Here are some of my favorite unexpected things to love about Rome!
I have now lived in Rome for about a month.
The last 36 days have been a blur with countless new faces and new job responsibilities consuming all my time and flooding my headspace.
As I become acquainted with more and more people, I am also becoming acquainted with the city.
Working as a Tour Promoter in Rome
For those who don’t know, I’m working as a tour promoter for Smart Trip, a student travel company. The company has locations in Florence and Rome.
Part of my job is wandering the streets of Rome, searching for study abroad students, and teaching them about Smart Trip’s travel opportunities.
It’s a pretty fun job to be honest!
So I am constantly exploring the city while working.
I am slowly becoming familiar with the layout of Rome while discovering random quirks that intrigue me.
I definitely appreciate the history of the Colosseum, the beauty of the Borghese Gallery, the significance of Vatican City.
But it’s these unexpected expressions of beauty and culture that make Rome feel like a home to me.
Here are 7 unexpected things to love about Rome.
7 Unexpected Things To Love About Rome
1. Clocks reside all over the city.
You can find clocks resting atop street posts or embedded into giant buildings. They rarely show the correct time.
It’s almost as if the Romans acknowledge that time exists, but don’t feel it’s necessary to live life by the confines of a schedule. So it’s rare to find clocks that actually work!
2. You can buy half-priced produce!
Across from my apartment, there is a small organic food store that sells produce on the brink of rotting for half price.
I find immense joy in saving the bruised but edible fruits and vegetables from going to waste.
3. It’s surprisingly easy to find empty streets.
In a city with over two million people, it’s surprising how often I find deserted alleyways.
I am constantly dodging traffic and fighting through crowds of tourists in public squares. Whenever I take the tram I have to squeeze into an overpacked car.
But whenever I stumble across a quiet, cozy street, it feels amazing.
I love venturing down random alleys to admire the tall, rustic homes in complete solitude.
4. Roman pizza is unique and delicious.
Another perk of Rome is the pizza.
Though you can find circular pizzas in restaurants, traditional Roman-style pizza is rectangular and sold in small take-away shops.
The pizza is sold by weight. So you can get a huge piece as a meal or a tiny sliver as a snack. I like to get lots of small slices to try different flavors.
5. Walking along the Tiber River path is a lovely pastime in Rome.
The Tiber River snakes through the city and has sidewalks at street level, and down below at water level.
While walking at street level, trees line the walkway. Their branches drape over the sidewalk like a canopy.
So it feels like you’re walking through a peaceful tunnel despite the car traffic right next to you.
Follow the staircases down to the water level sidewalk of the Tiber River.
You can walk, run or bike right along the water.
In addition to colorful graffiti, the stone walls next to the river are plastered in incredible epic murals.
There’s hardly ever any people down here!
6. Historical remants are all over Rome.
Rome is famous for its vast history. Remnants of the past are still tangible all over the city today.
It’s common to see engravings of S.P.Q.R., which stands for Senātus Populusque Rōmānus.
This phrase refers to the government of Ancient Rome, yet it is still displayed all over today’s city.
I’ve found this engraving on big plaques, bridges and buildings. But I’ve also found it on mundane parts of Rome, like manhole covers on the ground.
7. Rome remains rustic and traditional.
One of the unexpected things to love about Rome is its antiquity.
I knew Rome was an old city. But it wasn’t until I moved here that I realized how much history is really preserved.
Obviously there are ancient ruins everywhere. But even the residential buildings maintain traditional styles.
I never see any glassy, angular modern architecture even in the newest buildings.
So those are my favorite unexpected things to love about Rome.
I’ve loved living here for a month, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for me in the Eternal City!
Traveling to Italy?
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To read about more of my experiences in Rome, check out these articles:
Best Vegetarian Street Food In Rome
11 Non-Touristy Things To Do In Rome
Read these other articles for travel tips around Italy:
Best Views of the Amalfi Coast
6 Reasons To Visit Cinque Terre
Top 13 Things To Do In Florence
A Day In The Tuscan Countryside
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