Sometimes we’re so beguiled by what’s directly in front of us that we forget to appreciate the rest of our surroundings. On a recent trip to Rome, Italy, I realized I had an ideal opportunity not only to visit some of the top things to see in Rome, but to focus attention on where I was focusing my attention.
With so many captivating sites in Rome (the enormous scale of the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Square, the grandiose ascension of the Spanish Steps, the mind-boggling architecture of the Pantheon and the aquatic temple of the Trevi Fountain, not to mention fluffy gelato oozing from practically every corner), you can easily get caught up in ticking famous Rome attractions off your list, only to realize your time has flown by in a blur of body jostling and camera flashes.
What got me thinking was a small cat who lives directly across from the Trevi Fountain:
While we humans are mesmerized by the history, artistry and cascading water of this Rome landmark, the cat was obviously mesmerized by something different but equally compelling! And I would have missed a great laugh, as well as this bit of philosophical pondering and many more interesting shots to come, if I hadn’t bothered to look up and around in that instant.
So, for the rest of our Rome tour we decided to pay attention to what was up above us. The results are some of my favorite images:
Interesting exterior architectural details:
And interior ornamentation:
A different take on favorite landmarks:
Greenery in the urban jungle:
And the perfect visual accompaniment to food at Osteria da Lucia in the Trastevere neighborhood:
In short, our advice is to take a look around you next time you travel to Rome, or even next time you find yourself focusing on the obvious. You just might make unexpected discoveries that turn an experience like this:
Into something like this:
Does travel sometimes pass you by in a blur, or do you take time to smell the roses? What has made you stop and take a look around on one of your trips? Tell us in the comments below.
- Enoteca Cul de Sac in Piazza Pasquino
- Santa Maria de Trastevere
- Opera performances in medieval churches (check out this link)
- The flavor explosion of a salad in Italy is a surprise every time, but enjoying it after two weeks without greens due to e-coli in Germany is orgasmic
- Then again, listening to Crystal Gayle in a trattoria near Piazza Navona is a bit of a mood-breaker
- Just enjoyed a totally memorable evening of opera arias at Chiesa All Saints Church: totally intimate and “best acoustics in #Rome”
- Thought we’d be smart and buy a 6 pack of large waters, but politely declined the 15 euro price. “Ok, I give you special discount of 1 euro”
- Priest on his phone, jaywalking in front of a bus; great shoes. Must be #Rome
- Turns out we landed here during #Rome’s annual wine festival, #Vinoform – unplanned, really – so had to make our way to the fairgrounds …
- Last night was a great no-tourist experience in #Rome. Forget wine; it was a shoe fashion show, and every woman despite age participated
- Hats off to Cul de Sac in Piazza Pasquino – when you think noplace in center city #Rome feeds real Romans…
- Don’t even bother ordering – let your waiter suggest a perfectly light Frascati (or three) plus pheasant pate with truffles, best salami …
- So glad we left centro storico #Rome yesterday, crossing the Tiber into the Trastevere neighborhood. Still touristy, but gentler
- And oh so pretty for a Sunday stroll. Quaint. Still some clotheslines strung between bldgs, shunning modern conveniences
- Recommend lunch at Osteria da Lucia, where we tried the traditional Roman pastas cacio e pepe (pecorino cheese and pepper) and amatriciana
- All divine, but the panna cotta took the cake. Always thought it was like a very light flan, or even gelatin. Not here. It’s like burrata
- At 10deg C (50F), it was 1/3 the temp in Germany when we landed(+ rainy)than #Rome’s 30 (86F). But after city heat, I kind of like it!
- Our top wine discoveries in Italy? Firriato’s Chiaramonte, a nero d’avola from Sicily; Cormons pinot grigio from Friuli Venezia Giulia
- Plus Encry champagne, produced in France by Italian producers
- We weren’t familiar with mild, dry Frascati wine, but it’s our new fav – not grassy, not creamy with oak … just right for summer!
- Top Frascati recommendations: Poggio Verde Frascati Superiore from Pallavicini and Lorenzo Constantini Borgo del Cedro
- Italians measure their wine by alcohol content. We asked for a “light red” and they rattled off alcohol % for each bottle
- Wines with higher alcohol % are called “more important” wines, and tend to cost more