As I stood at the entrance to St. Peter's Square, on the border between Rome and the sovereign state of The Vatican, I had a moment of deja vu. … Except that it really wasn't deja vu at all.
The scene laid out in front of me — a busy Roman street filled with tourists in sunhats and vendors selling knock-off purses; a square filled with camera-toting visitors and devoted worshippers clutching rosary beads — was one that was familiar not just from a dream or freak glance into the future. It was one that I had seen before, 8 years previously.
They call Rome “The Eternal City.” This nickname dates back to ancient times, when poets and historians predicted that the Roman Empire would go on forever. After all, Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world, and has been at the center of everything from sprawling empires to the Church over the centuries.
The Roman Empire may not have lasted forever, but there's no arguing that Rome is still going strong.
As I stood there in front of St. Peter's having that deja-vu-like moment, I finally understood the “Eternal City” nickname. Because, even though it had been 8 years since I had been in Rome, it felt like no time at all had passed.
The thing I love about Rome is that the new is mixed in seamlessly with the old and ancient. And, in recent years, the city has started paying more attention to its ancient parts, preserving them and opening them up to visitors.
I spent 5 days in Rome this time around, exploring different parts each day — and of course all the old favorites, too. I want to share my experience of the Eternal City with you, so come with me now on a photo tour of Rome and the Vatican!
For me, even though Rome may be “Eternal” and unchanging, it is nevertheless one of those cities that I think I will always love exploring, no matter how many times I've done it before.
I threw coins into the Trevi Fountain again this time around, because I definitely want to visit Rome again someday.
Check out these other posts about Rome:
Which Rome photo is your favorite?
*Note: I visited Rome as part of my Busabout trip around Europe. They provided me with transport on all 3 of their Europe loops, but all opinions of the destinations I visit are entirely my own! I also saw some of these sites thanks to tours with Walks of Italy.