To the surprise of many, Rome is one of the world’s most romantic cities.
The phrase "city of romance" may conjure up images of picnics under the Eiffel Tower, but the seduction of Paris cannot be compared to the charm of Rome: Paris is the soul of a tortured artist gazing out of a cafe window at the rain falling outside. Rome is the laughter of lovers strolling hand-in-hand through narrow, dimly lit, cobblestone streets.
I, much like anyone else traveling to Rome for the first time, expected a grand, Italian feast for the eyes – an abundance of art, history and architecture – and while all of that is a large part of the city's character, I was pleasantly surprised and absolutely delighted to discover an element of old-world romance that permeates Rome's every corner, every lamppost, every intricate, flower-adorned balcony.
I am no literary scholar, but I'm sensing a connection between the words "romance" and "Rome."
Despite having only six days to explore centuries-worth of beauty, I quickly fell in love with Rome's charm and romance, zealous to capture every ounce of its allure (as is evident by the overwhelming amount of photos that are taking me an embarrassingly long time to edit). Much like the rest of our trip across Europe, our itinerary was extremely spontaneous. We visited our fair share of must-see cultural landmarks, but some of my favorite memories are from the times we would wander aimlessly – despite the unforgiving, notoriously feverish weather – turning a corner in a labyrinth of alleys to stumble upon a hidden cavern pizzeria favorited by locals.
Then, of course, there were the evening strolls through the narrow streets of ancient Rome; intimate dinners extending well beyond midnight; holding hands on the Monumento Vittorio Emanuele II while watching the setting sun turn the city to gold; lounging on a grassy hill, exhausted from the day's adventures, watching the full moon rise above the Colosseum – I could go on and on.