The home of great lovers like Casanova, Romeo and Juliet,
Italy is a champion of romance and where better to discover
what it is all about than in its capital – Rome.
As Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck drove off into the sunset
on their 1953 moped in the Oscar winning classic Roman Holiday,
Rome secured its place in the heart of sentimental romantics
around the world. In fact, more people make a return visit
to Rome to get married than any other city. But whether you
are in love or looking for love, Rome has an attraction that
sets it apart and an energy that will keep you coming back
|MUSIC: Come Sinfonia (Like a symphony) by Pino Donaggio, 1961
This musical delight was composed by Pino Donaggio in 1961. The sweet music dissolves into celestial happyness, while its simple yet sincere lyrics are about reveries on the beloved one. It is yet another of the many melodies of those unforgettable 50s and 60s in which Rome was by far the most romantic, lively, imaginative and hospitable place on earth (although more hectic, it still is).
Lyrics (transl. from Italian)
I dream... I dream...
and you are with me
I close my eyes and a light already shines in the sky.
I dream... to be near you and to kiss you... and then to vanish in this unreal dream...
Up there I hear the angels singing for us, sweetly... sweetly... it's a song of happiness!
I listen and I see you even closer, the music I hear is like a symphony.
The angels' chorus makes me dream again
I would like... I would like...
this dream to become true,
a real dream of love.
Perhaps inspired by the classic movie The Three Coins in a Fountain,
one of Rome’s most popular spots for lovers and lookers
is the Trevi Fountain. A tribute to the Renaissance artists,
whose hands touch every part of Rome, the Trevi Fountain is
a hub of activity where a night-time glow from the fountain
sets the mood across Rome’s historic district. Yet the
fountain is just one an example of the spectacular art that
can be found at unassuming points all over this city.
Many a kiss has surely been stolen against the picturesque background
of a Bernini sculpture inside the walls of grand piazzas,
such as Piazza Navona, or as they look into the eyes of the
"special someone" in the candlelight of one of the
al-fresco restaurants that specialize in typical roman dishes
such as Gnocchi alla Romana or Spaghetti alla Carbonara. In
a city that has grown over nearly 3000 years, there is an
enchanting intimacy in the air that is thick with the smell
of authentic Italian recipes.
As Hollywood legend would have it “You’ve never lived until you’ve loved in Rome”. Never a city to disappoint, just one journey through cobblestone backstreets will expose passionate lovers embracing, while others shout "Amore" from the rooftops. For lonely-hearts looking for love there is no better place to visit than the heart of Roman style and fashion – the Spanish steps and the chic shopping strips that cross over Via Del Corso. Here the idea is to see and be seen: in the 18th century, it was at the foot of these steps that the most beautiful men and women of Italy gathered, waiting to be chosen as an artist’s model. Today, not much has changed and it still operates as a catwalk of sorts for Italy’s most glamorous women, who parade through the square eyeing off the latest fashions, while young men vie for their attention.
With a spirit inspired by the espresso-induced vibe on the street and the chaotic buzz of a scooter, Rome is absolute energy. But if you would rather hide away from the hustle and bustle, there could hardly be a more romantic place than the Borghese Gardens. Once used to show the Borghese family’s collection of ancient art, the park now features beautifully landscaped walkways offering green sanctuary like no other, with panoramic views of Rome.
Sneak away with a lover for a walk along the Tiber River to the bohemian centre of the Travestere, or to the Pantheon for a real Roman experience that is made more memorable by a single glance at the ancient roman skyline, marked with Egyptian obelisks, Corinthian columns and baroque churches. From the Capitol Square, where you can admire a view of the Roman Forum by night, to the magnificence of the King Victor Emmanuel II independence memorial and the Coliseum, Rome is a discovery of history that stirs the heart, and the imagination.
In every way the Eternal City, Rome is a cultural icon that, with all the mystery and glamour of a Fellini film, takes its cue from the passions of the Italian people themselves. Not a culture that often lets a word go unsaid, Italians are expressive, emotional and have an enthusiasm for love that is contagious. Just one visit to Rome will betray the heart of a thousand tourists, who will find themselves on bended knee, swept up with the spirit of both the city and its people.
Most will find that when in Rome they can scarcely resist the thrill to ‘do as the Romans do’ and will be taken away with the beauty, the intrigue of a place where to say "love is in the air” is an understatement. Wherever there are Romans, there is affection; and always on public display.
Look around you and you will find it everywhere, from the grandfather showering his new granddaughter with kisses; the brother and sister in their twenties, she with her head laid against his shoulder; the young lovers entwined against a lamppost, and the middle aged mother embracing her teenaged son. Everywhere, kissing and hugging, holding hands and linking arms are the norm, no matter the age or sex of the participants. It is both delightful and daunting, especially for those whose cultures are a more reserved in displays of affection.
If love involves the arousal of the senses, to many, Rome is the place to fall in love. An evening stroll, a morning visit to an espresso bar, a simple trip to the supermarket are opportunities to surrender to Rome’s endless sensual pleasures: the sight of a thousand shimmering stars, the sounds of music from an outdoor opera, the touch of the breeze blowing across the Tiber, the aroma of freshly baked bread or the taste of delectable Italian cuisine… whatever you are doing, wherever you are, your senses will be fully involved.
You never know - your very own Gregory Peck or Audrey Hepburn could be waiting for you at the next Piazza!
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