The Unique City of Rome


In between burying my nose in Rick Steve’s Rome guide book (btw I am never traveling anywhere without him again – Godsend!) to dish the facts about this, that and the other ruin we were standing in front of, Ben and I took the time to appreciate how unique the city of Rome really is.

Take for instance, its doors.


Yes, Rome’s doors! Ben still doesn’t quite understand my fascination with these babies, but I found it utterly fascinating that every door in Rome – whether it led to an apartment building, a bank, or other business – is completely different… and BEAUTIFUL!

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Some doors are new, while others are old.

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Some are HUGE,


while others are small. ;)


Many channel other continents and time periods,

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but no matter what, each one has its own identity.

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I never saw a single one that looked like the other!

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Come on – you think it’s interesting…don’t ya’?! ;)


Whenever we’d see someone about to head in, we’d hang back to catch a peek of what was inside. A lot of times they’d reveal a lovely courtyard…


while other times they’d open up to the most wonderful sights in the city!




The thing that charmed us the most about Rome was that behind each door, and around each corner, there was a new and interesting view.




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There was no shortage of "what the??" exclamations as practically every other turn produced a massive and intricately carved building!


No clue as to what these buildings are used for, but they’re HUGE and they’re EVERYWHERE!


We assume that many are used by the government – but who knows?!


Arguably the most impressive buildings we stumbled upon were the hundreds of basilicas created over dozens or hundreds of years, sprinkled generously throughout the city.


Each one was absolutely breathtaking,


and filled with so many details it’d take you YEARS to pick them all out.


Other times the shout was "ohhh!" as the beautiful street views never failed to wow us.


I think the reason I kept feeling like I was on a movie set, as we walked through the streets of Rome, is because everything I’ve ever seen on tv or in the movies about Italy – the crumbling brick,


the romantic street lights,


and the hidden trattorias, are REAL!


Another thing that is evident no matter where you are in the city, is the ruins.


If Rome cashed in a mere fraction of the thousands of marble columns from hundreds and thousands of years ago, scattered ALL over the city, they’d be the next Dubai…before the bust…


The city has truly built itself up around the ruins – which is so incredible.


Seriously – this building was over 1,000 years old and I walked next to it. I TOUCHED IT!


How’d you like to live across the street from Cesar’s old palace?!


The great thing about the ruins is that they’re accessible. If this were in America, there’d be armed guards, men in lab coats and a DO NOT TOUCH perma signs over the entire city.


The people in Rome though, respect the ruins. They’re allowed to enjoy and live amongst them without restriction. I think that’s AWESOME.


Hope you enjoyed a peek into the unique city of Rome! :D

Other Italy Recaps:

Vlogs, updates and posts from Italy

When In Italy: Eat, Drink & Have Gelato!

Life On the Mediterranean Coast!

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  1. Kristin 09.14.2010

    Gorgeous pics! DH and I loved Rome; it was spectacular! We spent our time in Southern Italy on the island of Ischia which we loved also. Amazing scenery and thermal baths fed by volcanic springs.

  2. Ms.S 09.14.2010

    When I was in Vienna for a study abroad program, some of those cool old buildings were used as part of the University system. So there were classrooms inside! Very cool, in my opinion. And I dig the doors!

  3. Joelle 09.14.2010

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but never commented before. I just wanted to say that you’ve written about your trip in a very beautiful way. I was really captivated :)

  4. Julie @SavvyEats 09.14.2010

    We are leaving for our honeymoon in Italy two weeks from today, and reading your recaps has gotten me even more excited!

  5. erica 09.14.2010

    seriously, your posts are stirring the traveling bug in me! i’m loving all the pictures!!! i’ve always wanted to travel to rome…and your pictures are just further confirming it!

  6. Angharad 09.14.2010

    I am absolutely LOVING this. I can’t tell you how much I adore Italy and I feel like I am vicariously living through you reading all these recaps! So wonderful.

    And yes, I am totally into the doors :)

  7. Liz @ Blog is the New Black 09.14.2010

    I enjoyed “the door tour!” Your pics are incredible and your really captured the authenticity of Rome!

  8. Melissa 09.14.2010

    So gorgeous & the doors are TDF!!! I would have been wondering what was behind each & every one. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Renee 09.14.2010

    im in love with your vacation entries… i love the way you word them– i think im more excited about it because you’re excited about it! and you have so much respect for all of it, i adore you on a whole another level now! i feel the need to book tickets… like now…although im broke. A few years maybe? :)

  10. oh this brought back so many memories! thanks for sharing your wonderful pics :)

  11. sara 09.14.2010

    Incredible! I was in Rome for a few days in college as part of a choir tour. It was so amazing to not only go into all of the cathedrals, but then to sing in them was even better. We had formal concerts in a few (including St. Marks in Venice – woah), but also would just gather in any place we were touring and sing a little something a capella – awesome!!

  12. Andrea 09.14.2010

    Love the doors, that was one of my favorite things in Europe. All your recaps and pictures make me want to go back so bad! Glad your trip was amazing!!!!

  13. Renae 09.14.2010

    love the pix, especially the doors!!!!

  14. Dani 09.14.2010

    I absolutely love ALL of your pictures! Taking pictures of all of the different kind of doors was such a great idea!

  15. Jacki 09.14.2010

    I actually have a print in my foyer called Dubuque Doorways. (sample at The photographer is local and did at least 3 others: Linn County, Galena and Door County. Very cool picture. I gave it as a going away present for someone and liked it so much I framed one for myself!

