“Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” — Pico Iyer
This quote pretty much sums up how I feel about Rome. Six years ago, I went to Rome to study abroad. It was my first time to really go out of the country (not counting Canada, where I’ve been many times), and it blew my mind.
Everything about Roma is perfect to me. I love the food, the culture, the sights and the smells. I love the grittiness of the city. Rome isn’t perfectly clean–but that’s not due to neglect, it’s just because it’s ancient. I love the flowers on balconies and in windows, the cobblestone streets, the smell of baking bread and the noise of the boisterous locals. I love the early morning markets, the terrifying mopeds, the sweet gelato, the ridiculously amazing cheese, and the way the whole city is simply steeped in history.
I truly could go on forever about the reasons I love Rome. Even now that I’ve been to twelve countries and probably hundreds of cities, it’s still my favorite, hands down. My heart contracts when I think of Rome, and I get butterflies in my stomach. In six years I’ve only been back once, but I still think of it as my city, a place I can always call home. I hope I never stop loving Rome.