A Roman Holiday

Rome is one of the world’s greatest cities*, presently and certainly historically. Once, it was the heart an entire Empire, centre of the known world.

The Colosseum, by me

I fully expected to fall in love with Rome. I’ve been enchanted by Roman history for years. My head was full of Julius Caesar and SPQR as I stepped off the plane at Ciampino airport. I had this idea of Rome, something about motorcycles and warm nights and a beautiful flowing red dress, something I’d dreamed up years ago from movies and books. I had an idea that this would be like the first time I went to Paris or London, that I would fall under the spell of a great city, catch a glimpse of it’s beauty, character and charm.

I didn’t.

Surely, there was a great deal to see in Rome. The Forum was amazing - the axis on which the Roman world spun for centuries. The Pantheon was beautiful, an iconic work of architecture that captures the flavour of the height of Roman power and the beauty of a gilded Christian Empire at the same time.

The Pantheon, by me

But there was very little character to Rome. It was not a city of love, like Paris. It was not a city of the world, like London. It was a city of the past. I didn’t fall in love. I thoroughly enjoyed the ruins, the pasta, the gelato. But I’m not in a rush to get back anytime soon.

*According to The Economist and Time Out, the world’s greatest cities are: 1. New York 2. London 3. Paris 4. Berlin 5. Chicago 6. Barcelona 7. Tokyo 8. Istanbul 9. Rome 10. Sydney.


  • By Shaun McAlister, January 27, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

    At least the gelato got a mention :-) But I have to say I couldn’t disagree more. I loved Rome. I don’t know if that is to do with the city itself or the fact that I haven’t travel
    ed much and therefore it hit me more but Rome effected me in ways I don’t know how to word it was wonderfully odd feeling. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you thought :-(

  • By Chandra, January 27, 2010 @ 7:34 pm

    That’s too bad… all I have to say is BRING ON ATHENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • By Lea, January 28, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    I have to take exception to that list, seeing as how Jerusalem isn’t on it.

  • By Court, January 28, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

    Berlin? Really? Well, I guess I haven’t been there either. You’d think Prague would make the list before Berlin though.

  • By Sebastian, January 30, 2010 @ 2:54 am

    Agree — it wasn’t an amazing city, not by ‘modern’ standards.

    It was neat tho’. And there was lots to see.

    Florence is awesomer!

  • By steph, February 3, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

    this is in response to court… berlin is amazing probably one of my favourite cities ive ever been to… you must go… you too heather

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