Another beautiful day in Rome! We woke up feeling great and after a delicious cafe latte and croissant headed to the Campo de’ Fiori market to see what the locals were stocking up on. I’m a huge fan of Rick Steve’s travel guides and the walking tour of his we planned to do started there. And it was only two blocks from our apartment! Have I mentioned we are in an amazing location!
After browsing at the market we let Rick talk to us and guide us through his “Heart of Rome” walking tour. You can pay a person to do it or just download his free APP which is just as good if not better since you can start and stop it whenever you want. There are so many piazza’s in Rome with statues, fountains and entertainment it’s fun to stop and enjoy whatever catches your fancy.
The streets are narrow in many parts of Rome and traffic is restricted to police, buses, taxi’s, residents and government vehicles. So if you come don’t rent a car because you can’t drive it in Rome. They are very pedestrian friendly and many of the streets have people and cars walking right down the middle. Shocking that you really don’t hear many car horns!
A fun thing Rick pointed out on the tour was a coffee shop called Caffe Tazza d’Ora. This is one of Rome’s top coffee shops dating back to when you needed a license to roast coffee. And it’s the coffee shop visited back in the 80’s by Howard Schultz who wanted to recreate it in the US and you now know it as Starbucks!
Next up was the famous Pantheon. We did go in but planned to go back and do the separate Rick Steve’s audio tour so I’ll save the details for then, but it’s a must see if you’re in Rome. An incredible architectural feat!
Our next stop was the Trevi Fountain. So beautiful and so crowded! We took daytime pictures but went back in the evening and it might be even prettier at night so going to post that picture. You’re supposed to toss a coin over your shoulder and legend says it will assure your return to Rome. I love Rome so made sure I did it. It’s worth it!
Our last stop on the tour was the Spanish Steps. Very crowded but we managed to get to the top for a picture. 138 steps and a fountain at the bottom.
We also went into at least 5 churches but I won’t post pictures of all of them. They were all beautiful and we made a point to say a prayer in each. I can’t even imagine how many churches are here - it almost seems one every couple of blocks.
We met friends for dinner at a tiny little restaurant 3 doors from our apartment. It is called EST. We had walked by it a number of times and it looked really cute so we thought why not try it. Everyone loved it - although I’m not sure you can have a bad meal here without trying hard. The restaurant only had at most 10 tables, and the manager was so sweet and waited on us herself. We asked for a suggestion on ordering wine and she took it so seriously and was so concerned that it was absolutely perfect for what we would be eating. Definitely one of the best wines I’ve ever had. She was equally concerned that we had the perfect amount of appetizers depending on whether or not we would be enjoying dessert. But of course!
A night time walk after dinner just to see Rome in the dark and enjoy the festive atmosphere with tons of people out walking and having fun. The Eternal City - I love it!
Caio for now!