Rome: city of love
Posted by romacogitans su 2 ottobre 2007
Forget Paris with its calculating seduction and frigid architecture. Sensual Rome is the true city of romance.
James Owen points the way to its tender heart.
Paris – city of lovers. Well, that’s how it has sold itself, as the amorous capital of the world. But ask yourself how passionate a place it really is: that frigid architecture, those superior shopgirls, that all-too-British weather. What we want from love is not a calculated seduction, but a spontaneous release – the urge to dance in fountains, to throw off convention and jump on a motorbike. If it’s true romance you want, it has to be Rome.
Rome has the head-turning looks that only two millennia of architecture can bring
For me – and I’ve loved in both places – the Italian capital beats its French rival hands down for sex appeal. Do you desire the Audrey Hepburn of Funny Face, hobbled in Paris by an ageing Fred Astaire, or the one finding first love with Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday? Artists, writers and dreamers from the Romantic poets onwards have chosen to become Latin lovers – and with good reason. Rome has the head-turning looks that only two millennia of architecture can bring, reliably gorgeous weather (outside of sweltering August, when the city largely shuts down), warm-hearted and generous people, and good-value restaurants and hotels. Paris is rain falling on the Seine; Rome is bell towers and jasmine and laughter.
And all this generates something that few cities can – a sense of wellbeing, of heart-singing pleasure, that you want to share with someone else. There are some cities where one feels happy alone (New York and London, in my experience). Rome makes you want to hold hands, whether it’s skipping together down the Spanish Steps or sauntering through the Borghese gardens. Below are my suggestions for a perfectly romantic time, and whether or not things work out in the long run, at least you’ll still be able to say: “We’ll always have Rome.”
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