The Eternal City as been one of my favorite topics since I was little. As kids, our parents would shuffle us to Rome to visit family, and we'd return back to the US telling stories of fabulous pyramids, playgrounds in fortresses, ice cream vendors on top of churches, forgotten cities, cities within cities, cities under cities and futuristic cities. No one believed us. So we told them how we had pizza for breakfast, how our favorite playground was so old that steps sprung out of the earth and turned into columns, and how everyday there was a guaranteed explosion to mark the beginning of lunch*. They still didn't believe us.
Rome wasn't a fantasy world and it wasn't always fun, I was told in few words, emphasized by a punch. No, it was a chaotic city with long lines (to the Vatican Museums and Colosseum) and great pasta. It was a requisite three-day stop on a week-long Italy vacation where everyone spoke with their hands. I couldn't convince my elementary school classmates otherwise but I didn't care. I knew I was right so I took the punches and kept talking.
Fast forward to the 21st century and my gift for gab is now an interactive career writing and photographing Rome, Italy and travel through a Pandora's box of tech, i.e. the internet, my laptop and iPhone, a bunch of apps, and now a hashtag.
#ExperienceRome is not quite as simple as a lone hashtag. It's a collaborative and interactive project with TurismoRoma where I create and share in depth, Rome-centric content on my social media platforms in the hopes of engaging and enticing you to talk and visit Rome. Not too difficult, right? Just point and click. Exactly plus a little bit more. My goal is to bring you into an interactive story more delicious than a plate of Luciano Monosilio's carbonara and more invigorating than a run around the Circus Maximus.
With social media as my palette and Rome as my subject, I am digitally painting pictures on how to enjoy Rome to the max, whether a day, a weekend or a lifetime. We'll peruse art exhibitions and artisan workshops, visit markets and monuments, walk around neighborhoods and wait for public transportation, and contemplate the contemporary city. The objective is full immersion Rome.
#ExperienceRome is centered around the dynamic multi-verse of immersive social media. Huh? Open up Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Periscope and it's right in front of you. You join in without having to hop on a plane just by following me @EricaFirpo on Instagram, Erica Firpo on Facebook and @moscerina on Twitter. You click and follow hashtag #ExperienceRome on all platforms where you'll have the chance to see Rome through my lens, as well as the eyes of @DariusAryaDigs, Rome Insider (Russian/English) and Viagem na Italia (Portuguese). If a picture is worth a thousand words, I'm making it logarithmic more with video and live streams, and Instagram Stories. (Yes, it's not too late, you can catch up by checking out my Instagram Highlights, saved stories that appear below my IG bio).
We want #ExperienceRome to be on your mind and in your feeds as much as possible so help out by commenting and sharing your favorite tweets. Please give us feedback: tell us what you like, what you want to see and what you want to see more of. Take a second to visit and follow Turismo Roma, the City of Rome tourism office. And once you're in Rome, tag your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts with #ExperienceRome -and make sure to tag me as well so I can say hello! It's that simple.
*Curious as to what was the Rome of my childhood? It was my kind of Wild West, where we We walked like Egyptians around the Pyramid of Cestius, burnt off some energy by running around the moat of Castel Sant'Angelo and even the moat-thing around the Mausoleum of Augustus, we climbed to the top of St. Peter's dome just for an ice cream at St. Peter's Basilica's terrace caffè, we went back to the past at archaeological site Ostia Antica, and then took it further by going underground at the Domus Aurea (and later my cousin Giampiero would take me for a night walk around the tunnels of the Roman Forum) and finally we wondered why everyone said Rome was so old if there was EUR, a microtown of Luna Parks, caffes, boatrides and a lot of white, minimalist buildings. We started our mornings picking up fresh and hot pizza bianca from Antico Forno Roscioli, and reminded ourselves it was time for lunch with my zie Cesarina, Peppina and Doria when we heard the noontime cannon ball shot from a canon from the Janiculum hill. Nothing changes.