The glory of the Eternal City – Rome

Rome is known to many as the Eternal City. It has lasted for centuries and continues to stand tall even today. Over the holidays in December/January, I went on a mini-Euro adventure that included Barcelona, Paris and finally ended my trip in Rome. Barcelona was full of lively people, and Paris had delicate beauty around every corner, but Rome emanated an eternal strength.

One of the characteristics of Rome that left me in awe was how incredibly magnificent and large it appeared. So many of the buildings had high ceilings and each apartment had large windows overlooking the streets below.

Carbohydrates and colosseums

Kristy eats pasta outside The Colosseum, Rome. | Photo courtesy of Kristy Dockstader

Smack dab in the middle of this city stands the nearly 2000-year-old Colosseum. It was originally built as a place of entertainment for the Roman people and also as a show of power and wealth. As I circled the Colosseum, I found myself wondering if the ancient Romans ever imagined that their mighty structures would still be standing tall thousands of years later? It was mind boggling to me that as I wandered around this city, there are gigantic and ancient architectural feats around every corner. I had seen photos of these ancient sites before but in order to truly grasp just how incredibly huge these structures are, one must see it to believe it. I felt honoured to be able to enjoy a heaping pile of pasta while staring out of this beautiful structure.

On that note, before even arriving in Italy, my friend and I had decided that while we were there, we needed to spend our time enjoying the famous carbohydrates that the country is known for as much as we could. This included many plates of pasta, lasagna, and the most famous pizza in Naples, Gino e Toto Sorbillo (which we spent three hours in line for, but it was worth every magical bite!). And of course, who could forget gelato? After visiting the Pantheon, we stocked at a small gelato shop for some of the best gelato I’ve ever had.

The Culture

Growing up in Canada without much of a religious up-bringing, it was interesting to see how religion was so ingrained in Roman culture. Rome surrounds the independent city-state of Vatican City, and it is also home to over 900 churches in its city limits. Many of these churches are beautifully crafted and cared for and a wonderful sight to behold.

The people of Rome are a lively group. As we wandered the streets, we found videos being projected onto buildings, people laughing and enjoying the delicious wine. One thing that really stuck out to me in Rome was the incredible fashion sense. I won’t pretend to be a fashionista, but I couldn’t help but fall in love with the chic and classy styles around me. On my next trip to Rome I will need to bring a high budget!

A fountain of dreams

Kristy is having the best pizza in Naples. | Photo courtesy of Kristy Dockstader

An item that has been on my bucket list for years, was to toss a coin into the Trevi fountain (I can thank my preteen self and the Lizzie McGuire movie for that item). There is a legend that says by tossing a coin over your shoulder into the fountain, it will guarantee that you will come back to Rome again someday. There is another part to the legend that says by throwing 3 coins, you will not only guarantee a return to the city but also a love affair and a wedding; so of course, I tossed in all three! This proved to be a fun legend and also a great marketing tool. The fountain was littered with thousands of coins from all over the world, glistening just under the water’s surface. It is estimated that the fountain collects 1.5 million euros each year, with the money being donated to catholic charities that help the homeless and the poor.

Roma has soothed my taste buds with its delicious foods, mystified my mind with its everlasting architectural feats and livened my soul with its kind-hearted and fun-loving people. Let’s hope my coin toss worked and I make my way back to Italy again someday!