All Roads Lead to Rome

The famous saying “All the roads lead to Rome” can be traced back a thousand years ago when all roads literally led to Rome from every city in the Roman Empire. The saying is also used as a proverb that means “different paths can take one to the same goal!”  Today, there are millions of people all over the world that have one goal…go to ROME.

The Eternal City that used to be called “The Caput Mundi,” the capital of the world, has an amazing historical past that is still vivid in every corner of its streets. Roman’s storied past brings positive and negative aspects to it.

For example, the old Roman apartments in the heart of the city have a very interesting characteristic that helps its occupants save money on their air conditioning and heating bills. The apartment’s walls are very thick and they insulate the buildings from the cold in the Winter and from the heat during the Summer. It is a great engineering achievement that is still beneficial today.

The streets are very remarkable since they are made of cobblestones, however they make a woman’s life very challenging when it comes to walking. Being very fashion conscience, the majority of Roman women wear high-heeled shoes that sometimes get stuck between the cobblestones. In one particular instance, I saw a lady who was so desperate to walk without her shoes getting caught in the stones that she broke off her heels and turned the shoes into flat-walking ones….

Another reality of modern-day Rome is the construction of its subway system, the Metro. It is very slow and methodical since new ruins are found almost every day halting constructions so the sites can be researched and excavated. Each new item is reported in the daily newspaper, “The Metro,” which is available for free in all the subway stations. To give you an idea of how long it takes to excavate each archeological site, only two Metro lines have been built so far.

Photo by Corrado Maria Falsini, courtesy of the Opera Theatre of Rome

Also, Rome’s ancient ruins are not only tourist attractions but they are utilized for many events throughout the city. The famous, ancient Baths of Caracalla, which were the second largest Roman public baths, have hosted the Summer Opera Theatre concerts since 1937. World-renowned opera singers as Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti all have performed in this magical place.

Another important area that should not be forgotten is the Monte Testaccio, an artificial mound in Rome, composed almost entirely of testae-fragments of broken oil ceramic vases known as amphoraes that date back to the Roman Empire. What’s amazing is that you can go to a restaurant or bar that has walls entirely constructed by testae – coccie in Italian. One of these bars is named Ketumbar and you can find it in the heart of Monte Testaccio.

As I was fortunate enough to live in this metropolitan city for many years, I was always amazed on how Romans could deal with its historical past.  One of the greatest things about Rome is that you can experience different periods of time by simply walking around the center. Postcards, movies and books can only introduce us to this unique place because as the writer Wolfgang von Goethe said in the book, “Italian Journey”:

”Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.”

Aggie Grzegorczyk, Vacation Specialist for Carefree Vacations | agrzegorczyk@carefreevacations.com | Toll Free (800) 795-0720 | Direct Line: (858) 592-7540

Stay tuned for more updates, including local recommendations for touring, dining and seeing Rome as the locals do.

“My name is Aggie and I am originally from Poland. I have lived in a several foreign countries such as England (London), South of France and Italy (Rome), all where I have had a chance to share in the local lifestyle, understand different cultures and traditions and gain international tourism work experience. Following my motto “carpe diem,” I seize the moments through traveling, meeting people from all over the world and enjoying my work. I also share a great passion for learning new languages, playing guitar and sports. I look forward to helping you find your ideal/dream destination.”

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