Italy | 5 Movies to Watch Before Traveling to Rome

Rome is a magical place where magical things happen. There are few modern cities with so much ancient history. There are few cities with such history that also have some of the most iconic food in the world. There are few cities with as many opportunities to make wishes in fountains or in churches. Hollywood clearly feels the same way that I do about the eternal city. Here are some of my favorite (and one not-so-favorite) movies that have featured Rome, not just as a setting, but as another character:

Rome, Italy | I’m Italy-ing You to Visit Small Churches in Rome

Before we traveled to Italy, I made my traditional spreadsheet of places to visit and eat, all recommended by friends and fellow travel bloggers. One woman I didn’t even ask for advice kept telling me that there would be a church on every corner, but not to waste my time with them. She wanted to only talk about St. Peter’s Basilica and said that nothing else was worth going to. I had a feeling that this woman and I would not travel well together, so I made a note to ignore her advice.

Philadelphia | How am I Gonna be an Optimist about This?

Pompeii is having a moment. There was of course, my family’s visit to Pompeii, Italy this past summer. There is the amazing Bastille song that I haven’t been able to get out of my head for months (not a complaint). There is a Pompeii movie in theaters now and one available on NetFlix. And, there is an exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia with relics on loan from the Naples National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy.

Pompeii, Italy | The Walls Kept Tumbling Down in the City that we Love

I have been interested in Pompeii for about 20 years when I received a Kids Discovery magazine with the title. This issue was devoted to the ancient city buried during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. I read and reread the Pompeii and Pyramids issues as much as I read my Samantha Parkington books, never expecting to actually explore Pompeii myself one day. But that day did actually come, when my family and I traveled to Italy this past summer. The site is a quick day-trip from Rome and therefore is pretty crowded with tourists, but even with the crowds, this day in July was definitely one of my favorite travel days ever.

Top Travel Posts of 2013

In addition to my aforementioned incredible year with New York City, in 2013 I got to explore the world further. In recent years, I’ve only taken one small trip a year: St. Thomas a few times, London, Amsterdam. This year I took two bigger trips and I don’t want to stop anytime soon.

Rome, Italy | When you Wish in Front of a Fountain

I’m not exactly superstitious, but I am a *little* stitious. I don’t really avoid bad luck, by staying away from cracks in the sidewalks, black cats, or ladders, but I do try to enhance my good luck. I wear my birthstone, sometimes pick up lucky pennies, and never miss a chance to make a wish. My mom always told my sister and I that anytime you’re in a new house of worship, you can make a wish.

Italy | Treat Yo’Self

Before we went to Italy last month, everyone kept raving about the gelato. Our frousin Kara told us to eat it twice a day. We didn’t quite follow Kara’s rules to a tee, but we did eat a sufficient amount.

Florence, Italy | It’s All About the Climb

Although I have a slight fear of heights sometimes (like on top of an elephant or while jumping from a boat – what is wrong with me?!), I always look out for a high point in a new city to experience it from above – to identify what I’ve already been to and where I still need to go, to compare it to the map I’ve been studying, to have my breath taken away by the views (and in some cases, by the climb up to the views).