The name inverts neatly to form amor[e]. No wonder that a natural occurrence is to fall in love with Rome, the fabled Eternal City, the city that exerts the most fascination in the mind of the traveler, and can reward as no other city can. Do not expect her playful, exuberant fountains to cease from casting their liquid diamonds into the sky, even during the quiet hours of the night, for there is no stopping the flow of her hundreds of miles of acqueducts, which will also be serving your hotel room. Yet, as no other city has been the focal point of the world for such a long period of time, few have such a long and turbulent history as has Roma. Lavished with architectural jewelry from republican to imperial to early-christian to medieval to renaissance to baroque to modern times by history’s greatest artists, the queen of cities has also experienced sieges and raids that left their scars; but each time the Eternal City recovered from her injuries in glorious form.
Romas history is tightly connected to the history of Europe as a whole. Not just the Roman emperors but also medieval emperors and kings, such as Charlemagne and Otto I, regarded Rome as the true seat of power; only here could their authority, through benediction by the popes, be sanctified.
Non basta una vita, it is said: One does not have to be one of the countless academics residing in her many foreign institutes to declare that one life is not enough to get to know Roma. You could easily spend nine, like the stray cats that populate the city, and still find more to discover. At each corner of each street there is a multitude of stories to tell, with layer upon layer of history beneath the feet. A modern school occupies a renaissance palace built on the foundations of an imperial bath complex whose mosaics and aqueduct conduits can still be seen, and a baroque church incorporating the structure of a medieval basilica stands on the foundations of a republican temple. These are only two of the myriad stories in Roma, which together hardly even begin to reveal the history of this 3000-year-old city.
Be certain not to miss The Eternal City’s Trevi Fountain (remember Anita Ekberg in the classic scene in La Dolce Vita), the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, as well as some of the Roman heritage sights, such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Forum Romanum. Be sure to visit a few of her world-famous churches, such as Il Gesu, S. Giovanni in Laterano and Sta. Maria Maggiore; and the Vatican, which features the incredibly huge St. Peter’s Basilica and the unrivaled Vatican Museums. In addition, sunrise on the Gianicolo and sunset on the Pincio, with vistas of a sea of golden domes and bell-towers, are sure to record unforgettable images on the mind.
Not far from Roma you can find the wonderful Ancient Ostia, the ancient port of Rome, where you can enjoy a great day walking among bath complexes, squares, temples, and lots of well-preserved stores, like the Tabernae, an ancient take-away/pub restaurant.