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Walking Day

Rome Travel Blog

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St Peters

We got a tourist map of Rome from our convent when we checked in. On this day we decided to walk to as many places on the map as possible. This was probably not that great of an idea. The cobblestones, while beautiful were definitely partly responsible for the foot ache I had for the rest of my days in Rome.

            Because we had gotten in late the previous day we hadn’t gotten the chance to see St. Peters basilica. We wanted to take our chances and try it at 7 o’clock I n the morning when we woke up. Because it was a Sunday we thought it would be closed, but surprise surprise! It wasn’t. The basilica had just opened so there was no line to get in.

st peters
We breezed past security where the guard let me pass through even though my belt made the detector beep. Entrance to the Basilica is free, so we walked in. It was an amazing experience; nobody was there except for us and a couple other people. We got a clear view of everything including the pieta. We saw several small services going on in different languages. Priests and nuns kept walking to and fro.

            We spent an hour in the basilica and then went to the cupola. We were the first people in line but the guards opened it up right when we got there. It was 5 Euros to walk up, the elevator is not worth it. The only thing you save yourself is the steps that are easy to climb up. The elevator stops just before the final climb to the top.

st peters
These are the steps that are winding and tilted walls. After a totally gross and greasy rope helps you pull yourself up to the cupola we saw a great view of Rome. With Bernini’s square opening up to the entire city it is wonderful. The morning provided a little bit of haze and the sun was shining directly through the square, but the view was still great, and we could see the forbidden city of the Vatican and its gardens.

            After a descent and another hour admiring the cupola, we got in the short line to the catacombs. It took them a while to open the doors. Meanwhile the line grew longer and the people impatient. Eventually everybody started pushing forward and trying to cut in line, rude people. When they opened the doors everybody rushed inside and past everything.

st peters
It would have caused a stampede to stop and look at anything in particular so we rushed by along with everybody else. I saw the tomb of St. Boniface, one of my fave popes. The finally we got the chance to stop at the tomb of St. Peter where there was a sort of traffic jam. The exit was shortly after that and protected by several Swiss guards, festively dressed as always.

            We walked back into the square and pulled out our maps to see what the closest sight was. To castel Sant Angelo! A short 5-minute walk brought us to the old Roman mausoleum converted to medieval stronghold. My entrance was free since I was an under 18-year-old EU citizen, hooray for going just before my 18th birthday! The entrance was an old roman stair to a mausoleum.

pieta
All there was to see were the remains of tiled floors, dusty everywhere with pigeons flying past us it seemed pretty shitty and not worth the entrance. We got to a courtyard where the exhibit actually began. The rooms had old roman and later painting on the walls and showed 19th and 20th century art of views of Rome. I thought that the wall paintings rather detracted from the paintings on display, it was all a mess of “where should I be looking?”

Other than this it was really nice to see the view from the top of the castle, with the morning fog a bit lifted we could see all the cupolas of Rome dotting the skyline. Walking amongst such old stones is always curious.

We exited and walked along the pont Sant Angelo that is pedestrian only.

View from the cupola
The emerald waters of the Tiber sparkle onto the bridge and the statues that line it. Gorgeous. It was only a few blocks to Piazza Navona, but we got lost and decided to stop for lunch and figure out our way. My mother wasn’t carrying much cash with her so we asked ahead of time if the accepted credit cards. They said yes.

After we had eaten a rather satiating but expensive meal my mother offered her card and was told that the machine had just broken down. No, it’s that they will say anything for you to chose their business. Keep that in mind.

We set off for an excruciating walk that would begin with Piazza Navona, unfortunately the central column was under construction but the Piazza was pretty and full of people.

cupolas
We then walked to the pantheon; so famous I couldn’t believe I entered it. The hole in the ceiling made my mother laugh as she thought about rainy days. We preceded to the Fontana de Trevi, really a beautiful fountain. While it is constantly full of tourists and vendors this is a must see! The sculpture is absolutely phenomenal. We then walked all the way to the Spanish steps where the crowd intensified as the day got sunnier and hotter. The stairs were a stadium, impassible as everybody sat facing the street. We walked up the side stairs to the church; the column again was under reparations (ugh!).

As we walked to the Piazza del Popolo we stopped at a museum the villa Medici. The entrance was a bit pricey but the exhibit was wonderful. It was concerning the environmental footprint and had all sorts of strange statues made of natural and man-made materials.

my mom in the cupola
Just outside of the museum was a kids park and some gardens where every square of grass was full of people lying down and enjoying the abnormally warm day. Our feet hurting from the walking we had done we sat down under the flowering trees.

After out much deserved rest we walked down the steps to the Piazza del Popolo. The square was so grand and the hieroglyphed column was the first I saw, due to all of the repairs happening at once.

A day well spent. We saw most of the major sights in Rome. We walked back to the pantheon where people were sitting in the center of the square just chilling. We sat with them for a while and then decided to enjoy a fancy dinner to celebrate out efforts.

And how fancy was it. Mmmm a nice menu with wine and dessert to top. We sat outside with the electric heater as the night settled in over the dome of the pantheon.
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St Peters
St Peters
st peters
st peters
st peters
st peters
st peters
st peters
pieta
pieta
View from the cupola
View from the cupola
cupolas
cupolas
my mom in the cupola
my mom in the cupola
Me in the Vatican Cupola
Me in the Vatican Cupola
Vatican gardens
Vatican gardens
stairs
stairs
tilted hallway
tilted hallway
Swiss Guards
Swiss Guards
the tiles!
the tiles!
Vatican
Vatican
view of Rome from Catel Sant Angelo
view of Rome from Catel Sant Angelo
Tiber
Tiber
Pont Sant Angelo
Pont Sant Angelo
Tiber
Tiber
my mom, dancing?
my mom, dancing?
me on the pont sant angelo
me on the pont sant angelo
Pont Sant Angelo
Pont Sant Angelo
Pont Sant Angelo
Pont Sant Angelo
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona
me in Piazza Navona
me in Piazza Navona
mom and I reflecting in Piazza Nav…
mom and I reflecting in Piazza Na…
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona
Pantheon
Pantheon
Pantheon
Pantheon
Pantheon
Pantheon
Pantheon
Pantheon
my mom throws a coin at the Trevi …
my mom throws a coin at the Trevi…
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
the crowd!!! Trevi Fountain
the crowd!!! Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
St. Maria by the Spanish steps
St. Maria by the Spanish steps
the crowd at the Spanish Steps!!
the crowd at the Spanish Steps!!
the crowd at the Spanish steps
the crowd at the Spanish steps
moi
moi
Mom St Peters dome in back
Mom St Peter's dome in back
Villa Medici
Villa Medici
Huge pines in Villa Medici, at the…
Huge pines in Villa Medici, at th…
Villa Medici
Villa Medici
me in Villa Medici
me in Villa Medici
Villa Medici
Villa Medici
Egyptian obelisk
Egyptian obelisk
relaxing in the park
relaxing in the park
The park in flower
The park in flower
My mom at Piazza del Popolo
My mom at Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo
Pantheon from the restaurant we at…
Pantheon from the restaurant we a…
Pantheon at night
Pantheon at night
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photo by: vulindlela