We set our alarms for an early 10 am and started our day with a typical Italian coffee. I had to watch a YouTube video to figure it out, but it was pretty self-explanatory. Yum!
We thought we’d walk around and check out the area and maybe the metro. Little did we know we would hit just about every major tourist site in Rome! First stop Rome Termini, the main station in the city. About a 20-minute walk from the house. It was a little confusing finding an entrance, but once we did, it was easy enough to find our way to the metro. Surprisingly, Rome has one of the smallest metro lines in all of Europe, but they pair that with one of the most complex bus systems with more than 350 routes.
One of the reasons the metro is so small is because, more often than not, when they go to dig a new tunnel, they find ancient ruins, Athens has the same problem. We weren’t really planning on going into the city center, but we found ourselves buying tickets and heading towards Trevi Fountain.
A quick 2 stops later, and we were out and about in the city. Signs are everywhere in English, pointing you to the main tourist spots.
The fountain was originally built as a water source for the people of Rome, like most fountains at that time, purely functional. Originally built in 19 BC. The fountain we see now was constructed in 1762. Today they recycle the water, so probably not wise to drink it. Although Rome has many springs around the city. The God featured in the fountain is the Greek God Oceanus, not Neptune, as most believe. Moreover, Oceanus was actually a Titan.
The theory goes that if you toss a coin, 3 is encouraged, into the fountain over your shoulder, you’ll ensure a visit back to Rome. It’s estimated that the fountain earns about 3,000 Euros per day!
After spending some time at the fountain, we continued to walk. No where in particular, but we knew the Pantheon was close by and maybe we would stumble across that.
On our way, we found an impressive column, one of several in he city. The Column of Marcus Aurelius is a Roman victory column in Piazza Colonna. It was built in honour of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, modeled on Trajan’s Column, and commemorates the northern war. Today the apostle Paul stands at the top.
Rome really is like an open air museum. Everywhere you turn is another fountain, obelisk, column, or another stunning monument.
The Obelisk of Montecitorio, also known as Solare, is an ancient
Egyptian, red granite obelisk. Brought to Rome in 10 BC by the Roman Emperor Augustus.
Look at that, we found the Pantheon. Another free monument.
The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, now a Catholic church, completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD.It is the best preserved Ancient Roman monument. It is a bit of a mystery how the Pantheon
managed to survive barbarian raids when all the rest of Roman monuments had been destroyed. The exact composition of the material is still unknown and appears to be structurally similar to modern day concrete!
Just outside the Pantheon, an amazing obelisk. The Fontana del Pantheon was commissioned and originally constructed in 1575.
As we continued walking, we saw another old building that was deserving of more picture taking.
And then we realized we could go inside. Amazing!
The Church of St. Louis of the French was built in 1518 to welcome the increasing French community in Rome. The famous painter Caravaggio (1573-1610) was commissioned to paint for this church.
Not far from the church is Piazza Navona. Another famous square. It was amazing we had made it to all these locations in a matter of hours.
At this point we were getting hungry and I wasn’t about to pay the crazy prices for food near the tourist center so we headed for the metro and what did we find…
The Spanish steps. Yet another famous landmark. Crazy!
And the Column of the Immaculate Conception. Which is a nineteenth-century monument depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Wow, we really did almost do Rome in a day, ha! Not quite, but we definitely saw way more than I thought we would on our leisurely walk.
Back on the metro, we headed for the house. Got cleaned up and went in search of food. But, we were in that weird siesta time that we had been warned about. Restaurants usually shut down about 3 pm and don’t open back up until after 7 pm. So we hit the market and made pasta again. No complaints from me. We saved money, and it was pretty tasty.
Wonder what tomorrow will hold?