When in Rome…

The Eternal City….

Rome is called the Eternal City because ancient Romans believed that no matter what happened to the world or how many empires came and collapsed, Rome would go on forever.  When we visited Rome 21 years ago it left an impression of heavy traffic, tiny alleyways, endless sunshine, and a superb view around every corner.

This year we revisited Rome, and again were touched by the history, magic, and beauty of the City.

Rome has a low skyline for a city, but remains characterful, buzzy and modern against a backdrop of captured Italian sunlight, peeling paint from the shutters, and lighting up the spray from the many  fountains.

Rome has become pedestrianised, less polluted, and more out-going.  We stayed in the flower market district just off the Via Giulia, which was created for pilgrims to reach St. Peter’s square without having to weave their way through back alleys. It remains today, Rome’s smartest addresses.  The close medieval streets off the Via Giulia are home to Galleries, Bars, Craftsmen, and Artisans, the area is lively and quirky, we loved it.

We visited the mysterious Pantheon, the jewel that is the Trevi Fountain, (yes we did throw coins in and wished to return), ate ice-cream, tiny pastries and the best pasta.

We were totally blown away by the stunning combination of cool white modern Richard Meier designed visitor centre encapsulating an ancient marble altar, the Ara Pacis.  Fragments of the altar had been recovered and reassembled to provide a glimpse into the past, foiled by modern architecture.


(All images T+H.  Clockwise from top left: Tempietto San Pietro, The Trevi Fountain, Ara Pacis, The Pantheon)