Rome (1 of 3)
Roma caput mundi. The Eternal City. The head, the mind, and the capital of the world. All roads lead to Rome. No other city comes close. Rome is an epic, bubbling-over metropolis harbouring lost empires. The Romans left town to conquer and populate territories as far-flung as Spain and Syria, but everyone else has done the reverse.
Rome has a glorious monumentality that it wears without reverence. Its architectural heirlooms are buzzed around by car and Vespa as if they were no more than traffic islands. The city bombards you with images: Valentino, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana; elderly ladies with dyed hair the colour of autumn leaves; priests with cigars; traffic jams beneath Roman aqueducts; plateloads of pasta in shining cafes; sinuous trees beside rust-golden buildings.
Don't feel like going to a museum? What's the need when it's all outside on the streets?