Rome by Foot

Yes you can! 

We did just that without knowing that we could. Prior to executing our actual visits to Rome's main attractions, I was looking through online and found out that these places are "quite near to each other". So I took everyone's word for it, and decided a day for Rome's city centre.

I had to decide only on 3/4 attractions, the ones that we really wanted to visit. Mum said, Spanish Stairs, I said Villa Borghese, Fontana de Trevi and city of Trastevere. Jessy chose Fontana de Trevi as well. We had only our map to equip us with the day, our phones are not on roaming so the option is out. And we reckon, that the crowd is our source of information.

Our stay in Rome was very central.

We're just by the side of a bus station that connects us to basically everywhere, so we decided to hop onto the bus to bring us to our first main attraction, Villa Borghese. Little did we know... this was the no 1 starting point of going into the road that would lead us to all the attractions.

Let's start with this map.

Not sure who to credit this map, because the website is a bit strange: 
http://www.keyword-suggestions.com/cm9tZSB0b3VyaXN0IG1hcA/ 
Hotel Marghere 


^At the very top of the map is Villa Borghese.

As you can remember, we wanted see Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, that just these two could make us happy already. What we didn't realise was that we could start with (and eventually did all) of Villa Borghese, Piazza del Popolo, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo de Fiori, Santa Maria in Trastevere and even the city of Trastevere itself! (One of Rome's oldest city).

2 versus 9 attractions!

But that also means, WE WALKED THE ENTIRE PLACE.

It would have been easy if it was just me, while I manage my own walk and time, but I was bringing my 60 year old mum and sister together with just my map. The road that connected to all the attractions was DEL CORSO. What was supposedly a main road, was flooded by people and I assumed that is why there were not many cars or buses into the main road because it was just impossible to!

1. Piazza del Popolo 
The irony that we wanted to visit Villa Borghese, but was dropped by bus at Piazza del Puopolo and then we completely forgot that we're supposed to visit Villa Borghese... Argh, the Romans architecture does that to you. You see one very beautiful building or architecture and you just forget the world.

Piazza del Popolo is a beautiful square, I even see people jogging circling it?! There was a beautiful fountain right in the middle of it all.

^This is one of the smaller/ inner roads from Piazza del Popolo.


These small roads in between Rome is such a delight to walk around in.

2. Spanish Steps 
This is the start of my beautiful relationship with my Roman map. I carried it everywhere I go and relied on it like our lives were depending on it. In a foreign land...... possibly. Mum saw the Spanish Steps in a book somewhere and wanted to go there among the few. This is where we learn that most of the attractions in Rome is from a small road that is best accessible by walking. Otherwise, you'd be stuck in a human jam when you're in a cab while the meter is running. Which basically sucks. So we walked into a small road, where a lot of people were walking towards to as well, followed the crowd and even managed to stop by a lovely cafe!





That's where we first tried a very, very sweet breakfast platter. So dangerously lovely that we felt so guilty for eating so much dolce (sweets) early in the morning.


But when we reached Spanish Steps, to our dismay, the attraction was closed due to an ongoing renovation. We could still see it from outside (it's a stairs basically) but we couldn't climb up right up to its cathedral at the top. We took some selfie which really was the most unflattering because all you can see were scaffolding :/

3. Fontana de Trevi / Trevi Fountain 
By this time, the clouds have poured. We had to whip our map in the rain, in wet, and almost tore it wet. Believing that we could easily make our way to the next stop, I convinced mum and Jessy that the next destination is a "5 minutes walk" in the rain. On our way to Fontana de Trevi, we saw jets colouring the skies of Rome - we just remembered that it was a national public holiday for Italy that day, it was Italy's Republic Day!

No wonder the gazillions of people! So we continued our walk to Fontana de Trevi, and finally found the beautifulllllllll fountain after about 10 minutes walking. So lovely!! Although in the rain... So Jessy and I told mum to wait for us under the shades / inside the shop while we brave the cold and crowd.

We even did the traditional custom of throwing coins with our left finger over our right arm into the fountain, for a wish! I wished for lotsssss of money!! Just kidding, my friends and family know me enough that I wouldn't wish for that sort :p

There's a story to Fontana de Trevi (If I remember this right, so when I Googled, the story was quite close). Apparently, it was founded by a young girl who directed three men to an impossible water source / aqueduct in the heart of city of Rome. Thinking this find was a miracle/ magic, the three men (/ or was it kings?) eventually built a fountain out of the water source.


