Rome: 7 Culture Facts and Why It’s my Favourite City in Italy

Learn more about the Eternal City through my “Seven Facts of the Week” and discover which are the characteristics that make it my favourite city.

Seagull looking over Rome

When the ladies of the #Dolcevitabloggers’ group – the amazing Kelly, Kristie and Jasmine – shared the topic of this month’s linkup – “Favorite city in Italy” – I admit I internally cursed, since asking something like that to an Italian is almost like forcing a man to give up one of his limbs or asking him to choose between his mother and father. Was I supposed to say my hometown? The places related to my childhood? After much consideration, I’ve come to realize that all these doubts were pointless, as, let’s be honest, one can have personal preferences, but the winner is always going to be one and one only: Rome.

At this point, there was another issue: exactly today I was supposed to write an article about Rome as it’s part of a project I’m carrying out on Instagram + WordPress called “12 Weeks in Italy”. So, was I supposed to write about Rome twice in a day? I came to a conclusion that it was better to “prendere due piccioni con una fava” or “kill two birds with one stone”, as you people say in English, and I hope our lovely hosts will forgive me if I took the liberty of joining the two things.

So, why Rome?

It’s overwhelmingly beautiful

Il cupolone visto dal Palazzo di Domiziano

Saying “because it’s unfairly beautiful” sounds like stating the obvious, but eh, can you blame someone for saying it out aloud? It’s so packed with beautiful art that you often are under the impression that it’s all “too much” and you can’t handle it.

If you’ve seen La Grande Bellezza you probably remember the Japanese man looking down on Rome from the Gianicolo Hill and having an heart-attack as a result of the Stendhal’s Syndrome. When roaming around Rome, you don’t see cases as extreme, but you do actually witness to the weirdest reactions by tourists.

During my last stay in Rome, for example, as I was walking inside the historical complex of the Trajan’s Market – basically the first shopping mall in history – I saw a man crouching down, almost weeping, and softly caressing the bricks of a low wall.

As I approached him, slightly alarmed and considering if it was the case to call the Mental Health Services, I heard him quietly whispering: “The red brick of Rome…in Australia we don’t have the red brick!” So yeah guys, when you say that we Italians are overdramatic, please reconsider it as it must be something in the air, haha.

Jokes aside, even if we are Italian and it’s our own Capital city, Rome’s beauty never ceases to amaze us. It’s almost too much for a single city.

It’s authentic (even painfully so)

I don’t know about you, guys, but when talking about relationships and people in general, I have always craved for authenticity my whole life. I hardly stand liars and people that feel the need to act in order to be validated in a social environment. For this reason, I always feel quite at home among Romans who, even if can be rather brazen at times, they are not fake for sure and have not problems in sharing what they really think about you. As a person who has always liked to express her own views and that can handle other people’s opinions even if different, it’s always refreshing having a conversation with these people and not having to worry about them judging you for not being “proper” or compliant.

This level of authenticity is also reflected in the city itself, which is all but perfect, but that does not feel the need to lie about it. Rome can indeed be really frustrating and, as Severgnini likes to state “It’s the kind of place that can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters”. You have to prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of emotions when in Rome as, yes, one moment you’ll be almost crying for the absolute beauty of it all, the next second you will scream in frustration for the utter disorganization in every aspect of the city life.

This does not mean that Romans lie about it, though, as I said. Even if sometimes they are a bit too stuck in their own ways and not very prone to change, they are well aware of the problems of living in such a city and they do not sugar-coat the reality of their everyday life. They tell you how it is to live in such a metropolis and won’t depict Rome as an Eden on Earth.

So, even if as normal citizens it must be really hard to live in Rome, I think that as tourists we are allowed to appreciate the frankness of its local culture and  its ability to show itself as a real city with merits and flaws, and not as a model of perfection.

It’s the whole world in one city

Caput mundi”, the Capital of the world, this is how Rome is nicknamed. Even if nowadays Italy has basically no relevance on an International level in terms of politics, when you set foot in Rome you do have the impression to be at the centre of the world.

There is no event, crises or struggle that Rome hasn’t seen and survived and it does seem that the Old Lady has a lot to teach to the new Superpowers of the world that nowadays are facing certain issues for the first time in their history. Rome and Romans have literally seen it all and their living history can be a teacher to all those who care to listen. It’s all written in the city’s ruins.


Before leaving you with my “7 facts of the week” about Rome, let me suggest to you to watch Oliver Astrologo’s video called “Roma” if you haven’t already. It’s the best video about the Eternal City out there, hands down.

on youtube

on vimeo

Here you are the first 7 entries of my project “12 Weeks in Italy”. If you want to learn more about Italy and Italian culture, consider to follow me on Instagram where I share daily info and stay tuned in here. Grazie, a presto!

