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R ome has been high on my bucketlist for so long now, that it was actually quite unbelievable for me to finally be there. It seemed super unreal. I was tired from our rushing out of Florence and to the train station to make our train to Rome that it didn’t even hit me that we were there until we settled in at our Airbnb, decided to go get food and walked right by the Collosseum.

And boy, was that a shock.

It was the most insane thing to just walk down a street and practically bump into the Collosseum. The Colloseum you guys. I couldn’t believe how close our Airbnb was and just how accessible it all was. To see one of seven wonders of the world was as breathtaking as you’d imagine it to be.

Although the rest of Italy was equally as beautiful and amazing, Rome just hit differently. I’d describe it as this insane mix of what you’d imagine a European big city to feel like, while also being the home of some of the most amazing and insane historical monuments that still exist.

The Roman Forum on Film

Beyond all the insane sights in Rome, the food was also out of this world. Joel kept saying to me “and that’s why they say all roads lead to Rome”, and boy did that hit home once I was actually there. Rome has everything you could possibly need. And maybe I’m saying that because I’m partial towards Italian cuisine (Amatriciana, specifically), but I honestly half considered just moving there for a bit.

The only thing that stopped me was the lack of fast WiFi. To which you’re probably thinking, you’re in ROME and you’re thinking about WiFi?! Well no, not exactly. But it’s definitely a requirement for somewhere I’d want to live!

We paid for a tour of the Colloseum and the Roman Forum and we both thought it was super worth it. Tours in Rome aren’t cheap.

Definitely something to keep in mind when you’re budgeting for your trip. But without a tour guide we would’ve been at a lost in the Roman Forum. Which pile of ruins was which building back in the day? It would’ve been a lot harder to understand and navigate the place it wasn’t for our tour.

My least favourite part of my visit? The Vatican City. Purely just based on the sheer amount of people that were trying to visit, it was enough to turn me off for a long time. I think I built this idea in my head that the Vatican City would be such a holy, mystical place. But even standing in the Sistine Chapel, staring up at Michelangelo’s work, all I could hear and see were people bumping into each other, standing shoulder to shoulder, trying to sneakily take photos of artwork you weren’t suppoed to. My experience was definitely clouded by crowds, which is why I personally would not visit it again.

It felt like no matter where I pointed my camera in Rome, I was bound to capture something beautiful.

Rome on Film

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Some photos definitely turned out better than others. It was my first time really using the Canon AF35M and a lot of photos turned out hazier than I expected. I definitely still prefer my Canon AE1 for all of it’s manually settings, but carrying around during vacations is a little much. I bought the AF35M for it’s portability, not realizing that the auto settings aren’t going to alway give me the best results.

Rome on Film

Most of the time I don’t have a subject in my photos, which I feel like is actually quite boring. I captured this shot of Joel and the Pantheon which I loved so I’m going to experiment shooting more people and movement the next time I decide to whip my film camera out.

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Do you shoot film? What camera do you use? What film do you like the most? These photos are all taken on my Canon AF35M on Kodak Portra 400 film.

Angel Zheng

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