One aspect I loved about Rome was how we could see so many historic sites and plazas from just walking from one attraction to the next. Many historical sites were free of charge to visit and part of experiencing the city was wandering through the heart of it. After our morning at the Colosseum and a quick bite, Stephen and I set off for The Pantheon. Along the way, we stopped by shops, took lots of photos on cobblestoned streets and of course, ate a lot more gelato.
This was one of our afternoons where we had no set plans, just a list of landmarks we wanted to see in a geographical area and time to explore.
Tip: This area of Rome was super walkable and filled with shops, cafes and gelato! Washrooms however, were hard to find. Most cafes only allow customers to use the in-store facilities so gelato breaks were much welcomed.
Entrance to The Pantheon was free of charge and open to visitors from 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Saturday, closing earlier on Sundays. Street performers entertained crowds in the square just outside and there were a few horse drawn cart vendors. Like in any crowded tourist area, I would recommend carrying backups at the front and making sure any valuables are stored in zippered inside pockets.
Tip: If you’re using Google maps, scenic sites are marked with a camera icon. Stephen and I stopped by a few on our walk (like the Fontana delle Tartarughe and Palazzo Cipolla) and really enjoyed each one.
Our next stop was the Trevi Fountain, which was beautiful and definitely worth a stop. Even with the large crowd of tourists we were able to enjoy the view, throw in a coin and get close enough to feel the fountain splash. There was room around the fountain to sit and enjoy an afternoon snack. From here we headed towards the Spanish Steps (with a few shopping stops along the way). Unfortunately, the steps were under renovation and mostly fenced off.
Tip: The area near the Spanish steps is known for a plethora of high end designer boutiques, similar to Bloor St. and 5th Ave. We popped into Prada to browse and Salvatore Ferragamo for some more serious shoe shopping.
The afternoon of walking was the perfect way to work up an appetite for dinner (even with two gelato stops).