Five hours in the Eternal City is never enough to cover and discover all that this enchanting commune has to offer. That’s what I had though when hubby and I went to “roam alone in Rome” for some me-time. It includes the challenge of not taking a taxi, just the trains. 😀 Hesitation was my feeling at first. Then I thought it would be good for me since I walk slowly. I could drink in the culture, sights, atmosphere, and scenery more. I could also escape the eye rolls I get from hubby whenever he walks too far up front. ^_^
He gave me 5 hours….considering my being slow, I could have seen more, taken photos of the city more. In a nutshell, this is a story of what I did and saw in Rome…alone. Well, with a good-old map actually and my ever-reliable 7d.
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Sun high-up (it was 5:30PM!), kissing my skin as it pleased, people – tourists and locals alike walking here and there… There are also vendors, gladiator-clad men, each busy with their routine. Hubby dropped me off at the metro train station Colosseo – most probably named after the building just across. Of course, the largest ampitheatre the world has known. Albeit a famous tourism spot nowadays, the Colosseo or Coliseum still stands proud today. With 1933 years to boast after its completion and even marking its way to a spot in the New Seven Wonders of the World list.
A few steps from the Colosseum is another historical monument, the Arch of Constantine. For some unknown reasons, I cannot find a decent shot of it from my archives. I think they were doing some renovations to it as many other buildings that time. The above photo though shows it peeking a bit… (I’m sure hubby took a photo of this when we went back together but that would be in another post).
Not being a sun-lover, I went around the elliptical structure immediately. Stopping in middle-awe (where there’s shadow of course) and just savoring all the history and magnificence it imposes, I clicked the camera many times. Had hubby been there, we were sure to have gotten in. The idea of getting in alone didn’t excite me so I got back to the train station instead. Rome’s train stations are relatively clean…well, most that I’ve been to and as expected, the trains themselves are crowded.
Did spoke with an American family while on board…they’re from Detroit and spending a whole week in Rome. What struck me would be the sticker warning signs the train doors have. Quite morbid for my taste. 😀
So I got off at the metro station Ottaviano, one of the nearest station that leads to Vatican City. Via Ottaviano (street) is lined up with shops, trattorias, pizzerias and of course residential houses. The temptation to just shop than actually go to my destination – St. Peter’s Square, almost got the better of me. Hubby and I went there early in the morning that day too. It was too warm and humid I didn’t really enjoy it so much, I took shelter from the shadows of the surrounding buildings at the plaza.
It was a bit before 7 then so it has cooled down a bit. I ate dinner at a cozy restaurant with just a simple pasta meal. Should I have known of cooking classes available in the area, I would have done that instead.
Related read: Best Cooking Schools in Italy
At this time was also when I saw the time-traveller musician. (Had you been to my music and food blog you’d know him). I walked the street parallel to via Ottaviano, the wall of the Vatican city on the right and a handful of souvenir shops on the left.
I entered the plaza/square via the colonnades – the right side and this time, there aren’t as much tourists, no sun to annoy me but, also no hubby to go inside with and see the beauty of the Sistine chapel ceiling, nor the Pieta and not even the Vatican Library. Even not being catholics, seeing these historical pieces were on our bucket list. Sad to say, we run out of time the following days and never got to fulfill this. Rome being an hour away from Vienna by plane is easy to revisit. I’d definitely cross these out from the bucket list when I get back. ^_^
At the square, the Tuscan colonnades were towering over the crowd of people as it was designed like to embrace them – symbolically back into the church. It is said to be one of Italian architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s most innovative design.
Shopping at Ottaviano
I walked around the square a bit more, shot this and that corner and went back the same route I had earlier. I did some shopping. Bought some chocolates – Italian kisses, Baci, and a handful more sweets, some souvenirs and a few pieces from my favorite design house, Desigual.
There was a considerable amount of time spent gawking at stuff there, teehee… When I finally got hungry and when my phone battery was almost dead, I went to the nearest restaurant I saw… That’s a review shared on my food blog. ^_^ Long story told, I had one of Rome’s more known dish, pasta alla gricia made special with the experience of meeting a polyglot.
Plaza della Rotonda, The Pantheon
When dusk blanketed the city, I headed for the Pantheon. I didn’t follow the map this time but the advise of the above-mentioned polyglot. I took the scenic, longer bus route. I hopped off at Lagro Argentina and went the wrong way so I had to ask for directions a lot of times. ^_^
The Eternal city lives well to its name, the night streets so picturesque. I think it took me longer than I should reaching the spot where hubby and I would rendezvous because I stop by every corner to click my camera.
Still very much alive at 9 in the evening, my perception of Rome as a very busy city all transpired there. Rome alone is beautiful experience.
I arrived at Piazza della Rotonda in one piece. ^_^ Rome’s very lively culture, the Italians’ happy disposition and free-spirited nature can all be seen in here. I spent some minutes listening to Italian music played on guitar at the middle of the plaza…. I waited for hubby but, I got surprised when I saw him there held (actually dragged) by a pantomime… Had I not been so quick, he would have probably been taken away by a chinese lady! (side photo) ^_^
The night went on with some more walking, night shots, wine, pasta and more walking. This trip may not be one of those cheap late holidays we booked in a hurry. We definitely spent more but it’s all worth it! Sometimes opting for the budget offer is a good idea, but spending a bit more, that’s both time and money in a city as Rome, is definitely ok!