For our second full day in Rome, we again took advantage of Rick Steve’s app and followed his waking tour entitled “Heart of Rome”. This tour starts at the Campo du Fiori and goes to the Spanish Steps.
After our exhausting day at the Vatican (the travel the day before didn’t help!) we didn’t set an alarm so it was at least 11 before we left the apartment.
Today, we did the first half of the tour which started about 15 minutes away and ended at the Pantheon which was right beside our Airbnb. Starting at Campo di Fiori meant that Lois got to do some shopping, which meant I got to do some veggie and flower photography.
And Lois found a present for her boytoy, Jerry.
From the Campo we headed to Piazza Navona, one of my favorite places in Rome. This large oval was formerly the site of chariot races but now is a beautiful place with three fountains and a great piazza to people watch.
We decided to be complete tourists and have lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Sometimes there is a reason tourist joints are tourist joints…it was a beautiful sunny but not hot day, the piazza was full of activity and the food was tasty, albeit expensive….but not as expensive as tomorrow’s meal (that’s called foreshadowing).
Lois got a spicy pasta dish, Mike pasta arabica (bacon, tomatoes, etc) and I got osso bucco and then we all shared. Everything was tasty but sis-in-law’s osso bucco is better!
After lunch we ducked into the Brazilian Embassy (formerly the family home of Pope Innocent (the tenth?) and the one who paid to turn Navona into what we see today to see the Brazilian national exhibit from the Venice Biennale entitled, Walls of Air. It was an interesting exhibit about public places and design, Lois was particularly impressed with the drawings. I was most intrigued by the idea of making the roof of Niemeyer’s museum accessible.
Leaving the museum we again listened as we walked to Rick Steve’s tell us about the history of the area and the buildings we were passing.
When we got to the Pantheon, the line was loooong so we elected to continue our tour their the next morning.
After a few hours rest at the apartment, we grabbed a taxi and headed to Termini Station (Rome’s huge transit center) where we caught the HopOnHopOff’s non HopOnHopOff night tour of Rome.
Our original thinking when planning the tour was that we would make the Vatican our focus one day, the area around our apartment the focus the next and a visit to the Coliseum the center of the third day. Lois had a medical issue a few weeks prior to our departure and was concerned she was going to make the trip so I didn’t pre-purchase Coliseum entry. Thankfully, Lois was able to make the trip but by that time we couldn’t get tickets. So instead we decided to do a drive by. Which given the difficulty I had climbing the steep stairs/seats six years ago was probably a good idea!
The night tour gave Lois a chance to see a lot of Rome lit up and she seemed to enjoy it, though all of us were a little chilly in the open topped bus once the sun went down.
After much difficulty finding a taxi, we made it back to the apartment and had some street pizza for a bedtime snack.
Tomorrow-our last day.