When in ‘Rome’
They may not be what you’re thinking, but none of these places were built in a day.
The true meaning of “When in Rome” is more than what’s conjured by that one rom-com your mom really likes. Saint Ambrose (the saint responsible for the quote, not the restaurant in Southampton and Manhattan) would be so disappointed in you. The meaning of the (full) phrase: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” is, with all due respect, to follow the cultural dogma of your travel destination.
There are a lot of places called Rome that are not THAT Rome.
So there’s a little lesson to take with you anywhere you go, whether it be Rome, or the other Rome, or the other Rome, or the other-other Rome. There are a lot of places called Rome that are not THAT Rome. Actually 13 US cities also go by the name Rome. These are them.
How to get there:
Step 1 – acquire a passport.
Step 2 – book a long, expensive flight.
Step 3 – get on a long flight.
Local customs: If the movies are to be believed, jumping in the Trevi Fountain (spoiler alert: movies are not to be believed and that is not something to do when actually in Rome unless you want to practice the custom of being arrested by Italian police).
What to do there: See the Colosseum, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican, the David. Meet the pope. Eat, drink, and say things like “arrivederci.”
Rome, New York
How to get there: Depends where you live, but we’d probably take 95 North to Route 90 toward Schenectady.
Local custom: Complaining about trees: how they are pruned, why haven’t new ones been planted yet, wondering if one is on your property line, etc.
What to do there: Fort Stanwix National Monument, bike or walk along the Erie Canal, Copper City Brewing Company. Identifying some trees. There’s also a casino.
How to get there: A good long drive up or down good old I-95.
Local custom: Declaring things landmarks.
What to do there: Explore the outdoors, dive into Cave Spring, hike through the forests, stroll through the 186-year-old cobblestone streets. Learn some things. History is cool.
How to get there: Probably fly into Peoria.
Local customs: Don’t let the rustic charm fool you, they’re all harvesting hemp around here.
What to do there: Comedy shows, Three Sisters Park, hiking. Outdoorsy stuff.
How to get there: Fly into Louisville and rent a car.
Local custom: Getting up v. early to hike. Generally doing things outside.
What to do there: Museums, historical landmarks and parks, and some great fishing. Two-thirds of those are outside, see what we mean?
How to get there: Since you’re already in Indiana with the rental, drive. It’ll be flat yet relaxing.
Local custom: Spending long periods in greasy spoon diners.
What to do there: Visit the Johnny Clock Museum, boat around the Oakland Mills Park and Henry County Conservation. Art and nature. Did you hear us say there’s a clock museum? And it’s full of fantastically ornate hand-carved wooden clocks done freehand by an eccentric and elaborately bearded artist named Johnny? All true.
How to get there: Highway 81, baby. Maybe we just like road trips.
Local custom: Sipping whiskey. Daviess County has more bourbon barrels than people.
What to do there: Lots of parks, a VR arcade, Western Kentucky Botanical Garden and Athey’s Chapel Cemetery from 1820, spooky.
How to get there: We’d fly up to Bangor International or try to land a seaplane on one of the lakes.
Local custom: Being especially taciturn and stoic.
What to do there: A wide variety of lakes to choose from. We suggest going in the summer for all your great lake activities and you will not need to practice quite as much stoicism if it’s warm and green.
How to get there: Riverboat?
Local customs: Singing M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I at the top of your lungs. Try it. See where it gets you.
What to do there: A surprising amount of museums, restaurants, and art (no Michaelangelos though) to check out. And maybe more fun words to spell.
How to get there: You’re probably going to want to fly into Springfield.
Local custom: Goat yoga is a thing. With actual goats.
What to do there: Put on your finest attire and head to an event at the Chateau Charmant or do some kayaking through Beaver Creek. We don’t suggest formal wear for the kayaking though.
How to get there: Take the Ohio River Scenic Byway. You’ll thank us later.
Local custom: Just being really, really, really painfully nice to everyone.
What to do there: The Ohio River runs right alongside, so all your weekend and weekday river activities await. Ohio River, baby.
How to get there: Has its very own state airport. Know anybody with a private jet?
Local custom: PNW folk love their climbing. So that’s what you do here.
What to do there: The Pillars of Rome. Frickin rad. Climbing and hiking and the gateway to the Owyhee Canyonlands. So Oregon. So Pacific Northwest it hurts.
How to get there: Drive. The mountains are scenic.
Local custom: Funny story: You are about a 20-minute drive from Milan, PA. So apparently naming things after historic Italian cities.
What to do there: Just a hop-skip to Scranton for all our Office fans out there. Consult the guide to Scranton in The Office Issue of Whalebone Magazine.
How to get there: Looks like you are flying into Nashville.
Local custom: Time zone skipping. Rome is in the Central time zone. Drive due west an hour or so and you’re back in Eastern Standard Time. Fun.
What to do there: This little town is where Round Lick Creek meets the Cumberland River. You know what to do.