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RomaModern Rome is a hectic and incredibly complex city, bustling with life, as far away from the cute and quaint places like Tuscany as possible. It's a city that offers some of the best ruins, architecture and history in all of the places I have been. It's also a city that you have to embrace "as it is". Many people feel intimidated by its chaotic feel, but the chaos is part of its charm. This city is as alive in the beginning of the 21 century as it was in ancient times. Rome is a huge city, but the historical part is rather small. Almost all the major sites are located west of the central train station, Stazione Termini. Still there is so much to do, that you can hardly do it in one trip - even with all the planning in the world. We spent five days in Rome and we barely scratched the surface. The sights in Rome feel endless. Every other corner or piazza has statues, churches, museums, ruins.
There are certain sights that are not to be missed while in Rome. The remains of the ancient civilization and the stronghold of Christianity is largely what makes this place special. Most likely you've already heard and seen in the media the sights that everyone visits on their trip to Rome: St. Peter and the Vatican Museum with the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Colisseum, the Spanish Steps, the Roman Forum and the list can go on. But there are other less known sights which are worth exploring. The restaurants, shops, pubs, and hotels are also plentiful. Rome has it all, from the family owned businesses to the upscale fashion stores.
Rome is one of the most visited places on earth so expect to see crowds no matter the time of year. We visited in May and it was so crowded I can't possibly imagine how August is like. At one point during our visit, inside the Vatican Museum we came upon a room in which three big groups were jostling for space. The guides - a French, an Italian and a Japanese - were trying to cover each other voices. Two of the guides gave the signal to move to the next room in the same time and a small stampede followed. Inside the Sixtine Chapel people were crowded shoulder to shoulder and it was almost impossible to cross the room.
Final thought: Rome is a surreal place that everyone should experience. I think my memories of Rome are more pleasant than the experience itself was, but I wouldn't trade either the memories or the experience for anything. Rome is an amazing city which had found a way into to my heart. I can't wait to go back myself.
Things to see in Rome
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