As I embarked on my journey to Italy, little did I know that the cities I would visit would be so distinct from each other. Venice, the first stop, greeted me with its unique charm, a dreamy and romantic city on water. Yet, beneath the surface, I sensed a tinge of melancholy, as if the beauty of Venice teetered on the brink of oblivion.
Next, I found myself in Florence, a city that exudes tranquility like a midday dream—graceful, elegant, and yet so unpretentious. Florence welcomed me with open arms, and I couldn’t help but be captivated by its simple yet exquisite allure.
And then there was Rome, the city that overwhelmed me like no other. A grandiose display of ancient Roman civilization, Rome left me breathless, both figuratively and literally (perhaps because of the scorching sun!). It was a city of contrasts—bustling yet elegant, rowdy yet sophisticated, and vibrant yet serene. While I couldn’t say I truly loved the atmosphere of Rome, I couldn’t deny its undeniable beauty.
Rome’s beauty lies in its opulent heritage, but at times, it almost felt excessive and overwhelming. The sheer abundance of historical and cultural treasures was both awe-inspiring and, strangely, almost suffocating. Rome is like an extravagant banquet where everything is served in abundance, leaving you satiated and somewhat overwhelmed (maybe it’s the sun playing tricks on me!). Standing amidst the splendor of Rome, I couldn’t help but feel small and insignificant, as if everything around me was beyond my comprehension.
In Rome, mythology and legends come to life, and gods and kings seem to outnumber mere mortals. Every corner of the city is adorned with statues and sculptures depicting Roman mythological tales. The sheer volume of these stories left me unable to digest them all. Sometimes, less is more, and it’s only when we have just enough that we can truly appreciate and savor each piece.
I have a love-hate relationship with this city; it’s a place that gives me headaches, makes me dizzy, and leaves me overwhelmed. However, I also recognize that no amount of time would ever be enough to fully explore Rome. It’s a city that deserves a lifetime of discovery (although living here would be exhausting!).
I might “hate” Rome for how it makes me feel, but deep down, I know that it’s a city that demands respect and admiration. The grandiosity of Rome is not for the faint-hearted; it’s a place that will test your senses and push your limits.
So, I leave Rome with mixed emotions—feeling both in awe of its splendor and relieved to escape its overwhelming grasp. It’s a city that will forever hold a special place in my heart, even if I can’t quite put my finger on why. Perhaps, just like the stories and myths that surround it, Rome is a city meant to be savored in pieces, each visit uncovering a new layer of its captivating beauty. As I bid farewell to Rome, I know that I’ll carry a piece of its grandeur with me, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll return someday to continue this love-hate affair.
Le Hoai From Rome