Roma (or Rome) is definitely considered as one of the most beautiful cities. I was excited to spent a quick 24 hours in the city, with about half in Via Dei Condotti shopping street with the girls.
Sitting back in my reading room, and recall what I saw in Roma, and how I feel about it, I started to get stuck. I stayed in a hotel (Mercure) in the northeast side of the city near Plaza Bologna. I visited some famous places like Vatican, Trevi Foundation, Plaza Venezia, Colosseo, or Spagna steps. It was totally an eye pleasure trip, but I still feel there is a wall between me and the city. On the other side, the great meal with local Brother Xiaoyou near Santa Crocs Gerusalemme, and the ice cream fighting in the 100-year old ice cream shop seems more vivid to me, when we barely had consciousness after some nice wine. Why sight seeing is the critical part of the trip but memories with people are another big (if not bigger part)? What is the difference?
In planning the next trip, I would add more element of people interaction. Sometimes to put it with the local attraction as a good background or stage, but interaction, especially with the local, can greatly lift the experience.
In all the Italian cities, I automatically fell in love with Rome. Comparing the limited cities I briefly visited, the city I enjoy least was Venezia, a tourist city, followed by Milano, and Firenze. I felt Roma is more like Beijing, and Milano is more like Shanghai (no wonder Shanghai and Milano recognise each other as sister city in 1979.) There is a long history of both, but just like people joke of Milano when comparing it to Firenze, that Leonardo started in Milano and finally got his peak at Firenze, as many other artist during the Renascence.
A side note here: it is always easy to comment from outsider. Roma and Milano are equally close to me as a tourist, so I can comment a lot, but when the topic is Beijing vs Shanghai, I cannot make an easy decision to move to Beijing or Silicon Valley easily considering all the cost. That is ironic.
Rome is the last stop of my trip to Italy. Wendy and the rest of the team will continue their journey to Paris, and Naples. There is a quick sense of sadness when I said goodbye to Wendy and wrapped my luggage in hotel in the morning of July 1, 2012, and then headed to Roma Fiumicino – Leonardo da Vinci Airport, alone. (Note: That is what travel brings us. Just as drama SHOWS us what the life can be, travel put us into the shoes of the actors, and CREATES some scene like this for us to experience: The excitement of arrival, and the sadness of separation).