In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are 5 of the absolute best places to kiss in Rome, in no particular order. And just so you know, it was really hard to choose just 5 out of the many spots in Rome that are perfect for a romantic rendezvous. It’s such a romantic city, there are way too many to list!
VILLA BORGHESE PARK
Villa Borghese Park is the largest urban park in central Rome, and the Galleria Borghese has been called one of the best museums in the world. Take your time marveling at the treasures inside the gallery, then take your sweetheart on a romantic walk through the outdoor gardens and along the lake. We’re sure you’ll stumble upon a quiet path with incredible views where you can both lean in for a kiss.
THE SPANISH STEPS
Make like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday and recreate this famous scene the Spanish Steps. Afterwards, you and your sweetheart can pose with a kiss, then climb up to the balcony all the way at the top of the steps. Try to time your visit close to sunset, and you’ll be rewarded with a stunningly romantic view.
Late afternoon into early evening is almost magical in Piazza Navona. The street musicians start to play and the lights cast a soft glow on the piazza and the Fountain of Neptune in its center. Take a seat at the fountain’s edge and hold each other close as you watch the world go by. When the moment is right, lean in for that perfect kiss.
With its narrow cobblestone streets, quaint sidewalk cafes, and ornate medieval buildings, there’s a romantic spot around nearly every corner in Trastevere. To get there, cross one of the many pedestrian bridges over the Tiber and make your way toward the central piazza. Before you get there, we guarantee you’ll find quite a few perfect spots to share the perfect kiss.
ONE OF THE MANY PEDESTRIAN BRIDGES OVER THE TIBER RIVER
Imagine standing on a cobblestone bridge over the Tiber River, and yes, almost any one of them will do. You’ve got a beautiful view everywhere you look. Soft lights illuminate the ancient buildings around you, the waters of the Tiber sparkle below you in the moonlight, and the sky above is filled with stars. Seriously, what are you waiting for?
There you have it, 5 of the absolute best places to kiss in Rome. Now all you have to do is buy your plane ticket! Check back next week for more fun facts about Italy. Don’t want to wait that long? Head over to our Patreon page now!
A long time ago, in a kingdom far, far away, a ruler and his noblemen began a great tradition. The kingdom was called Venice, and the king was called the doge. Though the nobility of Venice were rich, some of the city’s peasants were very, very poor.
Every year on February 2 -- the Feast of the Purification of Mary, Mother of God -- all the young couples who were going to be married that year were blessed by the bishop. However, there were many young girls whose families were too poor to provide them with a dowry. The doge and his nobles decided they would choose 12 of these girls and fund dowries for them. They also lent the girls fine clothes and jewels from the kingdom’s personal coffers to wear during the ceremony. To be chosen was a great honor, and the young brides became known as the “12 Marias,” after the feast day on which the blessing took place.
The tradition developed happily over many years. Then one year, everything changed. The Festival of the 12 Marias being now very well-known, a bold band of pirates decided it was the perfect opportunity to make their fortune. They would attack the city during the blessing ceremony, kidnap the brides-to-be, and keep them and all the jewels of Venice for themselves.
The attack went as planned. The pirates escaped, hauling the terrified girls along with them, to the shock and horror of the people of Venice. The army, the husbands-to-be, and all the able-bodied men of Venice, including the doge himself, chased after the pirates. They engaged and defeated the pirates, and they brought all the girls home safely. The doge declared the victory a miracle, and in the years to come, it was celebrated and commemorated in all its glory.
The festival became not only a blessing of the young couples-to-be but also a celebration of thanksgiving to God for saving their city and all the young brides. For a while, this made the festival even grander than before. The 12 Marias were paraded triumphantly through the city for all to see. Crowds larger than before gathered to watch, and the festival became as patriotic as it was religious.
But it didn’t take long before financial troubles scaled down the festival’s grandeur. And scaled it down more. And down some more. The 12 Marias became 4, and then 3. And then Venice went to war. After so much money was spent to save the kingdom, there wasn’t enough left to provide dowries for a few poor peasant girls.
By this time, the festival was deeply ingrained in the city’s tradition. The nobility hesitated to do away with it entirely, but to keep it, big changes had to be made. Finally, the nobles decided they didn’t have to sponsor any young brides at all. They could commemorate the victory just as well by replacing the girls with dolls made of wood that would be paraded down the street in their place.
The people of Venice weren’t happy with that solution at all. They threw vegetables at the wooden dolls as they were paraded past. Things got so out of hand that the nobility passed a law making it illegal to throw vegetables at the puppets. The festival became less and less popular until it disappeared entirely.
Finally, it was brought back in modern times to commemorate the city’s past, with real girls again posing as the 12 Marias. Since everybody wanted the honor of being chosen as one of the Marias, and the city no longer had to provide them with dowries, the city didn’t lose any money by choosing real girls over the wooden dolls. The Festival of the Marias is held on February 2 and is an important event during the celebration of Carnival. To this day, the wooden dolls are called “marionettes,” after the 12 Marias they were first made to represent.
