Rome is Magical | Day One in Rome, Italy

We all know that Rome is full of cool history and famous sites, so I expected it to be awesome. This city was absolutely mind-blowing. It exceeded my expectations in a way that I don't think any city ever has before. Like every other city, you have your list of must-see sites. For Rome, there are obvious things to see like the Colosseum and Vatican City. 

Upon arriving, I quickly realized there is even more to see than the guidebooks tell you about. Every corner you turn, BAM — there's a giant church from 500 years ago.  Oh, and that beautiful piece of architecture directly across the street is yet another church that is older than the United States. And then you learn that Rome is home to over 900 churches — 900! Little did I know. 

We arrived in Rome around 2 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon and had a few hours to kill before we needed to meet up for a 6 p.m. dinner tour. We dropped our bags off at our hotel and began walking and wandering in the general direction we eventually needed to end up in.

The route we took led us past countless beautiful churches, unidentified ancient ruins, and delicious-smelling cafes and trattorias. Thank God for my pocket-sized Rick Steves guidebook — I was stopped with my nose in it a number of times. It was so nice walking with no set plan. I realize I don't do that often enough while traveling; I'm always on the move with my next three destinations already on my radar. Below is a glimpse into our first four hours — and 3-mile walk — in the Eternal City.

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