A New Yorker’s guide to Rome

Rome, a truly magical city where the odds of stumbling upon ancient ruins could be likened to those of passing a Starbucks in Manhattan, is a non-stop feast for the senses.

With so much to do, taste and see, from historical masterpieces and fountain-adorned piazzas to eclectic shops and inviting restaurants, even New Yorkers may find themselves overwhelmed at where to begin.

But will yourself to slow down and wander a bit, and you’ll soon find that walking your way through Rome’s must-visit sites is doable– and rather enchanting. The old adage that life is about the journey, not the destination, will ring true as you stumble upon an artist painting a flower-strewn balcony while en route to the Pantheon, or stop to listen in on a river-side, Andrea Bocelli-inspired serenade, in spite of your impending dinner reservation.

While standing in the shadows of the Colosseum, exploring the Roman Forum or making a wish in the (unfortunately under construction) Trevi Fountain are uniquely Italian experiences, many of Rome’s distinct neighborhoods, ranging from upscale and reserved to unexpectedly edgy and bohemian, will have New Yorkers feeling right at home.

Unlike Manhattan, however, this is a city that’s never too busy for a dose of “la dolce vita,” and perhaps we could benefit from taking note. For New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Rome is eternal, and there’s something to be said for the way it’s taking its sweet time enjoying the ride.

NINA RUGGIERO