Again my feet are killing me, but with all the beautiful things I have seen today I don’t mind at all.
The first stop on today’s walk was San Carlo Quattre Fontane. It’s four fountains on each corner of an intersection. They were beautiful, but they were in an awkward place because of the traffic, the streets are so small there that there isn’t really any place to sit down and relax and look at them and enjoy them, so I just took some quick pictures and moved on.
Rome is pretty much made up of loads of narrow streets crisscrossing each other, and at the end of one that I was walking down was the Fontana di Trevi, the Trevi Fountain. I heard it before I saw it, it’s so big! It was beautiful, like most things here in Rome. I threw two coins into the fountain, one to return to Rome and one for luck in love. When you throw the coins in you’re supposed to throw them with your back to the fountain and over the opposite shoulder to the hand you’re throwing with.
The next stop that suddenly appeared at the end of a narrow street was the Pantheon. I must say it looks good for its age: almost 2000 years old! And still standing! It’s absolutely amazing! It looks gorgeous. From the outside it looks fairly “plain”, but when you go inside it’s just so beautiful, and it’s free to go inside it! There was probably a lot of people inside when I went, but because the Pantheon is so big it didn’t feel like it at all.
From the Pantheon I went to Piazza Navona. It’s an oval place surrounded by buildings, and there are three fountains. There was also loads of street artist and people selling things, cafes and restaurants in Piazza Navona.
After Piazza Navona I walked to Piazza del Popolo. You know how I said after yesterday I would always ask for the prize before I got anything? Well… This guy came over to me in Piazza del Popolo with so roses, I just started saying No straight away, he kept saying “it’s good luck, it’s good luck”. I probably said no and tried to move away 10 times, in the end I thought that maybe it was free since he was just trying to give them to me and not starting so say only so and so many euro? (I know, silly me.) So I let him put the three roses in my hand, then he started tying a bracelet on my wrist, I tried to say no, but he started saying “it’s good luck, it’s good luck” again, so I let him tie it on. When he was finished I said thank you and I was going to move away, then he said “something?” and gestured with his hand for money, of course. Well, I could have given the roses back, but the bracelet was tied on so I couldn’t give it back, but at least he didn’t say a price, so I gave him the coins I had, and then showed him that my purse was empty (the coin part anyway). I think he got maybe €4. Needless to say I said no and tried to avoid looking at anyone with roses the rest of the day, and I said no in such a way that they didn’t dare ask again. But at least he didn’t ask for a certain sum, for which I am grateful.
The Spanish steps were next, or as it is called in Italian: Trinità dei Monti. It was a nice place to sit down and relax my feet for a bit, which is what everybody there seemed to be doing. While I was sitting there an Italian guy came over and started flirting with me. Unfortunately, or fortunately, he didn’t speak much English and I’m not that good in Italian so we had some communication problems and he left after a couple of minutes. I didn’t really find him that attractive anyway so at least I didn’t have to try and “let him down easy” if he asked for a date of anything.
I have not seen a single one of those thieving kids that people warned me would be everywhere in Rome, actually I’ve not seen a single child at all that hasn’t been on a class trip or something. Maybe it’s because it’s the middle of the week so kids are at school, or maybe the government has managed to get control of it, I don’t know, but it’s nice to not have to worry every time I see a child if it’s going to try and take my money or not.
Part of me thinks it would have been nice to go on a tour of Rome so that I would have learnt more about each place, but I’m also enjoying walking around on my own, at my own pace and being able to see the non-touristy streets.
A girl checked in at the hostel this afternoon that I got along with and we went for a walk around Rome after dark. It was absolutely breathtaking, and I’m glad I met the girl because I wouldn’t have gone for a walk after dark on my own because of all the narrow, slightly scary, alleys and streets.