Behind the Lens

What’s it really like to visit the most popular sights in the world?

Disappointment is bound to happen at some point when traveling, especially in this media-dominated age.

We build these places up in our minds, liking and pinning impossibly beautiful photos as the big departure date gets closer. It’s no wonder that sometimes reality just doesn’t live up to those Insta-perfect expectations. The real world is not carefully filtered for optimal lighting and edited to neatly hide any blemishes in the scene. In Rome, for example, I was shocked to realize that there were probably more tourists than locals in 75% of the places we visited. The ancient, beautiful, historic city of Rome was there, but it was hidden behind hordes of tourists, obnoxious hawkers, and the ever-present click of cameras all around us.

In the interest of showing these big name attractions as they truly are, I invited several bloggers from the travel community to share the places that have surprised them along the way. Continue reading “Behind the Lens”

Rome Day 1

When I think back on our time in Rome, I remember the warm weather, the colorful buildings, the dark cobbled streets, and the happiness I felt at being there with Dan.

On our first night in Rome, however, we were feeling a bit jaded and less than charmed by the city. It probably didn’t help that we had just flown in from Paris, where we had spent the last five days being swept off our feet. Not wanting to repeat the dreadful experience of dragging our luggage through trains and along tiny streets, we opted to take a cab from the airport directly to our hotel near Piazza Navona. The cab ride took us past some pretty seedy-looking areas, with graffiti covering crumbling walls and what essentially looked like a series of American strip malls. It was not the glorious, brightly lit Rome I’d coveted in other people’s vacation photos, and I started to wonder if we should have just spent our last vacation days in Paris after all. Continue reading “Rome Day 1”

Rome: First Impressions of the Eternal City

In the interest of moving things along, I wanted to go ahead and share how Dan and I spent the final leg of our Euro Trip in Rome. There will be three more posts in this series, one for each day, and then it’s back to our regularly-scheduled programming. Lord knows I’m not done writing about Paris or sharing the hundreds of photos we took while abroad!

When Dan and I first began planning our spring trip to France, we knew we wanted to tack on a quick visit to Italy. Neither of us had been to the country before, but we were drawn to the beautiful scenery, the rich history, and the idea of eating real Italian food. Our initial wish list included stops in Rome, Venice and Capri, but in the end, we only had the time and budget to visit one of our top picks. Continue reading “Rome: First Impressions of the Eternal City”