I have to confess: I saw Rome for the first time two weeks ago. I don’t know how I avoided it all these years but I did.
I always heard mixed reviews about Rome. I have a few italophile-friends who absolutely love it. I also have a few other friends who didn’t think much of it and used words like polluted, touristy, and overrated. So I was glad to finally see Rome with my own eyes. I had semi-low expectations and an open mind. The truth is that I wasn’t prepared for falling in love with Rome. But I did. It was love at first sight.
Granted, I love big cities: New York, London, Paris. I love the feeling that people actually live there. Yes, the traffic is bad and it is hectic, but to me that’s just a sign of life. Perhaps that’s part of the reason I never truly cared for Venice, Salzburg and similar “picturesque overgrown villages” that cater exclusively to tourists. Those towns would disappear if tourists suddenly stopped going there. Yes, I am sure that Rome, Paris or New York would suffer, too, if tourists stopped going there. But life would go on. People would still live there, conduct business and raise families. That is refreshing.
Walking through the beautiful streets of Rome; streets than millions of people walked in the last two thousand years, I kept thinking: How can anyone not love this city?