Roma Caput Mundi, they said a long time ago, but nowadays everyone still loves this city! The problem is that it has sooo many things to see, and usually there’s not enough time. In fact, last time I was there I had just two entire days and a morning, but I solved the problems with 3 walking Tours around the city, that I am going to describe for those who needs some inspiration. My choice was to avoid any place that needed an entrance, because of the short time, since I already visited a lot in previous trips, and because it was a perfect spring weekend, and I wanted to feel the city walking around.
The first day, after a night train (awful!) I had a rich breakfast and had a little rest, so I was ready to go out at lunchtime. After a wonderful pizza, I made it to the city center. My itinerary started at the Barberini metro station, where you start to delight your eyes with the Fontana del Tritone by Bernini. Then, I walked first to Quattro fontane, that are basically four fountains in the four corners of a crossing – something uncommon! From there, I walked towards the Quirinale, passing by Quirinale gardens, and arriving in front of the building, I reached easily Fontana di Trevi. A quick tip, try to go there very early or very late if you want to find a spot where to throw the coin and make your wish! And remember to seat with the fountain behind or it doesn’t work. Once fed up with the crowd there, I went on towards Campidoglio, then Palazzo Chigi, from wich you can see the Altare della Patria at the end of the street, and to the Pantheon. I went inside it because, they said, there will be an entrance fee soon, so I had to take advantage of the occasion! and also because that is one of my favourite spots in Rome, together with Piazza Navona, that I love much more by night. Passing by, I saw also Palazzo Madama, headquarter of the Senate, and visited San Luigi dei francesi’s Church, where it is possible to admire famous paintings of Caravaggio. After that, I had a coffee with some friends in Piazza di Pietra, a really charming and quite one, and then my friends led me to Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Farnese, before having an aperitivo in the Jewish Quarter (the old ghetto). Some tips: the legend says the best coffee in Rome is in Sant’Eustachio Café, and in the Jewish Quarter you can try some typical dishes of the Jewish community in Rome, like the “Carciofo alla Giudia” that is an artichoke they fry in some special way.
The second day, I started my walking tour in Piazza di Spagna, where I climbed up the steps of Trinità de Monti until Villa Medici, then I relaxed a bit in the gardens of Villa Borghese and later I reached Piazza del Popolo descending at Pincio. From there, I took Via del Corso, where I had lunch with a great pasta Amatriciana (have you ever tried it? If not, what are you waiting for?). After passing by the Mausoleo Augusto, that was renewing, and the Ara Pacis, I crossed the Tevere heading to the Court of Law Palace, Castel Sant’Angelo and finally, Vatican City. It was very hot then, so I rested in the shadow of the Bernini colonnade. Tips: if you don’t need to see the Pope, try not to go during the celebrations, because you can’t move anywhere. Anyway, you have to make it through a kilometers of queue in order to visit anywhere there, but I still remember the Sistina Chapel, that I visited 15 years ago, so there’s no need to say Vatican Museums deserve a visit. After resting, I really wanted to climb up to the Gianicolo, but I wasn’t alone and my mate was a non-walking-lover one, so we just wondered aroung Trastevere, eating Maritozzi (sweet bread filled with whipped cream). After that, we went back to the city center for another aperitivo, crossing the river through the Tiberina Island, near the Synagogue.
The third day was actually just a morning, but we needed to see the very ancient part of the city! So, starting from Circo Massimo, we admired Constantin Arch, the historical Area of Tito Arch and Palatino, and of Course HIM, the Colosseum. In the nearbies, one can admire also the Traiano column, that italian children like me back at school studied so many times! This historical area is a treasure, so I suggest to visit it once in life with a guide that can explain you a lot about ancient times. When tired of Augusto, Cesare and the Domus Area, you can relax in Traiano Park. After a quick visit to San Giovanni Laterano, Santa Maria Maggiore – that is a big contrast, after all that roman history – and Piazza della Repubblica, my trip ended in Termini Station, and it’s a pity I had no time for the Terme di Diocleziano that are just in front of it.
So, I will definitely come back again, and book also a tour of the Catacombs! Anyway, this walking itineraries were a good tool in order to enjoy the most of the city in spring. I hope they could help other fast-travellers.
Finally, as we said in Italy, “tutte le strade portano a Roma”*, so, see you soon Capital.
*All the streets lead to Rome.