Each city you visit is different and, having spoken about travelling with various friends and acquaintances, I realised that the beauty of any place is completely subjective to its visitors' opinion. To me, however, despite a bit of a bad reputation, Rome will always be the most beautiful city in the world.
Admittedly, Rome does have its issues: it's definitely not the cleanest of them all, not to mention taking the subway from place to place can be a hassle, especially over summer when the forty-something degrees get to about fifty in the compressed spaces of public transport, and you need to be careful about your pockets if you want to get home with all your things ... but if you let those things stop you, you will miss out on one of the most magical cities you'll ever visit.
You'll soon forget about all those problems anyway once you walk down Piazza Navona in January, where live music and stands selling sweets fill the square and leave you enraptured in front of Bernini's fountains.
Or on a sunny spring morning, when you visit Campo de' Fiori and you can spend hours looking at the market, while some old Italian lady yells out the deal of the day, and the air smells of fresh bread and pizza thanks to the delights of Il Fornaio, the old bakery facing the statue of Giordano Bruno.
Any tourist will want to visit the Colosseum, the Imperial and Roman Fora, but Rome is so much more than that. While tourist-y sites are a must, some of the most breath-taking places are the ones you just walk into.
Take il Fontanone, near the church of San Pietro in Montorio: the fountain in itself is beautiful and the set of many Italian movies, not to mention the latest James Bond, but what's really special about it is the view right in front of it. My dad showed it to me when I was a kid, and from that moment forward every time we are anywhere near it we stop there for just a few minutes to admire the magnificence of the Eternal City. The fountain faces a balcony showing Rome in all its splendour, from l'Altare della Patria, to the previously mentioned Forum, and the hundreds of domes filling the city. Stop there, with the city at your feet, and you feel like the world is yours.
Anyone brave enough to visit Rome over the summer will be recompensed by the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see and the best time of the year to eat some amazing gelato (Fatamorgana is the place to go). From June to August you will want to spend your evenings walking down Tevere's banks for Tevere Expo, a giant market with live music, movie screenings and delicious food.
Finally, you don't want to miss Rome at night, walking around the city centre until 4am, when the seagulls wander around undisturbed and the air smells of magic.
A few tips
There are some things to know to enjoy your stay in Rome: avoid buying water or food anywhere near the tourist-y sites as it will cost you a fortune, and keep your belongings safe in a well zipped up purse. As mentioned before, summer can get incredibly warm, and can last until end of September, so it's definitely a no if you suffer in the heat, but any other time of the year the weather is just fine.
Before going, always remember to check here for more information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on how to stay safe, ensuring you have a good time in the Capital of the World.Suggest a correction