A Lovely Walk in Rome


This gorgeous sunset view was the perfect end to yesterday’s outing.

Yesterday’s weather was beautiful. After three miserable days of clouds and rain the sun was out and the temperature had warmed up. It was time for Brett and I to climb back out of hibernation and see some more of Rome, and we had planned a great itinerary for the day.

We got up, showered and got dressed and then realized neither of us felt very well. Brett’s head cold was still going strong, and he had spiked a fever again. My head was also stuffy, and my throat hurt. We didn’t feel like going anywhere.

Angels watched over us as we crossed the Ponte Sant’Angelo.

However, by early afternoon we felt like the sun was mocking us. We knew we didn’t have the strength or time at this point for our planned itinerary, but we dragged out the map and looked at where we thought would be near enough to walk to, and saw that Piazza Navona and the Pantheon were both just across the river from the Castel San’t Angelo, and we knew that was an easy walk from the apartment. So, off we set.

Giant sycamores lined the Tiber river. On the way back in the evening they were filled with parakeets!
Heading into the Borgo neighborhood where Piazza Navona and the Pantheon are located.
This ancient Roman wall and arch, part of a stadium older than the Colosseum, were discovered when the building was being excavated. It was preserved and a bar was installed underneath.

We are so glad we did! We had a lovely stroll along the Tiber, on a paved sidewalk (versus cobblestones), and then turned into town for the short walk to the Piazza, built over what had been a former games arena in Roman times. We strolled through the piazza and studied the Bernini sculptures of the Four Rivers in the central fountain with its Egyptian obelisk. The piazza wasn’t particularly crowded, and there was a lively band playing at one end while we were there which lifted our spirits (Romany, I think – the guitarists were playing in the style of Django Rhinehardt). We found a great bakery nearby and picked up some pastries for our breakfast this morning and tomorrow.

Piazza Navona
This Egyptian obelisk is actually a recreation – it was made in the 17th century to decorate the Piazza.
One of Bernini’s Four River sculptures in the central fountain – it was magnificent!

The Pantheon was just a short walk away. Once there we were glad again we had made the effort. We marveled at the huge Roman columns and the concrete dome that had survived from the second century, and remembered that the reason the Pantheon had remained in such good condition was that it had been turned into a church and kept up.

The Pantheon, originally a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods.
Looking up to the dome as we entered the Pantheon. The dome was built by the Romans; the central hole is called an occulus. It is still the largest freestanding concrete dome in the world.
Much of the original Roman structure can still be seen inside the Pantheon, including walls and columns.

We walked back along the Tiber just in time to catch the sun setting behind St. Peter’s – those views alone made our afternoon outing worthwhile, no matter how we felt. When we arrived at the Vatican the lights were on, including the Christmas tree.

St. Peter’s at dusk.

Instead of heading back to the apartment we walked over to a small, recommended osteria for dinner. I had wanted to eat fried artichokes and caccio et pepe ever since we arrived in Rome, and my meal did not disappoint. Brett wasn’t particularly hungry, but ordered fish and chips, Italian-style, and was happy with those.

The fried artichokes were divine.

This afternoon we will visit the Vatican Museums, and tomorrow morning we will go to Ciampino airport to fly to Lisbon, our last stop in Europe before heading back to the U.S. Neither of us still feels very well, but we’re very glad we got out yesterday, and will leave Rome with good feelings and yes, a wish to come back some day.

P.S. We woke up to a message that our former landlord had mailed a check for almost all of our deposit (he kept 10%). It was frankly more than we thought he would return, and we’re glad to be finally done with that awful man!


8 thoughts on “A Lovely Walk in Rome

  1. Absolutely lovely photos! I sometimes can’t imagine how old those buildings are. And how the one that is older than the Colosseum and was lost until excavation! Wow! I love seeing St. Peter’s with the Christmas tree lit up.

    I really can’t believe that you received most of your deposit back!! What a great early Christmas present!


    1. Yesterday was beautiful, and we finally decided, sick or not, that we would regret staying indoors. In the end we were both so glad we made ourselves get out for the afternoon – it was a wonderful outing.

      We said that Florence was old, but compared to Siena it was a baby. Well, compared to Rome, neither Siena nor Rome was even a twinkle in their parents’ eyes.

      All we’re waiting on now is for the check the clear!


  2. That picture of St. Peter’s at dusk with the Christmas tree is AWESOME. We loved the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. There were artists everywhere and we have a little oil painting that we bought as a souvenir from that day. And then, walking back – The Fall. LOL. Yeah, that area has strong memories for me. So glad you were able to get out and see it all despite the ongoing health issues. Bummer. Hope you both kick it soon.

    And just wow on the landlord. He’s such a piece of work.


    1. We had been walking up the left side of the Tiber as it grew darker, and we came around the corner and . . . there was St. Peters, all lit up! It was an amazing, lucky, once-in-a-lifetime shot. We’ve been watching the lights go up on the Christmas tree every day – they’re almost finished now. The creche is almost ready too – wonder when that will be displayed?

      I wondered where you had fallen, and am so glad you weren’t injured worse than you were. You must have been terrified! In your honor let me say, I AM SO SICK OF COBBLESTONES! Seriously, yesterday’s walk was nice because so much of it was on paved streets/sidewalks versus cobblestone. The minute we were back on the stones though, there went my hip.

      We love how the landlord said he was sending us a check registered mail, we had to sign, etc. and then just stuck it in an envelope and sent it regular mail. Now all we have to do is wait for the check to clear!

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  3. So glad you had a good last day, can’t wait to hear about Lisbon and Portugal, very much on my list of places I want to visit!


    1. Well, our stay in Portugal on a rainy, blustery day – absolutely miserable! Other than a necessary trip to the grocery store, we stayed inside. Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be better though so we’ll head out and start exploring.


  4. Oh my goodness… St. Peters at dusk!!! Absolutely stunning, along with the tree lit! I would have LOVED to see the parakeets, and the sound must have been great too!


    1. That was my lucky shot for our travels – I think we all get one. The sun was just starting to go down and we turned to walk down the Tiber toward St. Peter’s and by the time we got there it was all lit up and there were very few people about.

      We kept thinking we heard parakeets, but the birds were darting around so quickly at first we couldn’t tell. But then we spotted a few sitting in the trees – magical! It turns out though that they are same type of parakeet that are wreaking havoc on Kaua’i – the rose-ringed parakeet. So far they seem to be welcomed in Rome, but some are afraid they will eventually push out other native species.


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