Heart of Rome
Our dream summer holiday in Italy finally came into fruition this year after intense planning for months. (We were excited AF!) As with any other travel, research is always crucial when we explore and discover new cities so for our first day in the Eternal City, we decided to go with Rick Steves’ self-guided tour of the Heart of Rome.
It’s very different from Paris, I should say. There’s an elegant, historical flair to it, you could smell the ancient authoritative air that envelopes the city, and the pinkish/peachy tones of the architecture and centuries-old cobblestones are all postcard-perfect. Finally, all roads led to Rome.
Campo de Fiori
First stop is Campo de Fiori, a central piazza turned into a bohemian fruit, vegetable and flower market by day and an entertainment arsenal by night. We got there around 4PM which was already late in Roman standards so we didn’t get to see the whole market scene at its peak. But still happy to tick off #9 in my bucketlist – to smell the flowers in Campo de Fiori.
This used to be the center of Roman life back in the day and opened in AD 80 when Rome was at its crowning glory. The main reason why we’re here was of course, Angel and Demons (#12 on the bucketlist) but I will be making a separate post for this (for all the movie locations we got to visit around Italy).
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or the Fountain of Four Rivers was designed by Bernini and symbolizes the four major rivers in the world – Danube (Europe), Ganges (Asia), Nile (Africa) and Rio dela Plata (The Americas). There’s also an Egyptian obelisk in the middle that somehow represents Rome’s power over ancient Egypt.
Rione de Parione
The district that we explored that day was Rione de Parione and walking around the area took us to some secret alleys and hidden streets that were too beautiful to miss. Each corner has its own charm that is unique only to Rome which I believe is what makes tourists choose to stay here forever, if not longer. Cafes, restaurants, gelateria and all sorts of establishments line this quaint little neighborhood.
And of course, my favorite – bookshops.
This magnificent piece of architecture dates back to thousands of years and is considered the most well-preserved Ancient Roman monument. It used to be a temple dedicated to all the pagan gods, thus its name; however in order to save it, it was transformed into a church in the Middle Ages. Sadly, it was already closed when we got there so we were not able to explore the inside and see the world-renowned dome. (Bucketlist #4)
My Lizzie McGuire heart was oh so happy the moment I laid eyes on the beautiful Trevi Fountain. I didn’t take my camera out just yet so I could admire it for a few minutes and study each corner and detail. It was simply stunning.
They say if you toss a coin, it guarantees your return to Rome. I took my chances and tossed one too so I hope to find myself back in this city in the near future. (Bucketlist #5 – Actually I tried three times for the photo and video. Ooops.)
The last stop for the day is Piazza di Spagna where the famous Spanish Steps lie. It can get a bit crowded especially during apertivo time where tourists and locals sit on the steps with a beer in hand for some casual downtime.
We reached it just before sunset so climbing the 135 steps to have the panoramic view of the city during this hour was so magical and was so worth it. (Bucketlist # 6 and 11)
I got to say, Rome has left me yearning for more. I believe it’s one of those few cities that has grown on me and will remain close to my heart in the years to come.
Fino ad Allora,
For the complete Italian bucketlist, refer to this post.