So after a nice stroll around a parco and a relaxing evening in a comfy bed, it was time to start the journey around Rome.
After spending a few weeks in the car, we managed to get a good nights sleep in a nice comfy bed (though it did take me a while to relax because I wasn’t in the car). It was time to get up bright and early so we could get as much done as possible.
We were about an hour walk away from the centre so we got started for our long day ahead. We were right next to a park (villa doria panphili), so we decided to walk through here and let the boys get there burst of energy out before we hit any crowds. This park is lovely and one of biggest in Rome – if you are in the area or want a day away from the big city, it is definatley worth a look in.
After a leisurely stroll and the feel of us going up and up, we hit a square. This was on top of gianicolo hill. From here you can see views across Rome. This was our first glimpse of the city in person and it was breathtaking. No photo can really show you how it looks, so just to stand there for a few minutes just to take it in was unreal, even our boys wanted to get a good look at it.
After taking in the views, we took another short walk to our next destination and technically a different country.
We headed down small streets so when you turn a corner and suddenly you are standing right outside the Vatican City, you get a bit of a shock. With people and police everywhere, you get to feel the atmosphere of this small yet so important country.
We headed towards the barriers as research had us believe that it was ok to take your dogs into the Vatican. This day was different. We hit the barriers and were told they needed to be muzzled if they were to come in (for the record our boys have not got muzzles nor are they going to, I see why this has to be done but my animals are safe so I am stubborn enough to refuse it). We are not sure whether this was maybe a new rule or whether it is because our boys are a larger breed but any dogs owners be aware of this. We took it in turns to go in while one of us looked after the boys outside. It was then we understood about the boys being muzzled – it appeared that the pope was out today giving a speech and, the news told me later, that the archbishop of Canterbury was visiting today to celebrate an anniversary. We are very good at hitting important events when we go to a country. This made it particularly busy today so it was difficult to really see anything in St. Peter’s square but it was wonderful to see.
Once we got though the crowds, we moved on and it wasn’t far until we found it, and it appeared something was happening here too! A wedding! Just as we were approaching the castel sant angelo, a lovely bride with her, what I could only presume was her father, taking photos around the castel and the bridge. It was quite lovely to see and it appeared she was getting a lot of attention from it. We headed towards the crowd and onto the pont sant angelo bridge. The detail on the bridge was amazing with a different sculpture at every post, it was overwhelming to take in everything around you.
Before we approached the Spanish steps, you hit a long street of high end shops from Gucci (yep here again) to Prada. We then hit the bottom of the Spanish steps. This is another impressive piece of architecture and looks to be in the same condition it would have been when built. We started to make our way up the steps and we soon came to realise that Rome may not be as dog friendly as other blogs had us believe (well big dogs anyway). Half way up, we were stopped by the police on guard at the time to tell us dogs were not allowed and we couldn’t stop on the steps at all. They also informed that no drink, except water, or food were allowed to be consumed (not that we would anyway) whilst on the steps. We then made a quick walk up the steps and off we went. They were nice and polite and let us get on our way without a fuss it’s just a shame I could stand and take in the views around me. So take note any dog owners, it maybe best, even if you don’t see a sign (as we didn’t) to not take your dogs.
Piazza del popolo
We walked a little further before we came towards another piazza. This was a lovely piazza to walk into, and a larger one, so you didn’t feel crowded like in other places we had been that day.
There was something to look at every time you turned around, so you could never get bored of looking. From here we could see our next destination and it was up high and involved climbing some steps.
After climbing a lot of steps, we made it at the top of the park, where we could just relax for a little while and take a bit of a break. With it being up high, you could get yet more beautiful views of Rome but from a different angle. I love seeing cities from a distance but Rome has a different feel. You can literally see and feel the history just from seeing the buildings and that doesn’t diminish when your up close either.
We took a slow walk around the park to recover from the amount of fast paced walking we had done so far in Rome. It was nice to walk around and if you didn’t want to walk you had the option of getting a family bike to help you get around.
Once we had a rest and some water, we had a bottle with us and it’s great as there is lots of drinking points to top it up during the day, it also comes in handy with our boys too, it was now time to start our walking again to see what else we can discover.
Rome is known for having seven hills so we made it a challenge to see as many as we could. So we had already visited some as they are now piazza’s but some are now just moulded into Rome itself and you wouldn’t know they were there.
The rest of the afternoon was then filled with looking at the less well known hills so we could say we have walked them. Though still in the city, it was in the very outskirts so you are now away from the hustle and bustle and you see what the city is really like. Without shattering anyone’s dream, it’s just like any outskirts of a city. They still had nice buildings, but you no longer felt you were in a Roman city but just a regular city anywhere in the world. This was no means a bad thing, as I think it’s good to see all aspects of a city, as a place so big you are going to have different environments depending where you are. But we carried on walking to what would eventually be a loop back to our apartment. We managed to walk these three hills, but be warned if you want to do this then you need to have a map as there is no signpost to let you know your on one of the seven hills.
So after a very long day, and 39,000 steps later, we made it back to the apartment and we collapsed for the rest of the evening.
People may think we have missed some of the largest attractions of Rome out, but we have a part three for a reason…….