  16. Wow.. so amazing and beautiful. It REALLY reminds me of my visit to Ireland earlier this summer. They had the COOLEST doors in the cities! They were all different colors and many the doorknob in the middle of the door, instead of on one side. We heard a story that the doors were painted different colors because there was a husband who was drunk one night (you know the Irish love their beer ;) ) and got confused and went in the wrong house! True? I dunno, but it’s cute!
    And you would see just random ruins of castles EVERYWHERE and it was so bizarre! Especially next to these brand new buildings! It really wakes you up to how YOUNG the U.S. is!

  17. jad18 09.14.2010

    Great pictures! It is amazing to look at the ruins and wonder how many people have marveled at the same sights over the years.

  18. Meagan 09.14.2010

    Beautiful Photography! Rome seems breathtaking! Those doors are so cool!

  19. Lynn 09.15.2010

    If you will print up a set of note cards with those wonderful doors on them, I guarantee you they will sell and I will be one of your first customers! Spectacular. You are a very good photographer with an eye for detail. Thanks so much for sharing.

  20. Loved your photo tour of the doors. I would never have thought to consider how different doors can be! I’m enjoying your vacay recaps. It makes DF and I so much more excited about our mini 4-day vacay! =)

  21. Teresa 09.15.2010

    Wow – you must’ve fallen in love with it – thanks for sharing these!

  22. brandi 09.15.2010

    Beautiful! My favorite city in Spain that we visited in February was Toledo, and the doors were so similar! All different, all beautiful. We took a ton of pictures of them, too!

  23. how beautiful! my mom loves doors so i’ll have to email this to her :)

  24. […] Comments « The Unique City of Rome […]

  25. Daisy 09.15.2010

    I too share your love for doors. I have walked around my very own city (The south end and back bay neighborhoods specifically) taking pictures of just doors. For sure fascinating, and glad to know I’m not the only one….

    ROME is gorgeous. You captured it unlike anyone I’ve ever seen!! I had no idea the ruins were so intertwined like that and people can wander about them. That is so very cool and fun!!

  26. jenn 09.15.2010

    the doors were very reminiscent for me, i took a lot of pic of different doors in italy as well. Everyone i was with thought i was weird for doing it.

  27. jen 09.15.2010

    absolutely incredible! I find the doors SO interesting! And the ruins, for reals!

    I’ve always wanted to go, but you’ve made me want to go more than ever now! So awesome!

  28. Theresa 09.15.2010

    I love your photos. I just got back from three weeks in Italy on the 1st and it was so amazing! I could live there, easily! I also am fascinated with the doors! I probably have 100+ photos of just doors in all the different cities we traveled. I already miss it and want to go back! Thanks for the fun pictures to remind me of my trip!

  29. Julie S. 09.15.2010

    Those pics were amazing! I’m not kidding when I say that I am definitely going to Italy now that I’ve seen what I’m missing! I agree w/ you about the doors. Very cool.

  30. I heart Rome too! I’m a big fan of Italy in general. It’s all so beautiful and the people are lovely.

  31. Bree 09.15.2010

    Wow – I love these photos. Unfortunately I went to Rome before architecture school, so my appreciation of it now is much greater. I love the door photos. Building everything back when most of the things pictured were built was a skill. Every detail was carefully thought out and planned. Unfortunately those skills are hard to find these days – especially in the U.S.

  32. Erin 09.15.2010

    Do you have a travel book suggestion for Japan???

    So glad you enjoyed your trip!

  33. AnneWF 09.15.2010

    I really enjoyed your thoughts about your travels in Rome. The doors, the streets, the ruins. I have never really wanted to travel much out of the country, there is still so much I want to see and do here, but seeing your photos and hearing your point of view I have now changed my mind. The one thought that comes to mind after reading and seeing your experience is…wow.
    Anne WF

  34. […] food and snapshot-ready scenery make it memorable, but it’s sites make it unforgettable. Let’s take a tour of my 3 […]

  35. Caity 11.15.2010

    Love your blog!! I’m studying in Rome for this semester and have a fascination with the doors as well! People think I’m crazy but I think they’re very cool. Keep up the great website, it rocks!
    Ciao =)

  36. Macy 07.21.2011

    First, I love your blog. I’m just starting my senior year of highschool and I want to travel more because of you! I went to Europe this summer for an EF tours trip, and it was quite literally the trip of a lifetime. I went from London, to Paris, to Lucerne, to all parts of Italy, and Finally Greece. All in a matter of 21 days! I would highly recommend that if you go to Greece, check out the Greek islands of Mykonos, Patmos and Santorini. They were my favorite out of all the places I went to; breathtaking and beautiful.

  37. Jennifer 01.15.2012

    I just got back from a trip to Italy and we visited Rome, Florence and Venice. Those weird and different doors don’t stop in Rome!! I noticed them a lot in Florence. Tiny little doors fit for children. I saw one guy wheeling his bicycle through one. Italy is so different and amazing!! I can’t wait to go back and I only came back to the states a week ago!

  38. Alexandra Klus 02.16.2012

    Great post. I too am from Iowa, but lived in Rome. You mention being so excited to have touched a building that is 1,000 years old…are you aware that Rome is much, MUCH more ancient than that?! The Pantheon alone is almost 2,000 years old! I’m sure you walked next to, and touched many, much more ancient, pieces of Roman history without even being aware!

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