Rome is unique. A thousand years' worth of history are the foundation of its culture. Romans are known by fellow Italians as a proud, quick-witted, boasting, ironical/cynical people. The wonderful, monumental and historical centre of Rome is the magnet that gathers the Romans from the peripheries, especially the young ones, when they are in the mood for a bit of fun. A simple "passeggiata" (a stroll/walk), is something special there. You can fill your eyes and heart with the beauty while strolling around and eating a gelato.

The tourist boom of the 1960s subtly changed the city and the people's habits. Fine restaurants are easier to find than the traditional familiar "Trattoria." A real Osteria used to be a place for men meeting after work, a place to play card games, eat simple bits of food and drink wine until dinner time. Today it is a tourist-oriented or even a fancy place, especially if its sign says Hosteria.

The Spanish term movida (being in the action, having fun, moving) is usually used for Roman nights, especially in the summer. Campo de' Fiori, the Jewish Ghetto, Trastevere is where young and less young gather.  Beware: residents, especially in hot summer nights, tired and desperate for a few sleep hours got the habit to throw buckets of water on the happy noisemakers.

The aperitivo (happy hour) is another relatively new entry in Romans' life. The quick aperitif before dinner became spending a couple of hours in a nice place drinking, eating finger foods and chatting. Ethnic food is more and more easy to find but Romans (and their fellow Italians as a whole) prefer Italian and overall Roman food. That’s something that won’t easily change for the next few centuries.

To sum up, Rome is a lively mix of modern and ancient, tradition and cosmopolitan new entries. There are moments and places where you feel like you were really living in the Roman Empire, the Renaissance era or the Baroque period … only to be instantly taken back to the present day by a roaring scooter or the ubiquitous Smart car that successfully manages to ride through the city centre’s narrow roads.