Snapshots from Rome

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In addition to seeking out the best aperitivo in our neighborhood, our week in Rome included a couple days of walking… a lot. We trekked to the Colosseum from our Airbnb in the Pigneto neighborhood, which only took 45 minutes to an hour (when we are in cities and things are less than an hour away, we usually opt to walk there), and we figured we’d explore the center on foot the rest of the day. A friend from Athens (Georgia) recommended a pizza place in the Trastevere neighborhood, so we headed for that. Sometimes when I look at a map and I think something is fairly close… it’s not. It ended up taking us about an hour more than we thought to get to Dar Poeta for lunch, but it was worth it.

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IMG_7201Trastevere was really charming and had some narrow alleyways with brightly colored buildings, which I love.

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While heading in the direction of our apartment, I accidentally took us on a really long way back, and it took hours and hours to return. I have been wearing my Vans when we go on these 7-hour walking days, and they offer no support. I worry that it’s going to start affecting my feet (or knees), and am considering getting some Nikes or something to walk in, if I can fit them in my suitcase (unlikely). Or I could just wear the Mizunos I run in, but I feel like I should save those just for running. Is that dumb?

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St. Peter’s Basilica… where is everybody?

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Anyway, on another day, I stuffed my running gear in my tote bag and Jeremy and I took a tram to get to a park I read about, Villa Borghese. I wanted to run on the paths there since there were no cars allowed, and I hadn’t run in Pigneto yet. We tried to find a good area for me to run in Pigneto, but surrounding the neighborhood were lots of small streets with tons of speeding drivers, and no sidewalks. One day we walked for almost a mile in one direction (me with my running gear on), and felt so uncomfortable and unsafe that we turned around and went home. I thought I would have better luck at Villa Borghese, so we tried it, figuring I could run after we’d walked around to see some of the stuff we hadn’t seen yet. We decided to see that stuff first, then return to the park, I would run, then we would take the tram home. It was all very involved. Well, the walked ended up taking us 4-5 hours, and I was beat by the time we returned to the park. I didn’t run, and we headed back on the tram. So, I didn’t run at all during my week in Rome, but I got miles and miles of walking in. Oh well. Here are some more pictures from our walking expeditions.

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Piazza Navona.

 

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Piazza Navona.

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I was really excited to see the Trevi Fountain, but alas, it was being worked on. Jeremy and I still tossed coins over our shoulders and into the work site, narrowly missing a construction worker. But it means we will return one day! And hopefully the fountain will be completed by then.

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Capitoline Hill.

 

 

A park filled with feral cats and ruins.

A park filled with feral cats and ruins.

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National Modern Art Gallery.

Our Romans workspace.

Our Roman workspace.

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The zoo in Villa Borghese.

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Piazza del Popolo.

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I was really blown away with the size of the Pantheon.

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Spanish Steps.

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More ruins.

Overall, I don’t feel like Jeremy and I got the most out of our week in Rome (I didn’t even take any pictures with my real camera!). Honestly, it was a little overwhelming. I like to think of myself as pretty public-transportation-savvy, but Rome’s system baffled me. The bus numbers don’t line up with the ones listed online, it’s not clear where buses stop, the trams and buses don’t have any information inside of them and nowhere does it alert you to which stop they are at, etc. One afternoon, we planned on going back to the Colosseum so I could get some pictures with my real camera, and didn’t feel like walking. It took us 45 minutes to find a tobacco shop to buy the tram tickets and figure out where the tram stopped, we finally got on one and after 20 minutes, all the Italians in the tram started crowding next to the driver and yelling at him. We didn’t know what was going on, and suddenly everyone jumped off the tram and it continued on, with us still on it. It turned around and went right back the way it came, back to Pigneto. We were hot and flustered, so we decided to just get off and go back to our neighborhood (and get some aperitivo). This actually happened again on our way to the train station to catch our train to Bologna, but we were a little more prepared for it. We had all our luggage with us, and when everyone jumped off the tram, so did we. We piled into a bus that was replacing the tram service, then everyone got off that one too. We jumped off also, then crammed into a different bus, then sat there while the bus waited in traffic for a long time, just hoping it was going to the train station. Thankfully it did, but it was stressful.

I don’t mean to sound like I didn’t like Rome; I definitely did. I just think next time we should stay closer to the center and try to see the things we didn’t get to this time around. It’s a huge city, after all!

One more picture: everywhere in Italy you have to use a plastic glove if you want to get produce. I really loved this actually. So hygienic!

One more picture: everywhere in Italy you have to use a plastic glove if you want to get produce. I really loved this actually. So hygienic!

Rome, we will meet again one day!

17 comments

  1. Rome is so beautiful! I had to stop wearing Vans years ago, they are so flat footed and offer no support. Nike or Sketchers are a good bet! The travel mishaps sound frustrating, but I guess that’s part of the adventure of traveling in foreign countries!

    1. Totally, we’ve learned not to let it get the best of us! We’ve had our fair share of public transportation confusions, but luckily haven’t gotten too lost or anything. I’m really going to have to look for some good shoes to walk in!

  2. I would definitely recommend wearing your running shoes for walking. They offer a lot more support and comfort, and the only reason I could think of for NOT wearing them would be for the smell… But that might not be an issue for you. MY running shoes smell terrible! haha

    1. haha mine don’t smell THAT bad… My main concern is putting too many miles on them, but also I usually walk around after I run and they are still all wet from sweat, so putting them back on to walk all day is pretty gross. But I tried it out today, and it definitely felt better!

  3. Hahahaha I’m still cracking up from the park with feral cats picture 😉 I can’t even imagine trying to figure out Rome’s transportation system on my own. We just stuck with our tour guides when we were there and hoped for the best! i love that you guys did so much walking, though…definitely didn’t need to run after that! Piazza Navona is one of my favs, touristiness and all, and nothing beats Italian pizza. I still have dreams about that stuff

    1. Why do they all congregate in that park? How did they get there? Do they ever leave and return to the park? So many questions! I’m hoping the walking kept up my fitness a bit… I sure did sweat a lot from the heat. Piazza Navona was beautiful!

  4. Rome looks fantastic… I hate that y’all didn’t have the complete experience that you wanted out of it. I would probably ditch the Vans, although I am not sure I would put that much mileage on the running shoes. Maybe some good inserts for the Vans?

    1. At least we got to explore our neighborhood and really get a feel for what it would be like to live there. I know, I’m worried about putting too many miles on them! Hopefully I’ll find a solution soon. I’m way too paranoid about getting injured to continue wearing those Vans.

  5. A small tip for when you go back…if you stay somewhere near a subway stop, the Roman subway system is incredibly easy to understand and we didn’t screw it up or get lost once unlike the crazy buses. You wouldn’t have to be super central/expensive, we had a very affordable place about a 10 minute walk from Vatican City and 2 minutes from a subway stop and everything was very easily managed from there 🙂

    1. That is really good to know! We never tried the subway since we were so far away from it, but I’ll definitely keep that in mind the next time we go back.

    1. I’m glad to hear that about Trevi fountain, I heard so much hubbub about it, that I felt like we just had to see it in all its glory.

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