Since I finished studying in Italy nearly three years ago, I had longed to return. The landscape turned up in dreams, the food remained (sadly) unmatched, and the language lay in a forlorn, unused corner of my brain. So, when a good friend of mine moved to Rome for a year (fully-equipped with a free place to crash), I saved my money and jumped at the first opportunity for a two-week visit.
As my home base, I spent most of my time in Rome. It’s a city overflowing with history, architecture, and culture. Around seemingly every corner in the city center is a monument straight out of a textbook. Having a personal tour-guide with local connections, though, allowed me to see a side of the city outside of the tourist attractions: la Roma dei Romani (the Rome of the Romans, as one local described it). I visited centri sociali (social centers) with modern art and music, and unmarked restaurants free of the ever-present international tourist. I didn’t carry my camera with me nearly as much as I should have, but these are a few brief impressions from my time in Rome: