This post is part of the ‘Go with Oh’ series. I choose to use their writing prompts to kick off this blog because their goal is so in line with my own constant travel mission: to experience local life at a grass-roots level. As I sift through past experiences in some of Europe’s greatest cities to put together my own European bucket list, I’m uncovering much about I’ve changed as a traveller and a person over the years.
Rome is another Italian city that I have a conflicted relationship with, though in a very different way than Venice. I just haven’t cracked its rough exterior yet.
Like so many other major metropolises—London, New York, Paris—Rome is so large and diverse that there is a niche for everyone, but it can take a long time to find. I’m still working on mine.
Here are the top five things I wish I could do in Rome:
1. Take a Cooking Class
It’s embarrassing how little (and by little I mean next to nothing) I know about Roman food. I learned to cook in Florence, which people think means that I learned to cook in Italy. But when it comes to food, Italy is still a bunch of fiefdoms, each completely isolated from another and excessively proud of its own ways. So not only do I not know how to cook Roman food, I honestly can’t even tell you what it is. And I’d like to change that.
2. Walk Along the Tiber River All Day
On vacation, all day walks—particularly along bodies of water—are simply by favourite way to spend the day. In Rome, however, I’ve somehow only managed to walk along the Tiber in the middle of the night. (Not highly advisable, by the way) Aside from the checking palaces along the water’s edge and soaking up the calming effect of the water, I hope a walk in the Tiber will lead me to my elusive neighbourhood niche, where Rome just clicks for me.
3. Photograph Famous Locations from Roman Movies
I’ll admit. This one is a bit cheesy, but having been sent to photograph Rome for other reasons that I was far less interested in, I feel very entitled to trek around in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn with large sunglasses and a headscarf and ask unsuspecting tourists to pose like Roman Holiday. I’m sure the upcoming From Rome With Love will inspire some new crucial pop art photos as well.
4. Tour the Roman Ruins with a Historian or Archeologist
Growing up, I was simply obsessed with Ancient Greek and Roman culture and mythology. Seeing the great extant edifices in Southern Italy always gives me a mystical chill and makes me wonder what parts of the stories were based on real events. I’ve walked, or more accurately blundered, through the forums myself, but I would love go with someone who could unlock the mysteries of the stones for me.
5. Tango Dance at the Tropical Club
Far on the outskirts of Rome, so far that you should never dare walk there, a little bit of Cuba (or somewhere tropical and Latin) has been transported to Rome. This tango club hosts some of the biggest names in the industry, stays open obscenely late hours, and beckons to me from so very far away every time I visit the city center.
‘Go with Oh’ is offering one lucky blogger 4 weeks of free apartment rentals in 4 of their 10 European locations, but you don’t have to be a blogger to cash in on their generocity.