Having arrived in the late afternoon, our exploration on Wednesday was limited to a walk past the Roman Forum and up to the beautifully evening-lit Coliseum.
Our original plan for Thursday involved a regional train, but due to a transit strike we decided it was prudent to stay within walking distance. Not really a problem as there is plenty to see in Rome!
We started at the Campo de ‘Fiori market – some produce, but small and quite touristy. We wouldn’t go out of our way to return…
From there we continued our ambling to Sant’Andrea della Valle, with its beautiful interior.
Next was walking along the Tiber; however, the river was high, slightly flooding the riverfront promenade, so we had to settle for views from above.
From there we headed down Via Giulia to the classic Centrico. First Piazza Navona, then the into Pantheon (still free).
Next was Altare della Patria (Altar to the Fatherland) with a great view outside, and an interesting regimental flag exhibit and Russian art inside. This was a nice break from chilly breeze!
After a mid-afternoon rest we decided to try our luck with St. Peter’s. The line was rather long for the end of the day, with almost an hour long wait. Eventually we got in and were finally able to see the inside of the massive cathedral. It was definitely big, but not as ornate as expected.
We left just in time to enjoy the final bits of sunset as we made our way to wine and dinner!
Our early afternoon arrival back from Naples left us the rest of this sunny Sunday to explore Monti, a neighborhood between the Termini train station and Forum / Coliseum. First Campidoglio, or the Capitoline Steps.
And great views down in to the Forum.
The road to the Coliseum was pedestrian only, so tons of people were out walking and enjoying the weather. From there we visited the Terme di Traiano ruins, then on to the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore. Thankfully the security line was quite short, and soon we were enjoying the large interior and stunning ceilings.
Next we were on to views of Monti from Villa Aldobrandini (and the antics of quite a few Roman canines).
Later that evening we walked to the Trevi fountain for night view.
Right around the corner (literally a building away) from our apartment was ruins of the Portico d’Ottavia.
From there we set out for Mercato Testaccio. Our route took us over Ponte Cestio and Pont Palatine bridges to the Temple of Ercole Vincitore, then past the Circus Maximus into Giardino degli Aranci with gorgeous panoramic views of Rome.