I love Rome!
Unsurpassed quality of its historic and artistic treasures aside, it is very likely the most satisfying city in relation to my traveling preferences. I like to walk and see what awaits me beyond the next turn, hoping to find something to admire. Central Rome, like practically nowhere else, offers me something every few hundred steps, be it a grand church, a gorgeous square, a lovely fountain, a quaint corner, an amazing edifice of uncommon distinction and/or age, you get the point.
Our most recent visit to Rome was less than two full days long, tacked onto the end of the trip to Sicily. Barely enough time to make a circuit of usual attractions. Just enough time to recapture the feeling of being in a place that you do not want to leave.
Well-known visuals of must-see sights will likely dominate my photographic output no matter how many times I come back to Rome, but we start here with a few rooftop views.
Pretty amazing perspectives from the mansarde-level balcony of our rented room! I can gladly endure less than perfect accommodations for this!
We stayed a stone throw from Piazza Navona, one of those unmissable sights in Rome that is always photogenic way above average.
River Tiber may be a bit smaller and less preeminent in the topography of the city than some of its counterparts that disect other European capitals. It nonetheless offers many agreeable perspectives, such as this view of Ponte Sisto, a pedestrian river crossing built in the 15th century.
Another angle gives you the dome of Saint Peter’s Cathedral in the background.
The next partially-obsured angle caught a segment of the oldest Roman bridge still standing, Ponte Fabricio. It was built in 62 BCE.
Of course, most of the structures from Ancient Rome only survive as ruins, which are found in different locations in central parts of the city. The couple of standing columns in this shot belong to the Temple of Apollo Sosianus dating from the 5th century BCE.
Nearby is the Portico of Octavia, erected in the 2nd century BCE.
The Portico sits at the edge of the Jewish Ghetto, the narrow passageways of which are adorned here and there with recognizable symbols.
One of the cutest fountains in Rome, the Turtles Fountain, is in the near vicinity.
Approaching Piazza Venezia from west, a couple of angles to the magnificent architectural composition of the area.
A close-up of the centerpiece of the Piazza Venezia ensemble, the Altar of the Fatherland.
This edifice is also known as the Monument of Vittorio Emmanuele II. He was the first king of the unified Italy in the mid-19th century, and I am yet to visit an Italian town of a non-trivial size that does not have an equestrian statue of this king and a major thoroughfare named in his honor.
A different angle combining impressive sights from different eras. The neoclassical temple was finished in 1878. Trajan’s Column, with its incredible spiral bas relief, is a tad bit older, from 113 CE.
Another of the ancient remains in the area, Insula dell’Ara Coeli, a rare example of a multi-story residential building circa 2nd century CE.
Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli is a 12-century church that I inexplicably never set foot in on my past visits to Rome.
Fronted by a steep 124-step staircase, the austere façade hides an exuberantly rich interior.
A look down Scalinata dell’Ara Coeli.
And a look up Cordonata Capitolina that leads up to Campidoglio square.
Ara Coeli staircase provides a couple of elevated angles to the sculptural and architectural ensemble of Campidoglio.
Behind the Senate Palace that anchors Campidoglio lies the best viewpoint over the Roman Forum.
Colosseum peeks from the background of the above shot.
The dome of Saint Peter’s can be seen from distance in various perspectives in Rome, such as this roofline view from Piazza del Quirinale.
Along with Colosseum and San Pietro, Fontana di Trevi is one of the emblematic sights of Rome, no less impressive and worth seeing over and over again for the crowds it attracts.
And the Pantheon is no less emblematic. One of the most amazing structures anywhere, it remains standing and functional for about 1,900 years.
On the back side of Pantheon there are still some fragments of the original Roman temple decorations.
A fragment of the sculptural composition of the Pantheon fountain on Piazza della Rotonda. Notice the facial expression reflecting significant annoyance at the pigeon who impudently landed on the stone head.
Yet another top sight, Castel Sant’Angelo, which started as a mausoleum just a few years after the construction of the Pantheon. The eponymous pedestrian bridge, built at the same time in the 2nd century CE, was enhanced in the 17th century with Baroque statues of angels, and is an attraction in itself.
As a small illustration of why I find Rome so satisfying in terms of walking and finding things to admire, this is a corner of Piazza dei Massimi, which is both very close to Piazza Navona and also hardly on any major walking route.
The combination of fading frescoes on the 15-century palazzo façade and an ancient Corinthian column (moved here in the 20th century, but originating in the 2nd) is very much worth admiring, IMHO.
And occasionally, it’s an unassuming detail that catches the eye.
Of course, this last one can happen anywhere you travel.
We walked as much as our feet could bear, but also stopped for coffee and food on more than one occasion – and managed to fit that into barely a day and a half in town. My better half found time to fulfill her bucket-list dream of riding a Vespa around Rome.
Me, I limited myself to an electric scooter for a short time, and then sat down on a lively square for a proper Aperol Spritz (two of those, eventually). No pictorial evidence of that, it must be noted.
There is no way that we will not be back in Rome again before long. I simply love it!