Rome, Day 1

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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!

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Tiny cars required to navigate these city streets

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.

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The Pantheon is in the middle of the most charming square. We drank wine several times at a small cafe here looking on this structure

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Hole in the dome of the Pantheon. I’d love to be inside this during a rainstorm

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.

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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.

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There’s really no time of day this monument is not surrounded by people. We tried early in the morning, late at night. Nope, always people here.

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A market comes alive at night in this square

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! 

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9 thoughts on “Rome, Day 1

  1. I love walkable cities too – I hate waiting around for buses and going underground (and missing out on sunshine!) by having to take trains! Some of my favourite walking cities are Rome, Amsterdam and of course, London!

    Oddly enough, in my hometown of Singapore, I take the train all the time and hate walking because the heat is simply unbearable! Maybe the walking thing only works in countries with cooler weather? 😀

    • Hi Sarah,
      I actually loved walking around Singapore myself! I found so many interesting things off the main streets. Maybe since it’s your home, you are already familiar with all those “hidden” places. In DC, where I live now, I tend to skip over areas because I just want to get to where I’m going.

      • Haha, now that I think about it you’re right! – I do see more tourists walking around than locals! Or maybe I’m just lazier!! 😀

        Might also be because locals are (usually) in more a hurry? I tend to linger when I travel but I’m more likely to want to go directly to my destination (school / work / meeting a friend) when I’m home! Either way, I’m glad you liked Singapore!

      • Yay so glad to hear you had such a lovely experience here! Hope you tried all the glorious food? 😀

        I live in the residential area of Serangoon! Not Serangoon road where Little India is but nearer Serangoon Gardens instead! Not sure if that makes sense to you! But on a map, it’s the area right next to Bishan park! Not a tourist haunt but it’s a good locale!

  2. This post reminds me of how I have come to appreciate Rome (and Venice and Florence) – by walking. 🙂 I enjoy discovering a city by walking as I get to feel the city, observe the locals and other travellers, the shops and the littlest things along the way. Walking also makes me remember things better and improves my sense of direction.

  3. Yum I miss authentic Italian pizza. Love the pantheon pics! My husband and I went on our first dinner date years ago at a cafe right outside the pantheon 🙂

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