Rome – Dirty and Beautiful

By Wednesday, May 2, 2012 0 Permalink

The summer after my junior year in college I studied creative writing in Rome. I’ve been thinking about that time a lot lately, not only because my grad school portfolio is filled with writing I did there, but also because Cupcakes and Cashmere has been taunting me with her Italian honeymoon posts. The travel bug is hitting me hard and I really miss being in Italy.

Let me take a moment to tell you, I did not have a single stylish moment while in Rome. If you know anything about Rome during the summer, you know it makes you a hot sticky mess. When I say hot mess, I mean I was puffy from mosquito bites, glistening with sweat, and carrying a constant food baby (thanks gelato). Despite the discomfort, studying in Rome was one of the best decisions of my life.


The Roman Forum: Rome is a beautiful, dirty city. There are bright, lush flowers growing out of walls right next to hot, rotting garbage. It’s a city of juxtapositions; the beautiful and the dirty, the ancient and the modern. It’s impossible to run out of things to be inspired by in this city, from any artistic perspective, whether you’re into fashion, writing, architecture, or fine art. It’s everywhere. But what I loved most were the trees, the Italian Stone Pines – they are simply gorgeous.


Inside The Pantheon


This lady I spotted outside of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on Capitoline Hill had the most impeccable style of anyone I saw on my trip. Look at her, she’s amazing. This was 2009 so she was on right on trend with her bubble skirt. Everything is exactly right, her printed dress with the sheer top, her peep toe pumps, her mint sunglasses, but the best part is her gold purse dangling from a single finger. I never got over this picture. I thought I would be overwhelmed in Rome by women who looked as stylish as this lady, but I was wrong. Sure, I was sweating and trudging around a huge messenger bag full of journals, so it didn’t take much for everyone to look better than me, but I went in with higher expectations. What blew my mind was that Italian women wear colorful, high, strappy heels and walk with absolute ease on ankle breaking cobblestone. I’d cripple myself if I did that while trying to juggle my purse and cell phone and sunglasses all at once.

Capitoline She-Wolf Romulus and Remus

Capitoline She-Wolf with Romulus and Remus

Cupid's House

The House of Cupid and Psyche in Ostia Antica (photo credit: Katie C.): Had I traveled to Rome alone I am not sure I would have seen everything I did. But if you have the chance to travel, even alone, do it. Every travel experience has made an impact on my view of the world – it’s an addicting feeling. Good or bad, trips abroad don’t have to be great to make a great story. Leave a comment and share some of your travel experiences! :D

Villa D'Este

The Rometta Fountain at Villa d’Este or the most gorgeous place I visited in Italy.