Finally We Reach Rome


Roma

Hello, hello!  I know! we could have walked to Rome in the time it has taken me to get this blog post up!  But I am packed and reloaded now and ready to carry on.  I have had some fun distractions in the meantime, but also I was at a blogging crossroads.  I had used up all the available free space at wordpress, so I had to have a think about, did I want to pay to keep blogging?  I have had a lot of joy out of blogging and sharing on Instagram, so I decided to go ahead and blog on.  Now that I have paid for the upgrade I even have my own web address, so my blog can now be found at  hopeandwander.me  rather than having the wordpress address added.  Exciting times I tell you! (ha)

You know how they say, “Getting there is half the fun?”  They also say all roads lead to Rome, but we wondered upon driving towards the city if all roads led to our campground?  We approached Rome from the north as our campground was also on the north side.  As we got nearer I thought it was going much better than what I had expected because we had no idea what kind of traffic situations we would encounter.  All was going well and the sign to the campground was in sight with just less than a mile to go.  Until! we took the wrong fork in the road and we were just so slightly off and onto the wrong road and no way could we back up to get back onto the right one.  With the caravan we couldn’t just turn around and go back the other way on the road, and even if we could there was a major traffic jam in that direction. The result was that we had to drive down to the next ring road, (not a freeway but a smaller more congested road) of course on a Friday afternoon rush hour time.  Have you ever seen a movie from Rome where horns are honking and traffic is going in all directions, people are shouting out their car windows while 6 lanes of traffic are trying to merge into two with motorcycles and scooters whizzing by on all sides?  Well that is exactly what is was like the first hour only pulling a caravan!  Husband has driving nerves of steel and after two hours delay we finally made it to the campground.  Super big and busy campground but we had an available space and soon we were set up on site.  The campground had it’s own travel service center which was very helpful and also had an excellent restaurant which was a good place to wind down the first night.   The next day we took the 20 minute train ride on the train shown below into Rome.  We had the journey and now time for the destination.

train

It may just look like a graffiti covered train, but come to find out the train takes the same path as the historic northern route that led ancient travellers to and from Rome along Via Flaminio.  Our first view of Rome was at the northern entrance of the Aurelian Walls built around 270 AD.

entry

Through the arch and into the Plaza del Popolo.  We weren’t sure which way to turn but we headed up the hill to the top balcony above the fountain.

fountain

The view of the plaza from above.  In the distance the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.  The Egyptian obelisk in the center of the plaza the second oldest and one of the tallest in Rome (and was under repair when we were visiting.)

view

Back down the steps to a Wow! moment when you stand near the entrance of the Tridente, the three streets that lead into the city on either sides of the twin domed churches.

Basilica

Two of the things I was most looking forward to seeing in Rome other than the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel were the Spanish Steps and The Trevi Fountain.  So you can imagine my disappointment when we got to the Spanish Steps to find the church at the top covered in scaffolding and with a big billboard in front of it.  Sorry Max Mara but not what I wanted to see.  The last day we went by and the fountain at the bottom was also being prepared for restoration.

spanish steps

The view from the top of the Spanish Steps was nice though and there is a little artist plaza up there and less of a crowd.

view from steps

I might as well get the other disappointment out in this post so I can move onto more positives in the next.  The approach to the Trevi Fountain.

trevi

Trevi fountain, shut down!  I know it is up and running now, after an extensive restoration funded by Fendi.  But there was no water in the fountain to throw in a coin to assure a safe return to the city, no romance, no mystery, just a construction zone.  I know Rome was not built in a day, or restored in a day, but really to have two or three of the major sites under construction at the same time??  Bad timing on our part I guess.

construction

At least Piazza Navona was beautiful and the fountains were working.  And that my friends is the first post on Rome and I will be back to finish this trip report.

plaza

 

 

Categories: Europe, ItalyTags: , , , ,

2 comments

  1. Glad you made it in the end after all the driving and traffic hassle. Glad you decided to keep blogging too. I think many of us have quiet times on our blogs when we are wondering whether to carry on (I know I have) but I also know that I would miss it dreadfully. I now find it easier that I have taken the pressure off by thinking I must be posting all the time. Of course using blogger we don’t have to pay for anything but the photo storage once the first Gb is used up. The subscription is well worth it I think to know that the blog pictures are stored and protected.

    • Hi Barbara, You are right blogging has it’s times of quiet, which is good to come back refreshed and ready to go again. I also have learned a lot doing research on places for the blog and from reading other blogs, only that way it seems like fun and not for work! I’ve learned of many beautiful places in England from you, and thank you!

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