We crossed the Tiber to reach Trastevere. This part of Rome comes highly recommended for those seeking gourmet food and active night life. We chose to visit by day to find architectural gems and quiet streets.
Drawn into the community by strong roof lines and eye catching chimneys we made our way into the heart of Trastevere.
An ancient church hidden among palazzos was closed off to the public.
Every day life continues… laundry drying on a line suspended high above the street.
A small Madonella perched high above the road reminded us of the role these shrines played during medieval times.
Restaurants line the streets, a street musician helped us slow down our pace and listen for a while before we continued our exploration.
The late September afternoon sun illuminated the plants above street level, guiding the way deeper into Trastevere.At the end of the street, just before I turned the corner I looked back and zoomed in to capture the Madonella. Instead I captured the seniora taking a smoke break at the ope window.
At another window “the king” was smiling upon us.
Windows with shutters and roof top gardens – this is La Dolce Vita.
The staircase to the main entrance and roof top garden – a temptation…
Time for a rest and a meal. Who can resist this quaint restaurant with its Michelangelo fresco framed by the arch and columns?
Thanks for joining me today for my walk down memory lane, recalling one of the best places we visited in Rome during our short stay in late September 2013.
We caught the bus from Termini station and got off at Torre Argentina following a tip from a friend in Canada. Elaine is a cat lover and recommended this sight as a general point of interest.
The thermometer was showing close to 30 C and we had to look for some time before we spotted the cats inhabiting the ruins of Largo di Torre Argentina. A few lazy paw movements and the occasional contact were proof that even the felines of Rome were taking it easy on the first day of fall.
At the eastern end of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II are the sunken remains of four republican-era Roman temples from the third to second century B. C. These temples stood next to the later Pompey Theater complex, the site where Roman general and dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated. One of the four Roman temples located below street level and viewed without obstruction and crowds. The cat sanctuary is a great place to visit, slow down and explore from above. It is a sight not overrun by many people.
The back wall of a second Roman temple at Largo di Torre Argentina drew my attention to the architectural details. Tall columns, skilled brick work and well preserved tiled roofs beckon to be examined closer. Admission is not an option. Active archeological research continues.
Our walk continued to Campo de’ Fiori. This elongated square is encircled by Renaissance buildings with restaurants and shops on the main floor, apartments and hotels above. Campo de’ Fiore hosts a flower, fruit and vegetable market in the morning.
The afternoon sees tourists and locals alike enjoying cold drinks and gelato. When darkness falls the campo is a lively meeting point for the city’s young people, who frequent the outdoor bars and cafés.
Leaving the bustling market behind we turned a corner and found ourselves at the Palazzo Farnese, built in the 16th century for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who later became Pope Paul III. The building houses the French Embassy today.
It was hot, and joining the locals and tourists for a few quiet moments in the shade was ever so tempting… but we carried on. Trastevere was calling!
To be continued…
Picture this: the goal is to explore Rome on a shoestring and taxi fares just don’t enter into to such a plan. Our home base was close to Termini Station and we brought good shoes for walking. The free map we received when we checked into the hotel provided us with too much confidence. We found out quickly that the map was…. basic, or for a lack of a better word: Useless! Only the important roads are marked on such a map and will send any tourist around the block a couple of times and ended up back in the hotel feeling utterly frustrated and still at home base… We knew this – but being eternal optimists we thought that maybe Rome would be the exception. It was not.
After a day of exploring the eternal city by foot even the fittest traveler eventually admits that walking Rome’s ancient cobble stone streets makes for very sore feet. Another plan began to emerge. We had transported ourselves on bikes and taken the train and the occasional bus, but worry about getting on the wrong bus and wasting valuable time lingered. An internet search yielded several suggestions, one strongly recommended the Stradaroma tascabile.
We soon made our way to one of the small newspaper and magazine stands that are found on virtually any street corner. A copy of Stradaroma tascabile on display convinced us that it was a comprehensive guide to all bus, tram and underground routes for the city of Rome. € 8,00 well spent we grabbed Cappucinos in the closest bar, marked several bus routes that would get us closer to the places we planned to visit and photograph.
The benefits of investing in a good navigational aid when you travel without your Garmin are well worth it. No more stress, time wasted in discussion whether to take the metro or the bus, and not to mention frustrating conversations with bus drivers who don’t speak English and have a schedule to adhere to. Stradaroma tascabile gets two thumbs up on this blog!