A good way to get a “sense” of Rome is to walk with me between three famous landmarks.
The landmarks themselves are well worth some time, but I will also make the walk between them (and the stops along the way) enlightening and entertaining!
Trevi Fountain marks the end point of one of Rome’s ancient viaducts bringing water to the city.
You can’t not love this one! Everyone loves this one! It has to be the most beautiful fountain in the world (Bellagio – eat your heart out). It’s the largest Baroque fountain in Rome, and it is rich in history and interesting (and sometimes quite funny) stories.
Legend has it that if you throw a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain, you’ll return to Rome. Some say that two coins will lead to a new romance and three will lead to either a marriage or a divorce (I guess it depends on what you’re needing at the time). It’s not foolproof, but I’ve often seen it work!
It’s very hard capturing this fountain in any one photo. I’ve seen so many, all different, and I can’t choose between them. It’s one of those places that you just have to see and hold in your memory (not hard to do). You’ll probably see it with me during the day, but if you get a chance you must also see it at night.
The Pantheon was built in 27 BC as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome. It was rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian about a hundred years later.
That’s a very long time ago, but it’s extremely well preserved, especially considering it has been in continuous use since it was built (it has been a catholic church for the last 1300 years, and more recently two of Italy’s kings have been buried there).
The Pantheon has a truly awe-inspiring interior by the standards of any age. It is also steeped in legends and gossip. You simply won’t forget it.
A side note for the engineers among you: Two thousand years later, and the Pantheon still has the world’s largest un-reinforced concrete dome – 43 metres above the floor.
It has a huge hole in the top of the dome – that’s another story!
Piazza Navona (Navona Square)
More than 2000 years ago, Piazza Navona was a games stadium, and it still maintains its original shape.
It is the home of three famous fountains, the Church of St. Agnes, statues and palaces, all worth a look and a discussion.
But it’s also a really good place to just browse and soak up some of the flavour of Rome. There are a myriad of outdoor restaurants, cafes and street entertainers. In December the piazza is packed full of stalls selling Christmas and nativity decorations.
This is a three-hour tour with extensive walking. There is no driving.
Pantheon entrance fees: € 2,00 per person
Operating days: Monday to Sunday
Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
Navona Square (Piazza Navona)