A Love Letter To Rome, Italy

By: Valeria Ramos

It's not hard to fall in love with the city of Rome. In fact, it is pretty much impossible not to. Rome is a city with something for everyone. Rich in history, food, art, culture and more, the ancient city is one huge playground for tourists from all around the globe.

I never thought I could be so happy while walking for miles on narrow, cobblestone streets in the summer heat. Having never experienced this Italian atmosphere before, coming to Rome for the first time was like stepping into another world that was existing simultaneously in the past and present. The juxtaposition of massive, ancient Roman structures and flocks of tourists holding selfie sticks was a sight like no other.

Nearly every corner looked like a cinematic backdrop with colorful buildings, historic architecture, tempting gelato shops, souvenir stands and more. The sounds of the city consisted of vespas buzzing by, tiny cars honking as they navigated through tapered streets, music playing around the corner, and the beautiful sound that is the Italian language.

Everyday in Rome was a new adventure. Visiting basilicas built thousands of years ago with amazing details and views of the city, exploring "piazzas" or town squares, strolling through shops of fine Italian leather, and eating copious amounts of pasta were all accomplished on our week-long family trip.

My favorite spot in Rome is pretty hard to narrow down. I loved the iconic Trevi Fountain and its surrounding area of shops and restaurants. The best time to go and stare in awe at this magnificent structure, however, is early in the morning to avoid the crowds of tourists with loose change and cameras in their hands. Luckily for us, our hotel was a mere two minute walk away from the Trevi, so I got to see and hear this flowing masterpiece every single day.

The Colosseum is also another iconic landmark of Rome, and for good reason. Built in 80 AD, this enormous structure is not only the perfect backdrop for travel pictures, but it is filled with amazing history and beautiful views of Rome that are essential to complete a trip to this city. The lines are definitely worth the wait here, although I would recommend buying a fast pass to avoid impatience and an unwanted sunburn.

The best place to see the city however, is not from the Colosseum, but from the Altare della Patria. This monument to King Vittorio Emmanuele has many aliases. It is often referred to as "The Wedding Cake," or "Il Vittoriano." Whatever its true name may be, the views from the top of this monument cannot be described as anything other than breathtaking. Walking around its entirety, and then making our way to the very top, I was amazed at all the sculptures, statues, columns and stairs of the Altare. The sight of the large Italian flags billowing over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was just another view that made this place is so special.

As I mentioned before, walking around the city was part of our daily routine. So was getting lost. It didn't matter though because there was always something new to discover on every street and corner. The best thing about walking for several miles every day, however, was definitely the building of a large appetite. Bread, pizza and pasta never tasted better than they did after a good sweat wandering the streets of Rome.

After eating a large Italian dinner and taking a momentary break from the tourist life, we were quick to continue the rest of our day exploring more of the city. Whether that consisted of simply strolling around, following the sound of live music or finding a spot like the Spanish Steps, where we could just sit and people-watch, the options for ending a night in Rome felt endless.

A full week in Rome, Italy felt too short. While we completed everything on our travel to-do list, I couldn't help feeling like there was still more to do, see and explore. The truth is, I could probably spend months in Italy. Exploring more of Rome and visiting other beautiful, Italian cities is something on my bucket list I hope to accomplish soon. For now, however, I am just glad I got to spend a week in what is now one of my favorite cities.