Roma: 30th September

Sorry this has been so long coming, I got very behind and then stopped posting completely, but I’m back home in NZ now, so I will endeavour to get them all done before I forget everything.

Started my day with a little passeggiata down Via del Plebiscito on my way to the Piazza Navona

I passed the Largo di Torre Argentina, with the ruins of several temples. Seriously Roma is just covered in ruins – you turn a corner and suddenly there’s a major archeological site.

There’s not much in the Piazza Navona, but there is something about it, especially in the morning when there aren’t too many people around.

The square has three fountains and this one is the Fountain of the Four Rivers (none of which I can remember, except one of them is probably the Tiber).

One of many Egyptian obelisks resides in the square, with the obligatory street performer wearing a shiny King Tut outfit which looks like it’d heat you to about 400º in the sun.

There’s something amazing about all the water in Rome. There are fountains everywhere, which creates a strange sort of feeling in the air when it’s as baking hot as it was when I was there.

There’s also something magical about the cobbled squares with the same tables packed with tacky reproductions of famous renaissance paintings, gratifying the tourist’s desire for a leap of recognition, as we think ‘just like in the movies! What fun!’ (also fulfilling this role: Ristorante Vacanze Romane on the square – for the Hepburn/Peck fans).

After wandering about the square looking for a place to have coffee, then deciding that it was all vastly overpriced (6 euro for a cappuccino, I ask you) I went just off the square, down a little back street and had a couple of coffees while watching the endless streams of visor-wearing camera-carrying tourists stomp past in their sensible shoes (I’ve discovered that one never hates tourists so much as when one is a tourist oneself).

I set off down a series of cool shady alleyways towards the river, noting the complete lack of footpaths anywhere, and enjoying some serious people-watching.

I ventured into the working class and therefore uber-cool suburb of Trastevere, starting my visit with a trek up Giancolo Hill and a fabulous view of Roma.

(Note that the Vittorio Emanuel Monument sticks out like a sore thumb).

See! More water. It’s everywhere. Halfway up the hill there was a little water fountain just sticking out of the hill. It’s a water-fueled city.

After a sit and a gawk at the beautiful and chaotic Roman skyline, I walked down the hill and found a little trattoria to have lunch in (Pasta all’amatriciana, delicious by the way) and then wandered through the gorgeous little cobbled alleys and back across the river. I headed back to my hotel via the Via del Corso (getting lost in the process – don’t ask me how).

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