I stopped in Rome on the way, and coming back from, a trip to Ethiopia in January and February of 2006.
Rome is a city that is jam-packed with so many sights for the traveler that it can be overwhelming to contemplate. After all it holds well over two thousand years of history, art, and culture. It’s necessary to make up a list of what you most want to take in while in Rome because you won’t be able to see everything that’s worth seeing. Actually, just walking around some areas of the city can be very pleasurable because Italy is a country where art is appreciated to the point where it is on display everywhere not just in museums and galleries. Your camera will definitely get a work out in Rome.
One neighbourhood that I really enjoyed is called Monti. It has an ambiance more like that of a small town rather than a major city. Although Monti lacks blockbuster tourist sites its crooked cobbled streets and rustic buildings are very atmospheric. Monti is not overrun with tourists although it’s very central.
It seems that everybody loves Italian food. As a rule when visiting Rome it’s a good idea to avoid restaurants that are too close to major tourist hot spots like the Colosseum. Such places are often over priced and serve mediocre fare. Interestingly, if you take a seat in a cafe instead of standing you’ll probably have to pay for the use of the chair. Most Romans choose to stand.
I was saddened to see so much graffiti. Bad graffiti at that. I enjoy photographing good street art but the stuff you see in Rome is mostly the work of talent-less hacks with no respect for the beauty and elegance of the buildings they defile with their juvenile scribbling.
Rome has a well earned reputation for being plagued with pickpockets. Sure enough, I got my pocket picked on a crowded bus, a perfect place for a nimble fingered thief. Luckily it happened on the last full day of my trip and I had spent most of my cash already.