If you've ever been to Rome, I'm sure you've also visited Piazza Navona. It's in all the guide books and is hard to miss. Unlike many other huge piazzas in the city, the vibes here are different. Sure, like on all the rest of the piazzas (and in Rome generally) there are tourists everywhere (and yes, I know I'm one of them, hehe). But, if you manage to look passed the sandal & tube sock wearing tourists in practical shorts with countless pockets, groups of school kids in matching outfits and honeymooning couples taking kissing photos with selfie sticks - then you see the Roman magic. It's there, behind all the madness. I promise.
The magic are the men and women selling their stunning artwork on the square, families taking an evening walk in massive groups with all the cousins, aunties, ouncles and grandparents at once - speaking and laughing loudly. People who let their kids chase each-other (and the pigeons) around and around, just enjoying a warm Wednesday evening, not caring that their kids run around like tornados. It's so lovely, and real, somehow.
Those who claim that the touristy places aren't the "real" Italy clearly don't know what they're babbling on about. They obviously haven't just stopped for a second, looked around and taken a moment to find the magic. Maybe they should give it a try - and see what they find?