I wake up early on Day 1 of my Rome trip.
I’m staying at the Hotel Julia, which is a basic but convenient abode near the Trevi Fountain. It’s also a better value than this neighborhood’s pricier digs. I’m tired from traveling but eager to hit the streets!
Today’s agenda is orientation of Rome by foot. My husband and I like to spend a day exploring a new city this way. We get an overview of the city’s layout and also discover small places on side streets that you’d never learn about through a guide book. The good thing is that Rome is amazingly walkable!
First destination: Coliseum (pictured above) and Roman Forum.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Coliseum for the first time a few years ago. I was walking through the narrow winding Roman streets distracted by one thing or another, and then all of the sudden, there IT was. Just like that. In an opening at the end of a neighborhood.
That’s the one thing I can’t get over about Rome. Historic buildings from multiple centuries are sprinkled all over the place in close proximity to all the new. It makes sense, right? These structures were here first after all, existing for thousands of years. Everything just grew up around them.
Next we head to the Pantheon.
It’s lunch time, and we’ve got lots more sightseeing to do, so we go to Campo de’ Fiori and get delicious take away pizza from Forno Campo de’ Fiori. We see groups of people lining up at this tiny bakery and people standing around blissfully eating slices of pizza.
Ordering at this place is a lesson in assertion during peak hours. A dense hungry crowd packs inside. As the pizzas come out of the oven piping hot, people elbow their way to the front to shout their orders. The fresh pizzas are gone in literally seconds! I’m sure you could wait for the exact pizza you want, but there’s no guarantee you’d be fast enough to snatch it up.
I make my way to the front of the crowd and am lucky to come away with these two beauties.
Filled with pizza, we stroll the streets for a few more hours and then head back to the hotel for an afternoon nap.
That evening, we grab a quick dinner and then check out the Trevi Fountain and the night market at the Piazza Navona. Nightime in Rome is really something. The streets are filled with gregarious crowds and the buildings are illuminated in the most beautiful way.
With ancient buildings and delicious pizza to reflect on, we head back to our hotel for a good night’s rest.
What’s your favorite monument in Rome? Do you enjoy discovering a new city by walking? What’s your strategy for Day 1 of visiting a new place?
Share your ideas in the comments section!