ROME - AN EPIC, BUBBLING-OVER METROPOLIS
No other city comes close. It may no longer be caput mundi (capital of the world), but Rome is an epic, bubbling-over metropolis harbouring lost empires. One visit and you’ll be hooked. Rome has a glorious monumentality that it wears without reverence. Its architectural heirlooms are buzzed around by car and Vespa as if they were no more than traffic islands.
People in Rome encapsulate the spirit of the city. Pass a central café and the tables outside are animated with people, downing fast shots of espresso and sporting big black sunglasses. They are neither posing nor hung over. Nuns flutter through the streets, on the trip of a lifetime or secondment from the Philippines, bustling across the road before treating themselves to an ice cream. Churches fill during Mass, and the priests, dressed in purple, cream or red silk (right down to their socks), read the rites to a hushed congregation (mostly from out of town).
Here the national preoccupation with the aesthetic fuses with incredible urban scenery to make Rome a city where you feel cool just strolling through the streets, catching the sunlight on your face outside a café, or eating a long lunch. It’s a place that almost encourages you to take things easy. Don’t feel like going to a museum? What’s the need when it’s all outside on the streets?