I don’t see Rome like you so to me “ do. I live here,all simple, these things are very normal to me. ” Andrea Di Lorenzo Recently I had the privilege of travelling to Rome, Italy, and met with photographer Andrea Di Lorenzo to capture some images of the city’s art, culture, and history. The first time I met with Andrea, I tried to describe my vision of Rome to him. I spoke with lust of the buildings, small streets, old shutters, the chips on the walls, the cracks of the marble statues, and there was one thing he said that really caught my attention. “You need to tell me what you think is beautiful,” he said, “I don’t see Rome like you do. I live here, so to me these things are all simple, very normal to me.” since the owner - Katia Minniti - considers it to be her second home. Minniti works for Gucci, but opening her own restaurant has always been a dream of hers. Although the restaurant itself is quite small, it is constantly filled with people (both locals and tourists) who enjoy its crafty dishes and unique flavours. Although breakfast and brunch, are the restaurant’s forté, customers can also enjoy a gourmet dinner or can drop by for a glass of wine with home made cakes, bread, croissants and such. Coromandel is definitely a go-to spot. So what happens to people who don’t travel, who don’t experience other places? Do they lose sight of what’s beautiful? Do they get so used to their surroundings, that the little things like the colours, cracks, history of their milieu slip past them? One of my favourite areas of Rome to hang out in is Monti, the city’s first ward; Rione I. It is a historical part of Rome, located east of the Forum within Via Cavour and Via Nazionale, and is known and loved for its young, artistic, and trendy atmosphere. When walking through Via Urbana, or hanging out by the Piazzetta della Madonna di Monti, you’ll be surround by Roman artists, and see the streets overflowing with organic markets and galleries, vintage shops, bookstore cafes, and family run boutiques. It is an extremely social environment, known more as the hip part of Rome, and if you want to enjoy a casual evening in a little bar with a glass of wine at hand, or an artisanal beer, Monti is definitely a favourite. I think it’s considered a passion. And sometimes, you can’t explain why you have a passion for something, and I think those are the strongest desires one can have. Kind of like a rare love. Have you ever wondered or been asked, “Why do you love them?” And all you can think is, I don’t know… but I do. It’s not something you can describe, but you can feel it and are aware that it’s there, and it’s not going anywhere. Rome is far from being similar to Toronto or New York. Europe in general, has a different atmosphere, and its culture and history plays a big role in this. There are so many things to see, which makes it extremely difficult to pick out a favourite. But to anyone travelling to Rome… I must say that you have to see it all! From the Colosseum, to the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, the Pantheon, and Palatine Hill - just to name a few - these sites act as a great first step to exploring the city. If I could however give a little recommendation, don’t limit yourself. Go out of your way to explore more, such as the surrounding areas, and that’s when you will get a better feel for the culture as you veer away from mainly touristic attractions; enrich your experience. During our walk around the city, I was introduced to a little restaurant near Piazzo Navona called Coromandel, which is popularly admired as a brunch spot. This modest restaurant, located at Via Di Monte Giordano 60/61, has a very warm feel to it, as it should, Don’t underestimate how much you can learn and experience in a different country, and (hopefully) see the beauty in your experiences. What’s important, is to be open-minded and be aware of that desire for freedom. I think everyone needs an escape every now and then, and if you are someone who does not particularly enjoy travelling, try something new a little closer to home. Maybe you can approach an environment with a different outlook. With new perspectives, you can continue to discover the pleasures in life; it’s the beauty of travel. Now… where to next?