21 Reasons to Love Rome: A Roman Alphabet

There is no shortage of stuff to do in Rome, ever. You can hang out in your apartment and stare out of the window. You can wander for hours through the streets, stopping here and there for a coffee, a drink or a little something to eat. You can hit the museums. You can go to one of Rome's huge parks. Go for a run along the Tiber! Take a walk at midnight! Take the kids for ice cream at one am! It is a safe city for a woman to travel alone,  obviously respecting your personal safety rules.

Here's a lesson on the Roman alphabet:

Amore: Rome is the city of love. It's chaotic, alive, dark, light, and triumphant.

Bellezza: Rome is the most beautiful city in the world. I love to live in a beautiful place, where I can look out of my window and get an eye massage.

Carciofi alla giudia: One of the classic Roman dishes is this one, and it is scrumptious! Basically, deep-fried artichokes. They come to your table hot and salted, and you pick off the leaves like chips and eat down to the fatty center. Delicious with a cold white wine!

Do Not Drive: Don't drive in Rome! If you are staying in Italy for a while, and landing in Rome, get a taxi into the city and spend your time in Rome without a car. Taxi, streetcar, subway  (the "Metropolitana") and walking are the best ways by far to get around this amazing city. Then head back to the airport, pick up your car, and get on the road!

Eterna: Rome is described as "the eternal city". It is ancient, it is modern. It has survived over the centuries. It has an air about it that is ... well .... eternal. If you love Rome once, you will love her forever.

Foro Romano: My husband spent his teenage years in Rome and he knows every pathway in the centro storico. We were there last summer. First (10:30pm) we ate at a sidewalk restaurant in the Ghetto.

Then he took me for a walk through the streets until we arrived at a spot above the Roman Forum, looking down on the historic ruins. We were not the only people there. There were other couples, and a young woman was there sitting on the wall writing in her journal.

Ghetto: This is the ancient Jewish ghetto of Rome that was created in the 1500's. Walk from the Foro Romano or Campidoglio and head towards the Tiber, and you will find the Teatro Marcello, an ancient Roman theatre where concerts are still held during the summer. Then past the Portico d'Ottavia you will find yourself on a wide pedestrian street filled with restaurants, gift shops and bakeries. Try the Ba'Ghetto restaurant for a late dinner!

Hotels: I've stayed in cheap guest houses, Airbnb's and fancy hotels. I suggest avoiding the Trastevere, because it can stay loud most of the night. My favorite area to stay in is just off the Trastevere, close to Piazza San Cosimato. It's more residential but still fun, and a ten minute walk from the party action if you're so inclined.

Isola Tiberina: My favorite place in Rome! Come to the island in the evening or late afternoon to wander around, have a drink, meet friends, get a gelato with the kids or just walk and people-watch.

Largo di Torre Argentina: Just off the Corso di Vittorio Emmanuelle, a large road lined with shops, is a city block full of Roman ruins. You can walk around and peer through the fence at the four temples that still stand in the middle of Rome. It is also home to a herd of street cats, who lie in the sun and stare out at the tourists from inside the fence!

Menafreghismo: A quality the Romans have that means ... loosely translated ... "couldn't care less". It's not admirable, I guess, but it means that you don't have to feel like you have to live up to expectations...

Navona: Piazza Navona is full of statues, ancient monuments, fountains, cafes and tourists. Go do the tourist! If you start there, you can go in any direction, walk for twenty minutes and you will find another historic spot. But first, sit and have a gelato or a coffee and watch the fountains.

Oligominerale: This may sounds weird, but it is on the label of some mineral waters. Roman tap water is fine to drink but it tastes a little gross. If you are buying water, get the oligominerale. It is good for the digestion.

Pasta: When in Rome, eat carbs. Pasta, pizza, pastries, they are all there for you to enjoy! If you overindulge, head out for a run along the Tiber!

Quirinale: Was a palace built by the Pope in the 16th century. Now it houses a museum where top-notch art exhibitions are shown. Everything from Picasso, back to the Rennaissance and beyond. Tickets are reasonable - 12 Euro for adults and kids are free.

Romani: The Romans are loud, rude, dignified, fun-loving, sexy, well-dressed, warm, homophobic, intense. They love to eat, drink, and socialize. They are thieves, honest, frank, conniving, rich and poor. In short, Romans have many of the best and worst human characteristics.

Sensuality: Rome invades the senses. Your eyes are full of beauty, of the old mixed with the new, of pathos, of colors and textures. Noisy Romans yell, car horns blare, dogs bark, a cannon erupts at noon, tourists laugh, babies cry. You can smell perfume, garbage, urine, fruit, coffee, pasta, wine, garlic. Feel the sun on your face, a light rain, the softness of a new silk scarf. And taste the magic.

Tevere: This beautiful slow-flowing river meanders through Rome. The bridges over it are many and some are very old. On its banks, merchants and restaurants sell food, drinks and clothing all evening until late into the night. In the morning though it is empty and a wonderful place for a run!

Università la Sapienza: Rome's university is world-renowned!

Verità: Truth! The Bocca della Verità is famous as a tourist trap - there is an ancient myth that you cannot tell a lie if you put your hand in the lion's mouth and speak - or the mouth will close.

Zecche Romane: Zecche are ticks! But you won't get Lyme disease from these - it is also the name of the ancient Roman coins.

There's so much more to love: the language, the dogs, the children, the wine, the food, .....


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