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.
Trastevere was really charming and had some narrow alleyways with brightly colored buildings, which I love.
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?
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.
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!
Rome, we will meet again one day!