When I first came to Rome I was excited because I was here years ago when I was a freshman in highschool and I’ve counted the days until I could study abroad here since. My family and I came for only two nights and went to a handful of tourist attractions like the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain. Being here for three months I can now form my own impressions of the “real” city.
For starters, the people here, especially workers, are nicer than anyone back in the United States. At the bars the bartenders are the nicest people I have met, which is most surprising because they seemingly work the longest hours and deal with belligerent drunk Americans every day.
The most perplexing part of Rome is the street art. Some parts of the city show beautiful art pieces while right around the corner there will be a wall of incoherent scribbles in english and italian that seems less artistic than the wonderful art of pinocchio and mermaids that can be found along side streets of Viale Trastevere.
Although it has some beautiful street art, it is nothing compared to the awe inspiring monuments erected hundreds of years ago. The Trevi Fountain was still amazing and impressive seeing it for the second time. The Spanish Steps offered a great view from the top as the sun set right between the buildings in front. The Vatican and Sistine Chapel was one of the best experiences I have had here since arriving. So much history is here and it is felt everywhere you go.
My favorite aspect of the city was its location. Staying here I had easy access to other parts of Italy, like Venice, Milan and Sicily. Traveling throughout Europe in general is so cheap and easy it makes me not want to leave.
The least pleasant part of being here has been dealing with the thieves that populate what seems like the entire city. I have had multiple nights where someone would try to walk with me while putting their hands all over me. One night a man thought I was drunk and I had to tell him over ten times to stop putting his arm around me as he tried to reach into my pockets and take my electronic cigarette. Weeks later I was helping a drunk friend home and a man stops and after a long argument about if my friend needed an ambulance, which he didn’t, the man broke my necklace off of my neck. However, I immediately felt it and turned around to take my chain back. Once I had it the man ran off laughing. Negative experiences aside, Rome is my favorite city in Europe.