ITALY: Walking down memory lane – visiting the major landmarks in Rome (Day 2)

On the second day of my second visit to the Eternal City, I woke up early to stroll around the city and visit the popular sites while escaping the huge crowds on a clear June day. My first visit was in December, so it was chilly. I also had my sisters with me then. This time, I was on a solo flight mode, meaning, I was extra cautious of my surroundings. I used Google map – but once you get the “Rome vibe”, it becomes easier to explore the city by foot or by public tranportation.

I left at 6am (hotel breakfast was at 8am), so I had a good 2-3 hours to sightsee. It was a very good decision. Here’s why: The streets were sleeping! No crowds, and I got to take as much angled photos as I wanted.

Rome is actually pretty clean early in the morning – then, the day gets busier and busier, making the streets look dodgy with racing vehicles and people from all walks of life! Photo #1 above shows Via Cavour (street), while Photo #2 is of the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, founded in the 5th century. Rome has also adapted to the use of electric scooters – they’re everywhere! Photo #3 shows the Ministry of Interior (Ministero dell’Interno).

The next batch of photos shows #1: a street – the Via Agostino Depretis, which is usually teeming with shoppers and vehicles. Photo #2 shows the Vicolo Scanderbeg (alley and arc), named after the Albanian national hero who lived there in the 1400s, and the first alley in the city to be named after a foreigner. Cool, huh? And Photo #3 is of the Palazzo della Esposizioni, which is a multifunction hall with cinema, auditorium, cafe and bookshop.

Further on, I reached the Consitutional Court of Italy (Palazzo della Consulta) – first photo below. Across the Palazzo della Consulta is the official residence of the President, or the Presidenza della Repubblica Italiana (photo #2), which faces the Piazza del Quirinale (photo #3). It was actually guarded, so I was careful in taking photos and disturbing the place. I found a really nice fountain in the piazza, hehe, the Fontana dei Dioscuri (photo #4). And a series of statues on the other side of the piazza (photo #5).

It was almost 7am when I finally reached Fontana de Trevi. I made a wish there in 2013, and I guess it did come true, although I wasn’t very specific with the wish, so it didn’t end up well. It still happened though. The legend says that if your wish come true, you have to go back to Rome (and maybe, make another wish? A more specific wish, perhaps?).

At 7am, the Fountain only had a number of heads. I even managed to go down close to the fountain. Some people just threw pennies straight into the water, but the belief was: wishes come true if you turn your back from the fountain and throw the penny from your left shoulder.

Another major landmark I wanted to see again was the Pantheon. It was night time when I first visited it with my sisters, aunts and distant relatives, so it gave a different vibe. On the way, I passed by obelisks and monolithes.. and the city was starting to wake up!

The last photo in the batch above was pretty interesting. In most building corners in Rome, you’ll see altars. In that particular corner, there was an altar AND a sexy signage for a cafe. How contrasting was it? 😀

Well, the Pantheon stood there. I had the piazza to my self! Well, I shared it with a couple of locals and several pigeons.

When in Rome, the Colosseum is a must. So, I started my way there and then back to the hotel. It was a nice walk, but the vehicles often scared the ‘becheezes’ out of me. I walked along narrow streets and passed by shops slowly opening for business.

To get to the Colosseum, I had to cross a famous roundabout in the city – the Piazza Venezia. It is not only popular for the iconic buildings around it, but also as a transportation hub/station. I often see the roundabout/intersection in movies.

Adjacent to the roundabout is an amazing monument dedicated to the first King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II. Built 1885 to 1935 and inaugurated in 1911, it is also known as the Vittoriano or the Altar of the Fatherland (Altare della Patria). There is also the Church of Santa Maria de Loreto (photo #2 below), as well as other churches and basilicas.

Piazza Venezia in located on the foot of the Capitoline Hill, with the ruins of the Roman Forum, and the road leading to the Colosseum. The street was also lined with statues of famous Roman emperors. It was an interesting road and many people use it, locals and tourists alike.

Now, the Colosseum was not how I remembered it to be. During the first visit, my sisters and I climbed up a grassy hill and found a nice spot to watch the iconic building from. But in June 2022, the roads were blocked due to construction maintenance. The grassy hill was no longer accessible. Visitors had to see the Colosseum from the other side of the road, unless you want to go inside, then, you’ll have to walk through a temporary walled path. Nevertheless, it still felt nice to see the ancient building again.

People really do extreme measures to get a nice photo with the Colosseum. There was girl who even climbed over the fence (visible on the last photo in the batch above)! Well, I stayed and always plan to stay on the safe side. 🙂

So, I was pretty satisfied with the morning walk. My eyes feasted on the beautiful sights, and it was worth it strolling around very early. The circa 1,5 km-walk back to the hotel was taken without further stops and photo-taking as I was a bit tired and hungry. I reached the hotel at around 08:50, and headed straight into the dining area. Breakfast at Hotel Serena was ok. I had some cereals, yogurt, a bread, coffee and juice. 🙂

I spent the rest of the day writing postcards to my pals and napping. Haha 😀 At 3pm, I was starving. Luckily, I discovered a Filipino restaurant on the other street. I ended up enjoying some pancit! I knew where to take my aunt for dinner that day.

My aunt finished working at 16:30 that day and went to Rome to join for a short stroll. After enjoying some refreshing halo-halo in the Filipino resto, we headed down the Piazza di Spagna, the location of the famous Spanish Steps and the Church of Trinita dei Monti. The plaza was teeming with people!

For dinner, we had some rice, fried chicken and sour sinigang soup. Here are the Filipino foods I/we had from the Pancit Filipino Restaurant in Via Farini, Rome. It was awesome to eat with spoon and fork for a change 🙂

Later that night, I caught a glimpse of Missy from the videocall with my hubby. I missed them, but I was having a nice time in Rome. 🙂 So far, so good! Until the next entry! #spreadloveandpositivevibes



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