I have arrived in the epicentre of ancient civilisation, working my way from one insanely old monument to another. Of course, I am talking about Rome, the city that, apparently, all roads lead to, and a city that I never want to leave.
Rome is, for the most part, a well-preserved museum of worlds gone by, but never forgotten. It’s so refreshing to visit a place that hasn’t been overrun by sky-scrapers, high-rise apartment buildings, and modern eyesores designed by egotistical architects wanting to put their stamp on a city. It is old, ancient even, and utterly fabulous.
Clearly, this is my first visit to Rome. Although I hazard a guess that this place never loses its sparkle, no matter how often you frequent it. I had heard stories about turning down simple, nondescript streets and being greeted by an army of ruins, tumbling down but still sharing their story of a once unbreakable time. This is true, Happies. Everywhere you look, turn, stumble across will have you seeing yet another marble column, archway, fountain, underground treasure trove.
It’s no wonder then, that this city is overrun with tourists. I have never seen so many tourists, wandering the streets with their maps and Rick Stein guidebooks and backpacks. And like all cities rammed with tourists, there are the obvious must-sees (Colosseum, Vatican City, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps) and the hidden treasures that you stumble across simply by accident, or thanks to a kind local wanting to help you out.
One of these treasures is the 115 bus. Stopping at Trastevere (a suburb I highly recommend staying in) the 115 bus takes you up into the area of Garibaldi. A suburb that sits high atop a hill, with the most amazing views of Rome. Named after Guiseppe Garibaldi, an Italian military and political hero who rocked a mad moustache and has statues of himself all over the world, including one in Washington Square Park in New York, this area is definitely worth a visit. From here, you can simply walk down the hill to the Vatican, or onto any of the zillion other monuments you so wish.
Food, however, I am finding a little harder to conquer. The sights, no problemo, but the food in Italy, as far as I have found, appears to be a let down. Of epic proportions. Shocking, I know!
For any of you Happies who have followed this blog for a while, you will know that healthy food is something I live for. Sprouted bread, roast chicken, mind-blowing lettuce cup treats of all forms are a daily occurrence in my life, and now, they’re all but a distant memory.
The Italians know everything there is to know about food. Don’t get me wrong. I could never suggest that they haven’t played an instrumental part in forming some of the best and most popular dishes of today, but find me a vegetable in this country that isn’t smothered in cheese, or floating across a wheat-heavy base, and I will be your friend for life.
That said, the prosecco is pretty damn good – so I can’t complain too much. Can I?
Tell me Happies…
Have you been to Rome?
Do you love it?
Did you find the food all pizza and pasta and most definitely not healthy?
Or, am I missing something?