Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday - First Day in Rome

Finally we are up, showered and ready to go and it is around 10:30.  

We walk down our street, and there are some ruins of Ludus Magnus.  We are walking towards the Colosseum and the crowds are heavy.  The structure still has some scaffolding but it is still very impressive.  

Of course this is our first time here and we are trying to figure out how to get thru the Forum but we soon realize we have to go around the Forum.  Lots of crowds and the sidewalk is packed but we manage.  

We are trying to make our way to Campo de Fiori to start the Walking tour of Rome from Rick Steve's book.

After getting turn around numerous times we finally walk into the beautiful square.  It is still early so the food/flower/you name it stalls are selling their items.

We buy some cheese and some salami for a lovely vendor - ask for samples before you pick.  We bought from Mauro & Marco Berardi  who were very helpful and let us try a few things before settling on two salamis and a cheese.  Will go perfect with our wine later.

Our next stop is Piazza Navona with the Four Rivers Fountain.  

The beautiful Church of St. Anges and her statue, which I did get a picture of but sorry turned out fuzzy.  Will hopefully get back and take another shot later.

Next stop is the Pantheon and it is quite busy and we are getting tired - we are at hour three and we didn't get breakfast or a coffee so we seek out someplace to eat and get back to tour later.

We head to Miscellanea that is located right behind the Pantheon.  The place is busy with workers on their lunch break and some students.  We take a seat and we are both so happy to just relax for a bit.

A lovely couple - Scotty and Mindy - beside us are here visiting too.  They are from Dallas and they are on a bike trip, they started in Croatia and ended here.  I am so impressed.  

For lunch we get a litre of house wine (sounded good at the time), a bottle of water.  We start with bruschetta, a salad and a tomato and basil pasta. We share the entire meal which is a good thing cause there is quite a bit of food. The total cost of lunch came in at 35 E.

Okay now that we have some food, and some wine - we are feeling good and giggly.  We decide now is the time to head to the Pantheon.  It is quieter and we are able to enter and really enjoy the space.

We turn on Rick Steve's audio guide for the Pantheon which is about a half hour and he goes into detail about the site.  

We are walking, we are walking... that is what it feels like cause there are numerous walking tours and we swim thru them as we head to our next stop.  

The Egyptian Obelisk - what is stunning is you are walking down narrow streets, many are just pedestrian access only and you come out on this huge square and each square has something amazing in it.  

Here the Egyptian Obelisk stands tall and proud as the trophy by Augustus after his victory in Egypt over Mark Anthony and Cleopatra.  

Right there is the Parliament building and we see lots of security and camera crews just waiting for a chance to speak to a politician.  

The tour takes us into the Galleria Giolittis, which is perfect as we both need to use the washroom.  But oh there is a long queue.  Many women are in line, and the men's line is short so many women just use the men's as there are stalls in there.  So when in Rome.... I use the men's and Bernie used the women's no kidding, he used the men's washroom.

Crowds are getting heavier, it is getting noisy and sure enough we see why.  The Trevi Fountain.  But it is still under renovation.  They said that it was going to be done this fall; however I am pretty sure that is not going to happen.  Still lots of work to do.

People crowd up to the plexi glass and take a picture, oh and many selfies, and those dreaded selfie sticks.  Really hate those, and twice today I almost got smacked by them. But if you really want one trust me here is the place to get them, they sell them all over the place.  

We stop into the beautiful Santa Maria in Trivio church.  A mass is going on so we sit quietly at the back and admire the beauty.  

Back onto our walk and we are heading towards the Spanish Steps which is named for the Spanish Embassy to the Vatican, which has been here for 300 years.  

Oh no there is fence blocking the stairs... gee it looks like it is under renovation too.  Oh well, so take a picture and move on.  

By now it is five and we look at each other and I say "I have hit the wall and I need to rest".  Bernie agrees so we turn right and head to the Spagna Metro Station.  

1.5E is the fare and we are heading to the stop closest to our apartment - Manzoni.  Of course it is rush hour and the trains are packed!  I mean PACKED.  We squeeze in.  

I know some would be very worried here about theft, but take precautions.  I kept my camera at my chest and I had nothing of value in any of my pockets.  Bernie is carrying the pacsafe knapsack and has his wallet in it and has the locking mechanism attached and is holding the bag in front. We also left most valuables - like most cash, passports and a different credit card at the hotel in our portable safe.

sorry blurry but you can see how busy the train is

Each stop people squeeze on!  We get to our stop and we push thru (seems this is common and somehow it works).  

We end up at the road way and I have to get my bearings.  I pull out my phone and use the wonderful map app that I found that doesn't need wifi and can identify exactly where we are and I can figure out where to go from there.

We could of taken the tram a few stops but it is only a short walk (five minutes) to our apartment.  And boy am I glad we are here!  

We basically drop everything and crawl into bed - it is around 5:30 pm.


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful first day. Thanks for posting all of those pictures. Love your blog!

  2. Which map all are you using..there are so many to choose from?

    1. I downloaded the city Maps 2 Go App for my phone, it is great and doesn't need wifi

  3. Your gonna need a holiday after this holiday Vickie! Sounds like youv'e got it nailed!

    1. no kidding that is why we have always been hesitant to do Med cause it is exhausting, but we added the trans atlantic to the end so we can rest then

  4. This trip looks just amaing Vickie! Thanks for all those fantastic photos!! Always dreamed of going there but at least I can dream through your photos and blog! Enjoy, enjoy!!

  5. Trevi Fountain is back in action this week see

    1. excellent.... we visited when we had a port stop for Rome on the second leg.