Want to celebrate Carnival like you’re in Venice? Check out these beautiful masks available on Amazon! Wear one of these to your local Carnival or Mardi Gras celebration, and you’ll be the talk of the town!
Want to see video footage of the Festival of the 12 Marias? Click here!
Hey everybody! It’s launch day! Our Patreon page JUST WENT LIVE! Take a look to see all the great stuff you can get for just a few dollars a month. And if you haven’t signed up for our email list, remember everyone who signs up through the end of February gets a FREE gift! You’ll get a sample “Weekend Getaway” itinerary and a short Valentine’s Day story!
This month’s travel theme is ITALY! So all the content we send you will be related to Italy in some way. To start things off right, and in keeping with February’s upcoming romantic holiday, here are some thoughts about one of Rome’s most romantic traditions.
The Trevi Fountain is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions, and city workers collect roughly 3,000 euros worth of coins from the fountain every day after the tourists leave. Why so many coins? Because a longstanding tradition says that if you toss in a coin, you’ll return to Rome someday.
You’re supposed to use your right hand to toss the coin over your left shoulder into the fountain, but I didn’t know that when I visited. I tossed in a few coins during the three months I spent there, and I must have tossed at least one in correctly, because it worked! I had no idea I’d ever be coming back to Rome. I really wanted to, but there are so many amazing places to see in this world and just not enough time.
Nine years later, I found myself on a plane headed back to the Eternal City -- just for a week this time -- and only after I arrived did I think about the coins. I tossed another one in that week, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the old tradition works as well as it did the first time. There’s something so romantic about the idea that I’m only saying goodbye for a while. Like two lovers separated by circumstances but determined to find each other again, my love affair with Rome keeps drawing me back. And I’m not ready for it to end.
Let’s face it -- 2017 just wasn’t the best year. I mean, where should I even start? Rising tensions with North Korea ignited long-dormant fears of nuclear war. Hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes rocked the world on a scale not seen in modern history. And somehow, despite these unfolding world calamities, a revolving door of scandals from Washington and Hollywood managed to dominate the media and society’s attention. And of course, many of us endured our own personal tragedies or overcame very difficult obstacles at some point during the year. I’m pretty sure we’re all hoping for something better in 2018. Here are a few simple ways to help keep calm and carry on in the days to come.
CHOOSE ONE THING TO BE THANKFUL FOR EACH DAY
Do this when you first wake up in the morning, to start your day off right. Maybe you’re thankful for your child, or your spouse, or your good friend who’s always there for you. Maybe you’re thankful for an upcoming getaway, a dinner out, or just the sun shining after a few days of rain. Maybe you're just thankful for the fact that you get to sleep in for a little while. Hey, it can even be something as simple as the fact that the coffee shop spelled your name right today! Whatever you're thankful for, you'll find that just thinking about it brings your level of stress down a little bit. You'll breathe a little easier and, more than likely, you'll start your day with a smile.
CHOOSE ONE THING YOU WANT TO DO BETTER THIS YEAR
Just one thing. Mine is to make sure I wash the dishes every night before I go to bed. Yeah, I’ve already failed a few times, but each day is a new day. Even if I fail sometimes, I know I’ll still do better than I did last year. See, most people get themselves into trouble trying to take on too much at once. For example, if I decide that my New Year’s resolution is to lose 20 pounds in time for Easter by exercising five times a week and cutting out all sugar and bread from my diet while also working toward a promotion at my job, that’s a nervous breakdown just waiting to happen! Instead, focus on doing one thing and doing it really well. You’ll be so happy when you succeed, but not overwhelmed with stress when you don’t. You can still work on your other goals, too -- just don’t hold yourself to the same level of accountability as with that one special goal.
CHOOSE ONE WAY TO REWARD OR PAMPER YOURSELF ON A REGULAR BASIS
Even though you might not be able to pamper yourself every day, aim for half an hour once a week, or maybe 1-2 hours once a month. Just knowing that a set time of relaxation is waiting for you and being able to visualize it will really help when you start to get stressed out. You could use the time for journaling, planning a trip you want to go on, taking a relaxing bath, or enjoying a glass of wine or some hot tea with a good book. If you need some inspiration, check out this relaxing spa gift basket, available here on Amazon or directly through Victoria's Lavender. You’ll probably only need an hour or two to enjoy this delightful experience. The bath salts and lotion are heavenly, and I love the neck wrap, too. It’s a gift that just keeps giving over and over again. You can even make a cup of lavender tea to sip on! And if a longer spa escape is in order, check out this great deal from Spafinder.com!
Just remember, there is always, always something to be thankful for. Even if it's just the beauty of a sunrise, or the laughter of a little child, there is something out there to smile about. New year, new start! And goodbye 2017!
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