When in Rome

If you ever asked me what my favorite city in the ENTIRE WORLD is, I wouldn’t hesitate or think twice. It’s Rome. It has always been Rome.

My love of the Eternal City has brought me there 15 times now, and I am always looking for new opportunities to go back. To walk the streets viewing the ancient history, smelling the fresh bread, and stopping in a local bar for a glass of wine is unlike anything else. It is one of my favorite experiences in life.

I have taken many friends to visit Rome throughout the years, and each time I guide them through the historic city I’m reminded of something my favorite tour guide once said… Rome is like a lasagna, you keep pulling back the layers and finding good stuff! So, here’s a sneak peek at some of the “good stuff” I’ve discovered while in my favorite city.

I always save a day to just walk… And walk… And walk. My husband and I have discovered the most interesting sites that you would normally never see just by walking beyond the “normal” tourist spots. My favorite is the Basilica di San Clemente. You start in the present-day Basilica then walk down the steps through 2,000 years of history. First, you visit the fourth-century church that the current Basilica was built directly on top of. Yes, you are literally walking on streets from the 300s in the 2000s. Then, you continue to walk down through more layers of history to a first century road and pagan temple. Here, you are approximately 60 feet below current Rome. Please note that this is a dark, damp place, so if this type of area bothers you then you may want to forego this site. There is a modest entry free, around 10 euros, to view the excavations. The Basilica di San Clemente is a short 10-minute walk from the Colosseum.

My second favorite place to visit is the San Bonaventura al Palatino. This 17th century convent church houses the Franciscan Friars of the Order of Friar Minor. As you approach the church on the left side, you are met with a series of statues showing the Stations of the Cross. Behind the Church, there is a marvelous garden with a beautiful view of the Colosseum. This is a perfect place to escape the crowds and have a relaxing visit. It is so nice to sit in the cool shade, away from the crowds, and relax with a drink of water.

This, my friends, is just a little taste of my travel knowledge when it comes to Rome, Italy. It is merely the tip of the iceberg of information I have to share with you. I will continue to write posts on different places all over the world that I have visited. If you have any questions about Rome or any other destination you may be interested in, please send me an email and I will be happy to share some of my insight.

Until next time,

Love of Travel

How old was I when I first discovered my love of travel? It’s a question I’ve been asked several times over the years, and it is such an easy answer for me to give. My earliest memories are of wanting to see the world. See, I grew up in Gold Hill, North Carolina—way, way, way in the country. When I say country, I mean without a neighbor for miles and only farm animals to play with during summer vacation. It was our own little corner of the world, but I wanted to see so much more of it.

My best memories of these years usually center around the excitement I felt when the Rowarn County Book Mobile pulled up our long driveway. You can say that my love of reading began around the same time as my love of travel, because I would check out the maximum number of books every single time and I would spend days on end reading stories about faraway places. Looking back, I can still see the pictures in the books showing The Great Wall of China and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I may not be able to recall the names of each book, though I wish I could, but I can still see ever photo so vividly in my mind.

Beyond my love of the Book Mobile, there was my piano teacher, Mrs. Brothers. She would take an around-the-world cruise every summer during her break from teaching piano, and she would always bring back a gift from her travels for every piano student. While I, of course, loved the present, I was always more excited learn about where she had traveled to, what she had done, where she plans to go next, etc. I would dream up all the exotic places she visited in my mind. It was always my favorite time of the year during piano lessons, when Mrs. Brothers returned each fall. In fact, I still have the little angel she bought me all those years ago!

There is a word in German that I think accurately describes me better than any English word can… Fernweh. This word translates to “farsickness” or a longing for far-off places, especially those you have not yet visited. Many like to use the term “wanderlust” but I think fernweh is more appropriate for me. It’s not a lust; it’s a longing, one I’ve always possessed and one that I continue to feel even after traveling to a total of 76 countries with my husband. One day, we hope to reach 100!

While the current situation regarding the Coronavirus pandemic has slowed us down for 2020, we are looking forward to continuing our exploration of this beautiful world in 2021, and so should you! My love of travel began over a half a century ago, but yours can get started right now. If you have an interest in traveling and would like more information on the services I offer, please call me at 704-990-5457.

Until next time,

Beth's Travel and Vacations

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