Rome is starkly different from any other European city I’ve seen so far. The ruins alone set it apart from any other place. But what makes the biggest impression on me is how Rome is just jam-packed with stuff: it’s a city where everything is piled on top of one another.
Riding on the bus, I experienced some of Rome’s infamous traffic. It was just cars and scooters all jumbled up seemingly randomly in the street – apparently the lanes are only suggestions.
The ruins, too, are all jumbled together: the Victor Emmanuel monument is cut into the Santa Maria Aracoeli church, which makes up a border of Capitoline Hill, which overlooks the Roman Forum, which neighbors the Colosseum. And this is only one cluster of ruins, which are scattered throughout Rome. Any one of them is a historic treasure, but Rome has dozens!
The museums have hundreds, maybe thousands of sculptures all lined up and crammed together into rooms, halls and gardens.
It’s unimaginable how much there is to see in Rome in addition to even all these things – the scenes that have been immortalized in movies, the never-ending streets of designer shops….
It’s all overwhelming and crazy – but in the best way!