Possessed by Roma

I’ve been thinking about Italy a lot lately. I’m not exactly sure why, although a number of things come to mind now I’m writing about it.

A blogging friend of mine has recently introduced me to her ‘other’ blog – titled ‘Browsing Rome.’ Along with our tweet-chats of travel, the travel taste buds are definitely being tantalised!

I recently dug out my old travel journals, and have revisited my earlier journeys…the wonderful Roma featuring in 2 of them. Even with the dodgy hostels, bed bugs, sleazy Italian Lothario’s, Roma stands out in my mind as the place that made an ever-lasting impression on me.

Roman ruins

I’ve gone through my photos from my European journeys, my feet getting itchier with every viewing.

I’m just about to turn 34. My first trip to Italy (anywhere further than Singapore) was 10 years ago this September when I was 24, young, eager and naïve. My life-long friend Karina and I embarked on a 6 week backpacking trip around Italy…The September 11 terrorist attacks had just occurred, and we had made the decision to still go – as ‘we only lived once’. Our families were freaked out…especially my Dad, who tried to stop me from leaving at the airport, scaring Karina in the process (perhaps it was his dark, looming prowess). We had the most amazing experience, of which changed us forever (and it actually ended up being possibly the safest time to travel). I can clearly remember now sitting on a street corner, outside of one of the ancient churches, watching the tanks roll by; and then having our backpacks full of 5 week old, sweaty clothes searched by tall, dark, machine-gun toting soldiers at the Roma train station (whilst scratching our infected bed bug sores).

Ah Roma, I miss thee so.

Tell me, has any place you have visited ever possessed you? 

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5 thoughts on “Possessed by Roma

  1. Thanks, Janine, hope you took all the bed bugs with you on your last visit! 😉 We are planning a trip to Rome next spring, mhhh, tiny artichokes, spring vegetables. I would sure appreciate any recommendations you have (I will also check out your travel journals and the blog Browsing Rome you mentioned).
    I am ever so much in love with Southern Tuscany, la Maremma, only a short trip away on the Aurelia frome Roma, I cherish the wildness of its landscapes (and the scary cows with their dangerous horns as long as they are behind a fence), the lovely beaches at Punta Ala with the strong scent of the pine woods right behind the sandy beaches, Massa Marittima, the weekly markets in Follonica where we shop vegetables and fruit, salame and formaggi. Am I not a fortunate person: I will drive there in early October for a week of leisure!
    Greetings from sunny and hot Switzerland,
    Barbara

    • Awwww Barbara, You’ve just made it worse for me hehe. It sounds absolutely dreamy.

      Rome…well – all of the touristy things such as the Colleseum, The Sistine Chapel, you must go to the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in (means you will return to Rome one day), there are some beautiful gardens…My main tip would be to just start walking…and keep walking – as there is so much amazing architecture, churches, ruins, smells, sites, etc. The only thing I didn’t like about Rome (and Italy in general) was the lack of bins and the rubbish – it was everywhere (kinda goes hand in hand with the lack of bins – things could have changed though).

      And you are in Switzerland! Beautiful. I spent a month there living with a family many years ago. I think I stayed in a place called Neuchatel (in the French part).

      Enjoy your travels and thanks for stopping by!

      Janine

  2. Great travelogue- providing the sense of wonder and awe at the opportunity, without all the “what I did on vacation” pictures.
    Thanks for the share.
    Jerusalem, for me (the rest of Israel was also great- every single time).

  3. And you remind me again that I should be travelling. My trip to Darjeeling while we were in college was amazing. It was a college trip and I went along with my best friend and both of us were taking the first solo travelling thing – without parents. (Yes, we Indians always travel in bunches!) And the ten day trip was amazing, we were 20, the world was ours and the Buddhism experience was enchanting and beautiful. We actually saw the sun rise at 4 and set at 3! and the chilling winters was amazing. Also, it was the first time I saw snow.. having always lived in hot places, snow was new to me! No matter how many trips I take or where I go, that one trip will always be close to my heart! 🙂

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