It’s unfortunate that so many visitors to Rome only see the most touristy parts of la città eterna (the Eternal City). The Coliseum, the Vatican, maybe the Spanish Steps if you have time, and the sorry excuses for Italian restaurants located just steps from these famous sites—while they are all significant components of this magnificent city that should be seen and appreciated in all their historic glory, there is so much more to Rome.
Rome is, in a word, seductive. Alan Epstein said it best in As the Romans Do, a non-fiction account of his transition into Roman life: “What it offers in the way of beauty, of sensuality, of creativity, no other city can match. Even if New York is more avant-garde, Paris more elegant, San Francisco fresher and more naturally dramatic, Rome still holds first place when it comes to utter devotion to pleasure.”
This ancient city has the power to intoxicate you, make you feel deliriously high on Chianti, bucatini all'amatriciana, and nocciola gelato, but the best high you can experience in Rome is found taking in the numerous city views. The views found from the Pincio hill, in the Stadio Olimpico, atop the Vittorio Emanuele monument, above Piazza San Pietro, and on the Gianicolo hill are enough to render you breathless (after having the Chianti, bucatini and gelato, of course).