 

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#12WeeksInItaly 📍 Week nr.1 – #Rome [entry 2/84] Foreign essayists have tried many times to describe Italians' "National character", but Italian intellectuals prefer to point out the profound fracture between the different regions asserting that, being #Italy a young country, the National character is still something "under construction" 🔩🏗 As a consequence it's easier to identify "local characters" rather than a unique Italian one. So, what about the #Romans?! 👉 #Rome, despite being a Capital city and having a high flux of tourists, is not particularly subjected to the phenomenon of the citizens' alienation typical of cities like Venice and the central part of Florence. The "Romaness" is very much alive and the reason is that Romans do not feel the need to gentrify and are quite fond of being part of the "lower class" and of their "popular culture". 👉 Characteristics: ⚪ Romans simply ARE, they are very straightforward and do not need to "act" or "fake" in a social environment; ⚪ They are realist, skeptical and not moralistic; ⚪ They are disillusioned, they sometimes tend to use a mocking tone and are a bit too stuck in the "old ways". . And what's your experience with Romans? 🤔🤗 . . . #roma #giardinodegliaranci #sunset_pics #sunsetinrome #italy_ig #italians #italianbloggers #italianblogger #italy_photolovers #onholidayinitaly #prettylittleitaly #browsingitaly #whatitalyis #italia365 #roma_pics #italian_places #italian_trips #tourism #italianpeople #ladolcevita #exploreitaly #discoveritaly #italy_vacations #travel #travelitaly

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#12WeeksInItaly 📍 Week nr. 1 – #Rome [entry 5/84] According to the tradition, Jesus had 12 Apostles and the one he chose to guide Christians after his death was Shimon said Chefa and best known as St.Peter. He is considered the first official Pope. The last city he stayed in during his "Evangelical mission" was Rome, where he was also executed. 📷 ⛪ Here you are a list of places that, according to the tradition, are related to St.Peter : ⚫ CHIESA DI S.PUDENZIANA+CHIESA DI S.PRISCA+BASILICA DI S.SEBASTIANO. These churches were built on the ruins of the houses where St.Peter stayed. St.Prisca is located near the famous keyhole on the Aventine hill; ⚫ CHURCH OF S.PIETRO IN CARCERE, built upon the former Mamertine Prison, where St.Peter was allegedly imprisoned; ⚫ THE APPIAN WAY that Peter traversed after he escaped from said prison. According to the legend at a certain point Jesus appeared and said to him he had to go back and face martyrdom; ⚫ ST.PETER'S BASILICA. Under its famous Baldachin there's St.Peter's burial site. . . . #romeandme #charmingitaly #italy_photolovers #italy_ig #rome_italy #postcardsfromitaly #whatitalyis #browsingitaly #vaticancity #italy #visititaly #exploreitaly #discoveritaly #roma_pics #lovelettertoitaly #shotz_of_italia #travel #travelbook #travelbug #travelbloggers #italia365 #prettylittleitaly #onholidayinitaly #italian_vacations #italy_vacations #italian_places

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33 thoughts on “Rome: 7 Culture Facts and Why It’s my Favourite City in Italy

    1. fkasara

      I’m not a fan of La Grande Bellezza myself, but Sorrentino’s movies always have great videography and with a subject like Rome…well, you can’t go wrong!

      Thanks for reading ❤

      Like

  1. I’ve tended to head north on my trips in Italy, but I’m determined to finally get to Rome in the not too distant future. All the Bernini and Caravaggio alone will have me swooning, as well as the history and sheer amazingness of the city. Loved getting your view and all of the facts of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fkasara

      Thank you ❤❤ I’m sure you’ll love it!! And you’ll see, you’ll leave the city quite frustrated, because you won’t be able to see all there is to see…there’s just too much stuff!!! 😵😂❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As is always the case! I was thinking of going just to see a few specifics, with a good excuse to keep going back. 🙂 I’m sure Roma can become quickly overwhelming, otherwise!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes I remember Rome as an evocative city. It is such a fantastic blend of everything that has withstood the tests of time, space and conflict. I’m amazed by how knowledgeable you are about your country. It really puts me to shame how little interest I have in my own… 😂 Looking forward to your postings in 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fkasara

      Thank you dear, I’m looking forward your posts as well!! ❤❤

      Oh, Australia is such an incredible country! I think it’s more focused on natural attractions, but you surely have plenty of things to discover!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sara, as always, a very well-written post and I was, of course, prepared to read many entries with Rome as the star! You made it refreshing though, telling your anecdote about the man you saw weeping new to the red brick. I need to spend more time in Rome, there’s no doubt about that. It’s just a quick train ride away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve hit the nail on the head with your description of Rome. Beautiful and authentic, and of course with its own difficulties, but as a foreigner, I’ve always felt the same way about the people and that frankness sort of makes you feel at home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fkasara

