We were in Rome last July. For 5 days. We left Bonnie with her grandma so that Mr. H and my awesome self went together. Just the two of us. It wasn't a honeymoon but we anticipated long walking tours, we thought that it wouldn't be such a good idea if Bonnie came with us.
I planned the trip from June. I was just looking at the skyscanner app, saw the cheap tickets and just told myself, "what the heck, let's go to Rome for the summer". So that's how the plan began.
I wanted to stay there for 6 nights at least, but due to some issues about where Bonnie would be , we could only go for 4 nights.
I booked a hotel called the Donatello. About 15-20 mins from the Roma termini. It's not Hilton but it is just walking distance to many of the city's main attractions.
The week we were there there was some problem with the rubbish collecting. So the streets were full of rubbish that was overflowing from the dumpsters. It was shocking. I thought it was always that way but since we saw it on the news, it was not the norm.
What I love about Rome:
1. The ancient ruins - especially the forum and colloseum. Our last day we went to the Appia antica - we rented bicycles for two hours to go on a self guiding tour on one of the ancient roads built by the romans. (Pics will follow suit)
2. I felt right at home it was strange. Maybe in one of my past lives I had lived there?? :) I navigated my way rather well and comfortably. Or maybe thanks to google maps and the street view app... Ahahaha.. I familiarized myself to the area even before we got there. :)
3. The variety of food is way more than in Hungary, or Budapest to be precise. The market sells more fresh vegetables that I used to buy back in Malaysia. Fresh seafood. Asian ingredients are easier to find and more variety.
4. I fell in love with the melodious Italian language and how the people don't seem to see me strange. Due to the fact that there are so many people from asia there - I get stared at quite a bit here than I was there. People seem to be more accepting of the diversity. Something that you don't really see here.
5. Free flowing water everywhere. You could find flowing drinkable water everywhere. Most probably because the weather was so hot. After a long walk... It was nice to just wash hot tired feet with the cold water. It felt so good I can still remember the feeling well.
6. I felt the "life" of the city. Of course there are many old cities. But Rome is ancient. If the ancient walls could talk... What stories they could tell about the ordinary common people that lived there thousands of years ago.
7. The good looking Italian soldiers.. Ahahaha... I just had to throw that thought in for good measure. :)
Now for what I don't like about Rome:
1. I don't want to sound racist but I just have to say what I think. After all, I am a foreigner myself in another country. First thought when we got there and saw the people in the middle of the city was, " where are the Romans???!! ". The stores near the roma termini were all full of asian people from some parts of India or Bangladesh. Near and around the colloseums and outside the forum area, filled with those people selling iced water, selfie sticks and othe merchandises. Perhaps, Rome had always been a melting pot and will always be. There are always pros and cons I suppose (refer to point 3 & 4 above).
2. The entire city center looked like district 8 here in Budapest. And if you mention district 8 here, people would usually cringe. Ahahaha
3. The city ain't cheap... :)
Well that's it. So the conclusion is that I have more things to love about that ancient city than to dislike. Even now I feel like going back there again. It would be nice to just visit the place that I like anywhere in the world anytime I feel like.
But, when we were there, I kind of missed good ol' Budapest. And it felt good to be back too.
Though I would like to go back there again next year during summer, I think I'd like to check out Naples next to visit Pompeii and Herculeum. :)