ROMEing Around

Thurs, June 4 | Day Two, part 2


(Yes, I had to.)

Touristy day! After an exhausting but eventful second morning spent at the Vatican, we ate a quick lunch at this caffe just a few blocks from our hotel, since the old folks and kids were getting tired. I had my first panini! …it was all right, haha. The rest of the family went back to the hotel to go change/rest before dinner, and Uncle Anthony, my cousin Andre, and I decided to take the Metro subway to one of the most infamous neighborhoods of central Roma: the Piazza di Spagna, named so because of its distinct, Spanish-influenced culture, and also because the Spanish embassy and the infamous “Spanish Steps” are located there. We got onto one of two main Metro lines that run through the city, Line A, which cost 1.50 Euro (originally we misheard the lady at the ticketing booth, and were about to pay 15 Euro!) per person for a one-way trip. Riding the Metro was thrilling! It was like an adventure, from buying the ticket, to inserting it into the little machines that allow a quick access, looking on the map to see what stop you’re getting off, and making sure you get on the right train in the first place because everything’s in another language. But the train station was so neat! It wasn’t disgusting or dirty like I had expected; all kinds of people were milling about, and the walls were covered in ad posters or colorful graffiti. Once off the subway, we stepped out in the main square- and it was probably one of the most memorable images of my life. Walking out into the sunlight and seeing the colorful European architecture of the streets; the thousands of tourists, the music, the liveliness, the hundreds of variety shops from expensive designer brands (Chanel! Versace! Dolce & Gabbana!) to wooden puppet stores. & of course, the vibe. It was like different worlds were coming together in that square; there were so many languages and voices and sounds all around as we walked about. Coming up to the Spanish Steps, notably the widest staircase in Europe, I wanted to count how many steps there were from the base of the square to the Trinità dei Monti Church at the very top, which they were remodeling. (I just looked it up on Wikipedia: 135!) The Steps are rich with history and culture, built by French diplomats and Bourbon kings sometime in the 18th century. Surrounding them are tall buildings, designer stores, government centers, & one apartment building had a sign out front noting “The English poet John Keats died here.” After milling about and taking pictures on the steps, we found ourselves wandering through a diverse neighborhood of stores mixed in with historic monuments. It was like Ancient Roma had their famous statues and monuments spread out throughout the city, and built newer shops and larger buildings around them. And we were navigating around the different sites with a map! Normally I am horrible at reading maps, but luckily the one we were following that we got from our hotel was relatively easy to figure out. We slowly moved our way through the winding streets, marking well-known spots that we would visit along the way. We had no agenda or sense of direction really, but that was the best part. It was almost like getting lost in both the ancient past and the hopeful present. Roaming around central Roma, stumbling upon rare shops and magnificent artwork and “plazza” squares that are hundreds of years old, and getting a taste of what it’s like to be a Roman in such a rich and beautiful place. From the famous historic landmarks, to all the touristy stuff (such as throwing coins in the Fontana di Trevi… that was a challenge), exploring the city was truly fantastico. Rome, you have my heart.  

Fettuccini w/ mushroom
YES, spaghetti.
The Italian version of a hamburger… with olives in the bun.
These are little machines where you insert your one-way ticket to get on the Metro subway
On the metro



Metro station artwork.


Alleyways on alleyways
Street signs in Roma


Lots of people at the Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti, the “Spanish Steps” – also the widest staircase in Europe!
A random (let’s just say he’s Italian) man came up to me while I was sitting on the Steps and handed me a few red roses, saying they were for “the lovely young lady.” I was a little weirded out, but he was very nice about it & was giving roses to many of the women! Only in Europe…
Embassy of Spain


Happy with my flowers
On top of the Spanish Steps
IMG_5227 Oops…. caught by a Roman guard.
Hail Ceasar!
Totally bought something from here. Just kidding. Or am I.


La Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain). Sadly, it’s gated off now (to protect the fountain/artwork from mischievous climbers), so I had to stick my camera through the gate to take this shot.


Left the roses I got at the Spanish Steps behind the Fontana di Trevi gate.
Andre throwing his three coins into the fountain
Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 12.28.00 AM
Excited after my second try through the gate, my Euro finally made it into the fountain & I made a wish 🙂 For a link to the video click here!


Look what I found! (for my boyfriend)
Cobblestone streets.
Father/son selfie!
The Pantheon!


Inside the Pantheon.


Tomb of Raphael, the Italian Renaissance artist
Jesus & St. Joseph.
Geppetto in his woodshop
Ancient column engraved with Roman figurines at the Palazzo Chigi


Underground bookstore
Palazzo Montecitorio


IMG_5339 & of course, we finish an eventful day with gelato.

– A




3 thoughts on “ROMEing Around

  1. Ally!!! I’m so jealous that you’re in Rome! AHH the architecture!! AHH the art!!! AHHH EVERYTHING!!! I’m living vicariously through you. oh and the column towards the end of your post is the Column of Trajan! The only reason I know this is because I’m taking art history right now. k byeeee

    1. HIIII! 🙂 imy!
      & WOW THANKS I HAD NO IDEA WHAT IT WAS! But I was like heeeeey, cool tower looking thing! Hahaha. Wish you were here dude, the art and architecture of just about EVERYTHING in Italy is incredible! Each neighborhood is so different!

      – Ally

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