      Yes, their frankness is refreshing and you feel among friends as they’re very welcoming (actually the locals are more welcoming than those who work in the Roman tourism department LOL, but that’s another story)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. fkasara

      Oh, I’m glad you think so, as I’m always kind of insecure since English is not my first language! Thank you very much ❤

      Like

  5. Sara, I always love your blog & IG posts so much! They are always packed full of fascinating insight into Italian history & culture. I think you absolutely must put everything into book format someday!!! You are seriously the next Bepe Severgnini. I feel like there is so much more insight that you could add about the Italian culture! I love Rome too, although it is the most difficult accent for me to understand! I’ve had some magical moments in Rome, although last time I went with my family it was at the end of our 3 week trip and there was an intense heatwave in September so we were hot, cranky & exhausted 😀 I want to go back during cooler weather so my dad can experience the magic (my mom & I had been before). My family & I are so interested in Roman history. I feel like I could return to Rome for eternity and see or learn new things!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fkasara

      You’re always too kind with me, Kelly, thank you very much ❤ ❤ I'm blushing!! I would love to write a book related to Italian customs/culture, maybe I should give it a try 😀

      Oh yes, I can see why you have difficulties in understanding the Roman accent, as they tend to slur a lot.

      Rome during summer is literally Hell on Earth, it's no surprising Romans flee the city in August!!

      Like

  6. I really appreciate reading your instagram series, so refreshing to read something meaningful and informative on instagram!! The very last picture there about the fascist architecture changing the experience of the city is really interesting and something I studied at university! I more looked at the baroque period and how the Popes used the urban design to emphasise their importance, but the fascist changes are also really significant. Anyway… I thought I knew quite a lot about Rome but everytime I read your posts I realise I really don’t haha!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fkasara

      Thank you very much, I’m glad you’re enjoying my ig series!! ❤

      Ah, don''t be fooled by Rome, you never stop to learn about it, a lifetime is not enough! I'm not joking!

      If you're interested to see the Basilica before the construction of Via della Conciliazione, here you are a short clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luPn5yBJo1U There's also Mussolini doing an inspection in the area, so he could see where "it was necessary to destroy" :\

      Like

  7. Aw loved this article. Rome is incredible. Every building even a commune is stunning. I literally watched La Grande Bellezza the other night and I didn’t realise that’s what happened to the tourist. My husband and I were wondering about it for ages! I find Romans quite theatrical, whenever they arrive everything gets louder, more fashionable and they make their presence known!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fkasara

      Yes, I once saw an interview of Sorrentino and he explained what happened to the tourist at the beginning of the movie. He died because of “excess of beauty” XD

      Yes, Romans definitely make their presence known!!

      Like

  8. Great to see Rome through eyes. The Giardino degli aranci was the first place amore brought me to on my first visit.

    Oliver Astrologo’s video is extraordinary. Love it! Thank you! And I also didn’t realise that’s why the gentleman dies in the Grande Bellezza. But there is a lot I didn’t realise watching it, for example, what makes it so great. The Romans are exactly the people who would have plenty to say about a preposterous film like this. And my Romano certainly said it all, hahha.

    On the other hand, he showed me some old Roman films that show the character of the people particularly well, for example Il Marchese del Grillo.

    In your description you are very kind to the Romans. 🙂 I find them quite, if not extremely arrogant, they are not all that truthful, and they are quite the actors too. Not to mention milking the tourists on every corner, down to “errors” in returning change.

    Well, if you continue down to Napoli they take the tires of your car just because you’re rich enough to drive one, so there’s that… In comparison Romans are angels. 😀 (Exaggerating on purpose.)

    Looking forward to everything you wish to teach me about Rome and Italy, always. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. fkasara

      Oliver Astrologo has an impressive videography, I love all his works even if “Roma” remains my absolute favourite. If you check his channel you can also find a very beautiful video about Venice.

      Haha, La Grande Bellezza is not my thing as well, but the scene of the Japanese tourist was a great example to explain the Stendhal Syndrome!

      Haha, let’s say I focused on their values this time 😉 They can indeed be arrogant, but I can handle arrogance better than duplicity if you know what I mean…I can put arrogant people in their place if I need to, but you never know how to act with two-faced people.
      As for “the actors” I tend to distinguish between locals and people who work in the tourist department… Being a swindler is sadly a characteristic of people who work in this kind of job, it’s not something I connect with being Roman. You can find swindlers in all the major touristic cities, but yes, I can agree with you on the fact that in Rome these people are generally particularly “capable” when tricking tourists…they do it with an impressive nonchalance :\

      Awww, thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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