ROME - Italy
Rome is considered to be one of the most romantic cities in the world: a place for the young, the ageing and the aged lovers to hold hands, embrace and make a wish by the famed Fontana di Trevi - the Trevi Fountain. That said, fret not our fellow singletons: Rome is still worth paying a visit to because there's an abundance of good value trattoria's and bustling little cafés for you to enjoy your own company in. Perhaps even lock eyes with the dark-haired Italian Stallion sitting across the room. Or you could just order a cold caffe latte and enjoy the Italian sun. Whichever you fancy. Pun definitely intended.
In Italy, Rome is officially called ‘Roma’, and spelled backwards it reads, ‘Amor’ - which of course, in Italian, translates to ‘Love’. It was all too easy for us to fall in love with this dolce city at the height of summer: cobbled streets, narrow winding alleyways, rustic stone facades, the grand fountains, bustling piazza’s, gelato café’s, authentic pizzeria’s or Trattoria with tables proudly dressed in gingham tablecloths, coffee made the way Italians know best, warm golden sunshine and most importantly the Italian attitude of, ‘La Dolce Vita’ or The Sweet Life. This simple phrase quite literally sweetens the Roman air, and you can easily find yourself wanting to indulge in a generous plate of ravioli, enjoyed best with great company and views gladiators would die for.
We visited the obvious tourist hot-spots: Colloseo, Fontana di Trevi, Spanish Steps, St Peter’s Piazza, Vatican City, and the Sistine Chapel. Most of our short trip was spent happily walking around the city and stumbling across cosy roof-top café’s and family-run Trattoria's. In essence, this trip really was all about the Italian indulgence: pizza’s, pasta, coffee’s and gelato.
Day or Night, we found Rome to be a charming city to photograph. You certainly can’t go to Rome and not visit the Colloseum - do it! The magnitude of the Colloseo really took our breath away; it was particularly striking for us, as it's literally a collossal reminder of how slaves and gladiators paid the price of their freedom with their lives. But most remarkable of all, is that we learned how the Colloseo actually operates as a sort of round-about for local traffic!
One other phenomena that caught our attention was the presence of Bengali workers in Rome's city centre. As people of colour ourselves, (whose own family came to England from Indian, in search of a better life) we empathised with our fellow brothers selling parasols, postcards or refreshing coconut chunks to tourists as a way of making ends meet. We bought a few wares from each, and engaged in an in-depth conversation about how they arrived in Rome and their long-term plans here. Their upbeat and positive outlook was admirable, and though they missed home, they said whenever they spoke to South Asian tourists it was like being at home, albeit for a few brief moments.
A short but dolce trip: rich in history, seasoned with a generous amount of warm sun, and served with a side helping of great company.