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A long weekend in Rome – Day 1

Some of you have seen the pictures of my long weekend in Rome, some of you may have not. I have anyway received so many requests from my friends to tell them about where to go in Rome and especially where to eat in Rome, that I decided to write a post about it.

So, here some walks (well, around 20K steps every day) and some places you definitely need to visit, if you book a long weekend in the eternal city – especially in summer when Ryanair has some many flights that connect Rome to the UK.

There are many places where you can actually stay in Rome. I stayed in the area of Monteverde Vecchio, quite good connected with Trastevere, one of the most beautiful areas of Rome (at least in my opinion, and if I really have to choose one).

DAY 1

So, on our (my husband was with me) first day, we walked down the steps to get into Trastevere and took the tram from there start our walk from the Altar of the Fatherland.

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Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland)

If you go behind the Altar, there are some stairs that will bring you to the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, full of beautiful affrescos. And next to it, some wider steps for the Campidoglio, one of the original Rome seven hills, where you can find the capitoline wolf (La Lupa) that from the mythical story, fed Romolo and Remo. Romolo according to the legend was the founder and first king of Rome.

RomaSegreta.it – Piazza del Campidoglio
Campidoglio

After you visited that, go straight to Via del Corso, do not turn for the Fori (that will be done later, promised!).

Enjoy Via del Corso, full of shops, look on both ways, the marvellous buildings of Rome, and turn on your right, in via delle Muratte that it is going to take you to the Trevi Fountain. Do not have any ice creams yet, as the best place in Rome it is not far away!

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Fontana di Trevi-La Dolce Vita - Trevi Fountain, Rome Traveller Reviews -  Tripadvisor
Fontana di Trevi

Once you have enjoyed your time close to the fountain, maybe having having a taste of the Dolce Vita, with an espresso and I recommend a cornetto (the italian version of croissant, filled with Nutella if you are an italian purist), keep walking, toward Palazzo Montecitorio.

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The Montecitorio palace is where sit the Italian Chambers of Deputies, so there is always around a lot of police and TV channels filming. Keep walking anyway, and you will find Giolitti, the best ice cream in Rome, and granita – like a slush, but better!

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Finish your ice cream while walking, that’s what italians do, and go towards Piazza Navona, making sure you get into the church San Luigi dei Francesi, where you can find one of the most known paintings of Caravaggio, the life of St. Matthew (entrance is free by the way).

Piazza Navona is the ancient Stadium of Domitian, where romans went to watch games, and where you can observe one of the masterpiece of the sculptor Bernini, the Fountain of the Four Rivers. You can also decide to visit better the ancient stadium ruins if you are there by booking a tour (I have not done it, so not sure about the cost) and the churches around. Piazza Navona, if you have read Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons book, would be even more interesting for you 😀

All you need to know about Piazza Navona - Wanted in Rome
Piazza Navona

Now, re-direct yourself to the Pantheon. The Pantheon is an ancient roman temple that became a church (as most of the ancient temples in Rome), and where the last Italian kings and queens are buried (e.g. Margherita, the queen for which the Margherita Pizza was created for – you may notice that the Pizza Margherita colours are the italian flag colours green=basil, white= mozzarella and red= tomato sauce). Also, to notice that Raffaello Sanzio, the famous painter, is buried there. While you there, you should definitely turn around the Rotonda 3 times, as romans do!

Piazza della Rotonda (Pantheon) - Rome | ZonzoFox
Pantheon and Piazza della Rotonda

Around The Pantheon, we stopped at the La Casa del Caffe’ Tazza d’Oro, where we had a coffee granita with cream and we had a Maritozzo, a brioche bun filled with cream. Definitely something to try!

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From The Pantheon, walk towards Campo de’ Fiori, an old market square in Rome, where Giordano Bruno, a famous philosopher that was burn because he was a strong believer that was the sun going around the earth, and not vice-versa. While working there, definitely recommend to stop to have a look to the church of St. Andrea della Valle.

Anyway, except the history of the Campo de’ Fiori square, that’s really interesting if you have time to look at it, that’s definitely the place where you want to have lunch or dinner. Most of the restaurants around there, take fresh vegetables and cheeses from the market, so everything is really fresh. Lots of restaurants around those narrow and romantic streets, if you do not fancy the touristic restaurants in the square.

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About food, this is really another chapter in Rome, I may dedicate a specific post for it, watch this space!

While you there, if you have some time and it is open to the public, you should visit Palazzo Farnese, the French embassy in Rome. A renaissance palace, maintained in all its beauty.

When you finish in Palazzo Farnese, you can go towards the river, and admire Villa Farnesina. If you cross the Tevere river, you may want also go and visit it, as it contains many affrescos from Raffaello.

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And there you are, back in Trastevere!

Check out the full Day 1 Map here and follow it!

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