An Evening Walk through the Heart of Rome

Ode to Rick Steves 
Rick Steves. I love you. Even though you are corny sometimes and basically only write for Americans. But I still love you and thank you for your excellent Heart of Rome Walk and for suggesting to take it at night. It was lovely.

Ok sorry, had to get that out there! The Heart of Rome Walk was one of my most favorite parts of Rome. It took us on a leisurely stroll through the city center and across several major sites. I came across the self guided walking tour in Rick Steves 'Pocket Rome'. I love the little "pocket" size books that he writes. I find them much more efficient than the larger sized ones, especially for short trips. Anyway, he suggested that we start the tour in the evening and that's exactly what we did. After the fiasco earlier in the day, we were ready to just wander around and not use our brains too much. So after cramming our faces full of delicious Roman pizza on the Campo de Fiori, we began our tour. First stop, the statue of Giordano Bruno in the center of Campo de Fiori. Bruno was burned here in the square in 1600 for heresy. Bruno was an astrologer and philosopher and had some far out ideas for his time. But basically, in the end, he was found guilty of denouncing several core Catholic doctrines and was sentenced to death by fire.


So that's a little depressing. Anyway. We then waltzed our way over to the Piazza Navona but not before stopping in for some yummy gelato. Pistachio for me and Oreo for Van. Gelato shops are all along the streets and you don't have to purposefully seek one out. And so began our weekend full of cramming our mouths full of all that is pasta, pizza and gelato! Piazza Navona is magical as the sun sets. With the Four Rivers Fountain and the Fountain of Neptune, it's a nice place to just stop and take in the sights. The musicians come out onto the square and the mix between music, trickling fountains and chatter is just pure magic. We wandered around just taking in the sites and finishing up our gelato. Oh, and stopped by 400 peddlers trying to sell selfie sticks. Annoying much but I guess they gotta make money somehow!


Following the guide, we snaked our way over to the Pantheon. Now this was a sight. Built in 120AD and mathematically perfect, this structure is one of the best preserved Roman structures. I was awestruck to say the least, especially upon entering (and entry is free by the way) and viewing the oculus at the top. The Pantheon was originally a temple to all of the gods. Any god could be worshipped inside. During the Middle Ages, it was converted to a Christian church. Get this, the Pantheon has been in continual use for over 1900 years. Crazy! Oh and the amazing Raphael is buried here. After wandering around the interior, we sat outside on the base of a pillar and took in the square. Pretty cool to just be hanging out at the Pantheon!

The pillars are from an Egyptian temple and supposedly are single pieces of stone
We walked over to the Parliament and caught a glimpse of the 6th Century BC Egyptian Obelisk that sits in the square before the sun went down. And then over to Piazza Colonna which features a huge 2nd century column with reliefs depicting the victories of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Gladiator anyone?). No pictures of these unfortunately but they were worth a glance. The tour then led us to the Trevi Fountain which unfortunately was under repair....no tossing our coins in :( But here is what it looks like when not under construction.

The tour then leads you all the way to the Spanish Steps. We were pretty exhausted by this point and the steps were in the complete opposite direction so we headed over to the Vittoriano Museum Complex instead. This structure is just massive. It's said that the mustache on the statue on top of the structure is 5 feet across! Crazy! I was a nice place to take a break and decide what we wanted to do next. It had been a long day so we decided to walk home to Trastevere and take a quick nap before heading out for some yummy pasta. Easy decision!


Most cities in Europe are just simply amazing at night. And if you are in Rome, I wholeheartedly suggest taking the Heart of Rome self guided tour. You hit up some main city points while on a leisurely stroll. What could be better? Thanks Rick Steves!!


Isn't Rome magic after sundown?



For more of Rome, check out these posts:




29 comments

  1. Rome really seems to come to life after dark-- gorgeous!
    Much love for my man, Rick. (I meant that in a bro kinda way, not like husband or something. Sigh)
    I love his Christmas special this time of year, especially :) Have you seen it?

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  2. Wow, you guys sure got to 'hang out' in some breath-taking places. I can't quite imagine truly 'being there', you know?

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  3. Ah! What a fabulous walk through a historical city! I'm glad you were able to cheer up with a little gelato! And by the way, I like that you've stated your a Rick Steve's fan. I happen to be a die hard Lonely Planet fan. We might have to do a pro-con exchange!

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  4. Or create a venn-diagram....wait that's the teacher in me coming out!

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  5. Your photos are AMAZING!!! I love the first shot of the piazza navona!!! Gorgeous!!!! I love Rome... and you are making me REALLY want to go back!!

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  6. Gorgeous shots - the Piazza looks so magical at sunset! I adore Rome by day or night... I think I need to visit again soon ;)

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  7. Rome truly is magical. Beautiful pictures that capture it's essence!

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  8. Beautiful photos! I can't wait to make it to Italy. I'm gonna be all over the pizza, pasta and gelato as well ;)

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  9. Beautiful pictures! I love your Rick Steves shout-out. I use his books all the time in Europe and there are definitely times when we're contemplating what to do and I'll say, "Well, Rick says..." Then I met him randomly in Prague while he was in a cafe after filming. I tried my best to keep it cool, but kept blurting out things like, "I just love reading your books on my Kindle," and such. LOL!

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  10. A yes definitely in a bro type of way haha! I haven't seen the special! I will have to look it up for sure!

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  11. It was really incredible! We just took a little break sitting on one of the Pantheon pillars....it was pretty surreal!

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  12. Haha you are so funny! You know I've never used a Lonely planet travel guide....I need to check it out :) And then do a pro and con!

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  13. It really is a wonderful place! We did not have enough time in the city though!

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  14. Isn't it wonderful! I loved it lit up at night :)

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  15. It's all delicious!! Making me hungry now as a matter of fact haha!

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  16. You met Rick Steves in Prague??? What an awesome travel moment!! I would have been too nervous to say much :)

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  17. It's just a lovely little walk :) Ahhhh, Rome!

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  18. Yes! Rome is a magical place. It is just amazing to me to walk though a place with so much history. I just love Rome, the food, and the people. www.eatallovertheworld.weebly.com

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  19. Booo to not being able to make your Trevi Fountain wish, but yay to everything else :) Rome looks so beautiful. The Pantheon has such an interesting history -- now I want to know more about it!

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  20. Your gorgeous photos are making me so Romesick! Rick Steves never fails, right? Love that man. And even more so, I love Rome!!! Gosh, what a magical city! What I would do to go back and bask in its beauty again (all while stuffing my face with gelato, naturally...) The Pantheon was under construction when I went many moons ago, but I'd love to return to see it in all of its glory.

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  21. If the Pantheon was under construction while you were there then you must go back :) Rome was great but I'm hoping to visit the northern cities of Italy soon!!

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  22. The Pantheon was seriously cool! And free!! You can't beat that :)

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  23. Rome was great! Although, I am curious to see other Italian cities. Rome probably won't be a place that we make a return visit to but I am so glad we went! It was awesome :)

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