There is an intoxicating magic that falls over Rome when the sun sinks behind its ruins.  Large tour groups dissolve, and locals emerge.   Lights illuminate ancient monuments and baroque fountains.  Piazzas come alive with music and laughter.  Joy is always in the air on an evening in Roma.

What makes Rome so special, night and day, is the way it manages to effortlessly mingle thousands of years of history and make it all so very accessible for Roman life today.

The Colosseum, Pantheon, Bernini fountains, monuments we have studied all our lives are not roped off and forbidden, they are a welcoming part of what I am convinced is the most fascinating and vibrant city in the world.

As night falls in Rome, the gladiators disappear and friends come together to enjoy each other’s company and the Colosseum in the moonlight.

Everything is within walking distance of each other.  My favorite thing to do is follow the sound of roaring water to the Trevi Fountain.  Young locals and tourists flirt under its spell.  The third coin is, after all, supposed to grant you a marriage in Rome!

The water in the Trevi Fountain is still provided by the Acqua Vergine aqueduct, which also supplies Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers.

The Pantheon is a short walk from the Trevi Fountain on the way to my favorite piazza in Rome.  Impressive during the day, the Pantheon is stunning at night in the lights.  From a seat on the fountain in the piazza sit and stare for a while.  There are some excellent shops for a panino or gelato nearby, and what a backdrop!

Another short stroll will lead you to Piazza Navona.  Like the Trevi Fountain, you can hear the party before you arrive.  Artists set up and sell paintings of famous sites in Rome.  Some draw portraits of their customers.  They ask the subject to remain still with a pleasant, relaxed expression.  Locals delight in walking by and making them laugh.

The great piazza holds such history; built on an ancient Roman stadium, filled with Baroque architecture and exquisite beauty, but it is the feeling there that really steals your heart.

Musicians wander and play on various instruments Italian favorites and romantic anthems like “O Sole Mio”, “On an Evening in Roma” and “Arrivederci Roma.”  That one always brings a tear to my eye, as arrivederci is the last thing I ever want to say to Rome.  On the last night if I happen to hear it I always end up a mess of tears, clinging for dear life to my perch beside Bernini’s fountain.

Rome’s monuments stand as a testament to the city’s lasting charm.  From Caesar, to the Apostle Paul, to Michelangelo, to Bernini, to me as a young girl at 15, Rome has enchanted the entire world.  There it stands waiting to welcome you, waiting to capture your heart.

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Lindsay Sinko,

Passion for Italy, USA