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Around Europe in 30 days #17: All roads lead to… (Rome)

In 2008, when I was 21, I came up with the idea of booking an Interrail ticket and touring Europe for a month. I decided travel to Paris, Madrid, Granada, Barcelona, Venice, Rome, Athens, Istanbul and Vienna. And I felt the strong urge to do this tour alone.

Day 16 & 17 – Rome (Italy)

Map of Rome (Italy)

Due to the early starts of fall, my first day of exploration in Rome was mostly grey and drizzly, but I was still fascinated. Rome feels like an open-air museum and has so many different styles of architecture to offer. You can just walk down a street and suddenly be faced with ancient Roman ruins or an old renaissance building.

On the first night, I somehow ended up in a conversation with other young people around my age at the youth hostel. An American guy in that group suggested that we explore Rome together the next day. We had interesting conversations walking across the city. His life in the United States was so different from mine, some of it even shocking. But we were able to stay open minded throughout and it as quite enjoyable and eye-opening.

Nevertheless, we had to part ways at Saint Peter’s Basilica. He had forgotten that he still carried a pocket knife and security would not allow him to enter. Luckily, he had visited it on a previous day and suggested to meet for dinner with him and some of his friends later that day. That way, I got to experience the splendor of the cradle of the catholic church.

I don’t know any other European city that is so strongly influenced by religion and faith. Aside from walking around a bend to run into a gorgeous church, there is a strong spiritual vibe. My favorite place in the area (although technically in Vatican City) is definitely Saint Peter’s Basilica. To me, it is a true masterpiece and has a strong energy about it that keeps me spellbound. I don’t know how much time I spent in the nave of the basilica, but I remember bathing in it’s splendor and enjoying the magnetic energy that it exuded on me.

How about you?
Have you been to Rome? What was your impression?

Cover picture was taken in Vatican City in Sep 2008

Missing the beginning of this story?
Around Europe in 30 days #1: Forming a plan


9 thoughts on “Around Europe in 30 days #17: All roads lead to… (Rome)

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  1. Sounds amazing. I haven’t yet been, but it is high on my list of must do, and although I’m not Catholic or religious, I’d love to attend an Easter service to hear the Pope speak. He is one of my favourite people (the current Pope that is).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been to Rome twice, once as a kid and another as an adult. It’s amazing just how a few years makes a difference on how you perceive a destination: I definitely appreciated my visit more as an adult than as a kid. Rome is basically a step back in time, and I’d go back to see more and more of it again. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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