First stop Fontana di Trevi

Close up of sculpture on the Trevi Fountain
Close up of sculpture on the Trevi Fountain

Well, technically, the Trevi Fountain was not our first stop in Rome. Our first stop in the bustling city was back to the airport where we had rented our car upon our arrival in Italy. As we were staying in the city with mass transport on most corners, and as we did not want to hassle with driving and parking in Rome, we ditched the car and caught a taxi from the airport to our bed and breakfast.

Map of Rome from Roma Pass
The area we covered in our night walk. If you click, you can see an enlargement.

We stayed at the Hotel Giardino near the corner of Via Nationale and Via Maggio. The rooms were comfortable. The hotel provided a light, but filling continental breakfast. And you couldn’t beat the location. We were about equi-distance from the Colosseum to the south and Fontana di Trevi to the north. We walked most places that we went (with occasional assistance from the metro and bus lines once we figured it all out).

Piazza del Quirinale
Piazza del Quirinale

Anxious to get our first look at Rome, we dumped our bags in our rooms and headed to the Trevi foutain. About two blocks up Via Maggio we passed by the Piazza del Quirinale, previously the home of the pope and now the home of the Italian president. We did not  see Berlusconi once during our many trips past this corner, only his guards.

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy
Trevi Fountain

Our first view of the Trevi fountain—like so many other sights in Italy, this exceeded my expectations both in size and grandeur. It is a powerful water fountain supplied by the aqueduct system built by an emperor in 19 B.C.  In 1732, commissioned by the Pope, Nicola Salvi created the masterpiece we see today.

Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy
A distant view of the Spanish Steps

From there we walked on over to the Spanish Steps and began Rick Steve’s recommended night walk (in reverse). The Spanish Steps are located in an upscale shopping area. Traveling with our two young-adult children, we tried to stay clear of most of the shopping. The square around the Spanish Steps is a popular night spot.

Trevi Fountain at night

Here we are at the Fotana di Trevi again, this time under lights. Stunning.

Nighttime. No tri-pod. Walking. Lost in Rome. Blurry photo. I know.

I think this is the Egyptian obelisk (but don’t quote me on it. It was night time and there were a bunch of them.) “taken as a trophy by Augustus after his victory over Mark Anthony and Cleopatra in the 6th century.” (Steves)

Pantheon, Rome, Italy

The Pantheon is also stunning. We turned a corner and there it was. A monstrosity. I still get kind of a creepy, tingling feeling just looking at these photos of it. Those columns are huge. More later.

Piazza Novena Rome, Italy
Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain on the Piazza Novena

Next stop, Piazza Navona. According to Rick Steves, this piazza “features street music, artists, fire-eaters, local Casanovas, ice cream, fountains by by Bernini and outdoor cafes.” We only saw the fountains and cafes. Maybe it was a slow night, or more likely, we were simply too early. The space this piazza occupies was originally a race track built by the Emporer Domitian. From there we went to our last stop on the night walk, Campo de Fiori, where we had dinner at one of the outside cafes. I ordered a fresh seafood pasta dish that evidently contained clams. Big mistake. (I don’t know how I could have momentarily forgotten the episode after lunch at the Clam Shack in  Kennebunkport, Maine.).

Victor Emmanuel Monument, Rome, Italy

We walked back to our hotel past the Victor Emmanuel Monument built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country’s unification. The chariots on top of it are visible in many places throughout the city.

Photos by Christine M. Grote and Mark Joseph Grote
Copyright © 2011 by Christine M. Grote

See more links to posts about Italy on my “Places I’ve Been” page.

Rick Steves’ Rome 2009

5 thoughts on “First stop Fontana di Trevi”

  1. I missed the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon when I was in Rome. No time. Did however see the Vatican and the Coliseum. Amazing places!

  2. Love your photographs. My family did a Mediterranean cruise a couple of years ago, at the end of which we stayed in Rome. Your pictures brought back so many wonderful memories of the ancient city. Last summer my husband and I were in Venice, another spectacular experience. Have you been there?

    I’ve subscribed by rss feed. Will be visiting again…hugmamma. 🙂


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