What Travel Writers Say


All Roads Lead to Rome

© By Tanya Miller
  Pack your bags strategically; you may never leave. Nothing prepares one for the beauty and splendour - not your travel consultant, not a stunning aerial view on the way of Paris, not even the breathtaking mountain peaks in Naples. Arms wide open, Rome, rich with 3000 years of history, entices you to explore its cultural, architectural, artistic, mythical and religious roots.
     Because the tallest high rise building is no more than seven stories, every corner and cobblestone is illuminated.
     Rome represents the gateway for Pope Benedict XVI to enter St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, where thousands congregate for a glimpse. As His Holiness is escorted around, waves, blessings and prayers extend beyond the pillars and the remaining 100 acres of Vatican City.
     The Vatican Museum offers a collection of extraordinary art, sculptures and designs ; 24 kt. gold archways rim the frescoes on the walls and ceiling; walls display ancient maps of Italy used by explorers and soldiers; paintings of papal appointments, deity assents and royal proceedings. Ornate décor extends to the marble floors. Light streams in, allowing the attuned eye to see important landmarks on the maps, the three-dimensional illusions on the ceiling and the faint lines on the floor that are evidence of its construction, piece by piece.
     Then, there's La Capella Sistina (the Sistine Chapel). The neck strains from admiring the ceiling, crafted by Michelangelo, just as his neck must have strained from the labourious seven years dedicated to painting his interpretation of Genesis. Each frame is magnificent. Although the chapel underwent 14 years of restoration due to the dulling effects of oil lamps, brilliant blues and majestic golds are exclusively seen here in this prized canvas.
     Larger-than-life prophets and cybils that adorn the windows are animated and pensive, following your every move inside the Chapel.
     Outside the Chapel, yet still within the safe Aurelian Wall, the Coliseum stands tall, the pride of the emperor and sport for his people. The arena, now weathered and worn, was where ordinary men became gladiators. When you ascend to the uppermost tier, you can almost hear 55,000 voices jousting for their favourite, see lions emerge to heighten the peril and savour the bitter aftertaste of death and glory.
     One may live "la dolce vita" merely by tossing a coin (or two) over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain and who can resist the free-flowing frescati wine? Or an espresso, the way they were meant to be after a traditional four-course meal to reboot and take Rome by night? Whether you fancy clubs, bars, pubs, the cinema, theatre, opera, or are just in the market for a refreshing gelato, here, it's an unforgettable experience.
     Rome, so hard to leave; so easy to return!

         

Tanya Miller is a native of Markham, ON, but moved to Ottawa to pursue her passion for writing (and travel) in the journalism program at Carleton University. She is very active in the community and uses her interests in science, the arts, sports and politics to her advantage when reporting on an array of topics. Such pieces have been featured in One80 Youth Newspaper, VoX, The Charlatan and Centretown News.

Photo Credits
Tanya Miller

If you go
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Italian Tourist Board: http://www.italiantourism.com/
Vatican City State: http://www.vaticanstate.va/EN/homepage.htm
Rome: http://www.rome.info/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome,_Italy
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Rome

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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