I have experienced the most fun in life whenever I have ventured off the beaten path. I also believe that it's fantastic to be a stranger - everywhere. That feeling of discovery, combined with a special vulnerability and an increased level of communication, allow for adventures beyond the ordinary.
Join me on this journey of discovery for a fresh new look at your city, your world and your life. And remember to always be a stranger, a foreigner and a tourist, no matter what you do.

The Great Beauty: Cinematic Rome in 24 Hours

Alright, so you’ve watched the film, cheered when it won the Best Foreign Language Oscar and now you just want more. You can have much, much more, just by booking a round trip air ticket to Fiumicino, a hotel room in the center and hiring my favorite tour-guide-slash-driver-slash-wise-friend Lucian Sandru of Best Taxi Roma. Leave everything else up to him. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it.

Following is part of a piece I wrote about Rome in 24 hours for The Huffington Post. N-joy!

As soon as the Best Foreign Language Oscar was handed out, Italian companies began advertising tours of ‘The Great Beauty’ — La Grande Bellezza. But to truly view Paolo Sorrentino’s Rome, one needs to do it with the same individualistic, somewhat aristocratic spirit of Jep Gambardella, the film’s incredible and irreverent protagonist, played by Toni Servillo. Big tour buses, crowds, lines and regular guides reciting their drone need not apply. The Great Beauty is a Mercedes, one top class hotel, and some little known out-of-way places kind of experience.

The Eternal City can get a hold of anyone, and never let go. Ideally, it would take at least a week to see it all, but say you are scheduling a layover from a U.S. flight to the Middle East or South Asia, then 24 hours in Rome would be just perfect. In one well-planned day, you can get definitely get an idea of the place and discover within it, and yourself, the passion and elegance the city is known for.

Rome is enveloped in a cinematic mystique she owes to the mastery of Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica, William Wyler and Roberto Rossellini. In recent years, Woody Allen, the late Anthony Minghella, Nanni Moretti and Roberto Benigni have all shown their magical takes on this buzzing metropolis where history, along with great cappuccinos, reign supreme. But it wasn’t until Sorrentino portrayed the contradictory yet complimentary intellectual, political and religious sides of Rome in his Oscar-winning film that we finally got to see this gorgeous city in all its naked allure. That is the city I wish to share.

Read the entire piece by clicking here. And check out a trailer of The Great Beauty by following the link below.

(CONTINUE READING)