“Yes, I have finally arrived to this Capital of the World! I now see all the dreams of my youth coming to life… Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German writer 1749-1832)
Goethe's quote said it all. "Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.” Not until a month after arriving in Rome did I fall in love with the Eternal City. Like Goethe, I felt like I had finally arrived at the Capital of the World. And yet, I hated it at first. it was during mid-August. Locals were away on vacations. Rome was hot and aggressive.
As the temperature cooled down and after a few explorations, I started to be enchanted by the hidden side of Rome - the side about which most of the first-time tourists would not know.
Some of my favorite places in Rome are Biblioteca Angelica (some parts of my thesis were written there), Villa Doria Pamphili (which shows the tranquil side of Rome; plus, it is free for everyone), and the Aventine Keyhole (although it is not so much a secret place, as soon as you look through the keyhole, you will feel like it is the greatest mystery on Earth; perfection at its best).
Other locations which will give you a whole new perception of Rome are the Protestant Cemetery (the tomb of the English poet John Keats is here), the Pyramid of Cestius, Fontana dell'Acqua Paola (not at all as crowded as the Trevi Fountain), the Janiculum Terrace, Villa Sciarra, The Orange Garden, and many more which I have not discovered yet.
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