"My Rome: Still a Classic Beauty"

Jun 1st, 2017, 11:09 AM
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"My Rome: Still a Classic Beauty"


An interesting perspective from a house hunter returning to Rome after living there 15 years ago. Things have changed, not all for the good, and Rome is not immune to some of the 'plagues' that have reached other Italian (European?) cities.

I remember first visiting Rome in my early 20s (early 1970s) and thinking it was the most amazing city on earth. I still love it (and feel I must have lived there in a previous life), but each subsequent visit has been more discouraging and finding Rome's hidden charms harder.

The author has some nice restaurant observations/recommendations. At the end of the article, click on "At Home in Rome" for more info on 'sustenance.'
Jean is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 11:44 AM
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Thanks! Neither DH nor I have spent much time in Rome, we usually stay up north (we both love Milan). But we've decided to give Rome six nights in Feb 2018.

FWIW, those perfume boutiques mentioned in the article are multiplying in every Italian city we've been to in the last few years. I would love to find a new "signature" perfume for me but there's too much choice, I don't know where to begin! We counted about a dozen just in Milan's Brera/Muscova neighbourhood in December 2016.
WeisserTee is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 11:14 PM
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Last time I was in Rome (April) I thought for the first time: "I wouldn't want to live here." I used to think I would like it -- although I probably thought of it more in terms of living there for 10 months or maybe 2 years -- never forever. But I was surprised to find myself spontaneously thinking I wouldn't like it as a home. Can't tell what it was that made me think it, especially since it was an absolutely beautiful day and no unpleasant thing happened to me. Maybe I've changed, that's all. I've always been at odds with the bombastic church architecture of Rome (the sites of antiquity are my favorite parts of being in Rome), so maybe this time I felt "Basta!" for good.

Still like Roman food however, despite its having become unfashionable.
massimop is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 11:25 PM
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Also, FWIW, I found the article itself another "turista" set of cliches. What I really wish is that the New York Times would send a team of reporters out to walking through America's cities, taking buses, looking at 15 different neighborhoods to live, counting not the beer bottles but the needles and the condoms in the parks. Sure the Duane Reade & the WalMart stays open 24 hours, and probably sports stadiums are better than ever, but the problems that "plague" American cities seem seriously far worse than an invasion of hipster cafes -- and I don't see anybody in American media willing to talk about it honestly. Even catastrophes like Flint get flash-in-the-pan coverage. Those people still don't have clean water after 2 years. And whatever happened to New Orleans. America's urban decay, except for some enclaves of high-priced real estate -- and even there, people live in fear at night -- could use as much space in the newspaper as Jason Horowitz got to natter on sentimentally about his purely private non-problems.
massimop is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 02:35 AM
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The New York Times, which I like a lot, is recently on a Rome-bashing bender that is irritating me a lot. I live here and I will be the first to tell you it is not paradise.... But a lot of the problems are created, or at least worsened, by the citizens. Neither the romans, nor apparently the nyt reporters notice that to stop the degradation, they have to start with themselves: the author is worried about his son seeing seagulls picking trash in the Ghetto, but how nice that he is learning the art of effortlessly cutting to the head of a line, or ah how nostalgic that the wife jumped fences and partied in the historic ruins.
The restaurants mentioned in the article - an eclectic mix, and mostly based on one-off experiences, not to be taken more seriously than any one-off review you read elsewhere, from someone who is neither an expert, nor has experience, nor is at least someone who you know and whose tastes you are familiar with.
vinoroma is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 05:39 AM
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I'd agree.

After many , many trips to Italy, consciously avoiding the hoards of Rome, we visited two years ago. For us, it was just packed with classic charisma, other than the Spanish Steps which were simply mobbed. It was great to sit on the terrace of the Byron museum, having a cup of tip.

Wandering down the ruins of the Appian Way was a lifetime experience.
BritishCaicos is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 08:03 AM
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massimop, read different U.S. newspapers. Our urban ills do get coverage (Detroit got enormous reporting where I live), and it is still print journalism that brings a lot of regional problems to light. We're a huge country, so reporting in any one newspaper cannot possibly be comprehensive of the nation as a whole. To say that people "live in fear at night" is a bit over the top. BTW, what are you reading about the opioid epidemic heading your way?

vinoroma, the NYT also doesn't like Los Angeles (or much of the West Coast), but I'm familiar with their biases. New Yorkers tend to think they live in the center of the universe, and the rest of us know better. Do keep in mind that this article appeared in the travel section of the NYT, not in the 'news' pages, and I don't think his observations are any less valid than the trip reports that people write on Fodors. FWIW, I don't take restaurant reviews anywhere very seriously, even those by professional food critics. It's all subjective. If a place sounds interesting and I'm nearby, I might try it, but I don't schedule my dining the way some people organize their daily sightseeing.
Jean is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 08:17 AM
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The article seems like it's about a guy having a midlife crisis, not really about Rome. Yeah, buddy, you're one of those people now. You're an aging yuppie. Get over it.

I think the NYT is an excellent paper, but I often find its lifestyle & travel sections a bit ridiculous.
Leely2 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2017, 08:44 AM
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I thought it was more about seeing a changing city he had experienced as a carefree young man through new eyes as a father with responsibilities. Rome is not the place it was 15 years ago (few places are), and he's not the same person either.
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