4. Pantheon
We were quite tired already by this time. The walk in the rain made us extra tired. As I was finding my way to the nearest bus station to the city of Trastevere with my trustee now almost torn map, I realised that the famous Pantheon is just around the corner of Fontana de Trevi. AGAIN, I convinced mum and Jessy to follow my steps, and tell them that it's just "5 minutes awayyyyy".

Not knowing where they were at that moment, they had to listen to me, and after about 15 minutes of walking (plus - minus) - we arrived in a mass of people! Turns out, everyone wanted to make it in time for the 2pm cut off time of the visit (earlier because of Italy's Republic Day, usually 5pm) so we looked like ants queueing up!

The Pantheon is so gorgeous.............! There's a beautiful void right in the middle of Pantheon, and in the rain, the rains seeped and sprinkled into the cathedral with so much light and grace. It was such a sight.

5. Lunch around Pantheon 
We were so tired after at least an hour and half of walk and visits, we decided lunch is our best bet after that. Plus, we were trying to hide from the cold and the rain that a good ol cappuccino would be just perfect. But who we were kidding! A full blown lunch seemed like the right order............

This was one of the best pizzas we've ever had in our life. EVER. Oiled, and greasy bacon and pepperoni with fresh tomatoes with enough cheese and to make us forget about our tired legs on top of the crispiest thin crust pizza.

I mean, look at Jessy :p




6. Campo de Fiori 
On our way to Campo de Fiori, we saw this lovely craftsman stall that was selling everything I loved. I bought three accessories, one bracelet, one ring and one earrings..The saddest part was..... only the ring survived :( Throughout our journey to the airport, my bracelet and earrings fell off and were misplaced during the security checking sessions in the airport. I was so devastated you have no idea!! :((((((( Those were the only things I bought for myself (except an olive made soap which is equally weird).



7. Piazza Navona 
Mum and Jessy were beginning to give up on me after Campo de Fiori. They didn't trust that everything is 5 minutes away anymore. I left nothing under my sleeves to convince them to take another 5 - 10 minutes walk with me, so I just dragged them along. At one point I felt really bad, but really, we were getting so close to walking throughout Rome, so close to Trastevere as well.

Like the previous attractions, I trusted the map and followed my guts, and then we reached Piazza Navona. HOLY MOLY, ALSO SO BEAUTIFUL. This seems like the kind of square where people do romantic walks around as people see passersby as well :)

It was a huge square filled with food, people, music, pets :)



8. Trastevere
And last but not least, and after at least 4 hours of walking we finally reached Trastevere. The walk from Piazza Navona to Trastevere was nothing but an eerie one. Not only did we felt alone going through the inner streets ourselves, we had to cross a bridge with people from "all walks of life". I can't put my finger on it, but I did felt a bit unsure... of the crowd, of the community. And then the usual Italian kicks of curses and honks when they almost crash to each other. Mum was so scared at one point, she was convinced that we actually lost our way and started panicking halfway, in the middle of the road.

-_______-"

But it was also that time, that I truly enjoyed the walk around Rome. It was quiet, and Rome's architectures amplified through my senses, I touched the cobblestone walls, the roses beamed in the dark alleys, and the inner gardens in the city's Rome clinked with conversations and laughs. I was very tired, but I smiled at the very chance of experiencing all these. To be able to see the world. To be able to touch the world.

I had to convince mum that we were mere steps from the final stop: Santa Maria Square in Trastevere.

By the time I reached Santa Maria square.. I knew why this is one of the most favourite Italian city. It really felt like a true Italian village. Not only it is one of the oldest, because of the smaller roads, much more vintage feel, restaurants and colourful setups and gardens. The restaurants there are so much more unique and downright interesting - we even saw a shop with a sign that says "We are against Tourist Menu" and a couple of young men dressed to the nines standing right at the entrance with splashes of paint all over the restaurant. What's going on?!?!

We decided after that long walkkkkk that day, it was about DAMN time we relax and unwind. Wine and olive seem about right, and people watching seemed like the only perfect activity to go with it. I never thought I needed wines and olives after the end of the day, but Rome taught me that I do.

After about 4-5 hours of walking, 7 attractions and possibly 3.4km distance of walking (from Google Map) we decided to finally call it a day.



We took the bus back to our hostel, and arrived just about 6pm but it was nowhere near sunset, so we decided to have an early dinner. We ate at a restaurant just around the corner with the loveliest carbonara and pizzas.

Ah. Italy, why are you so lovely. 

Read more of my Italy posts:
A day's out in Venice in Spring / Venice 
Dining in Rome and Venice 
Rome by Foot 
Airbnb at Venice 
Cost of Self planned 10 days / 9 nights - Venice & Rome
That day we saw the Pope by chance 

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

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