All roads lead to Rome – or so its been said for 2000 years. I took my first of many trips to Italy when I was just 7 years old. I was too young to comprehend that I was surrounded by structures that were thousands of years old. But I wasn’t too young to not be enchanted by what I saw.
My parents had taken my sister and me to London and Paris with Adventures by Disney the year prior. It was such a success we went to Italy with Adventures by Disney the very next summer.
Back then, there were no direct flights to Rome from Dallas, so we had a layover in Amsterdam. The layover was too quick so our luggage didn’t arrive with us. I was very nervous, thinking that we had lost our luggage forever! We stayed at the beautiful Bernini Bristol hotel which was close to many shops. We were jetlagged and stressed about our luggage, but found joy in a nearby Trattoria. We were seated outside by the gorgeous climbing bougainvillea flowers. The pizza and pasta was better than anything I had ever tasted.
Rome is famous for so many things: the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Forum, Capitoline Hill, the Appian Way, Circus Maximus, the Trevi Fountain! But there are endless sights to see in this city which the apostles Peter and Paul visited. The aqueducts, the Tivoli gardens, Hadrian’s tomb, Nero’s golden palace, the catacombs, the Pantheon, and the seemingly endless fountains, squares, and statues.
It is hot and crowded in summer. Fall is a great time to go but that can be difficult to travel when school is in session. But going in summer is still fun. You can cool off on the shady banks of the Tiber and indulge in the delicious Italian gelato. Rome is walkable, but taxis can be hailed at every famous sight. There is also the handy hop-on, hop-off buses that you can ride for a whole loop of the city and listen to the guided commentary. Or use it as a transport to take you to all the famous monuments. The good thing about the Bernini Bristol hotel is the bus stops there so it’s perfect to catch a rise back to your hotel after a long day.
Rome is a must see city for every travel enthusiast. It is where gladiators battled, Caesar was assassinated, the arch was invented revolutionizing architecture and modern politics was invented. When you visit Rome, you visit the places that have shaped Western society today. I’ve returned to Rome and I am still awe as I think about how I am walking in the footsteps of someone that lived thousands of years ago. I learn something new and see something different each time I go. It’s hard to look at the bustling city and think how it was nearly empty after the fall of the Roman empire. No worries if you don’t speak Italian. Most people speak good English. Learn the basics like Grazie (Thank you), Prego (You’re welcome), and Ciao (Bye). Get your Euros from the bank at home and plan to stay a full week. You could spend the whole day just at the Vatican. It would take a lifetime to see all of the Eternal City, Rome.
So go out and explore! Open the Map and see where your adventures will take you!