I started my first morning in Rome with a sunny stroll through the Trastevere district; its charming narrow streets took me and my camera from one beautiful exterior to another.
As I walked around, I remembered the advantages of traveling alone: I dreamed and planned, and now I have a whole week to move around this city as I please.
Like many of my previous solo trips, I let food, history and curiosity lead the way. My desire for the perfect Italian meal led me to lunch at Salumeria Roscioli; local markets for fresh produce and sweets; and even on a day trip to Opera 02 – a winery in the Emilia-Romagna region – for Lambrusco and tortellini en brodo.
Food in Italy is on another level, but so is its history. Rome is an open-air museum where you can choose your own adventure – every turn is a lesson in ancient art, architecture and civilization. A 20-minute walk from the Colosseum will take you to the Trevi Fountain and a short metro ride will take you to Vatican City. And being alone allows you to discover everything at your own pace.
But Rome is much more than its frequented sites. Many locals offer off-the-beaten-path tours that are ideal for solo travelers looking to connect with people. I booked an excursion that took me just outside the city center to the town of Castel Gandolfo, where I spent the morning kayaking and swimming in Lake Albano.
I continued my journey alone and with the new friends I made, chatting over cacio e pepe and bottles of wine. Making memories in the company of other people is always special, but traveling solo can show you that your own company is more special than you think.