeled them Day 1 and Day 2 accordingly. Day 1 is allotted for: Vatican City, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. Day 2: Campidoglio, Il Vittorio, Foro Romano, Palatino and Colosseo.

It was still January so the weather is a bit too cold for a tropical girl like me but being in Rome, I ignore it. I woke up early determined to put my plan in action and rediscover the city that I love. Most hotels, in Rome have free shuttle buses that would drop you off in the city center and once there, you are free to roam Rome as you please.

** Pictures taken and edited by Noel Teano **

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