[Travel Diaries #3] Three Days in Rome: Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Castel Sant’Angelo and Italian Food

Welcome back to our trip. The feeling that Rome brought to us was unforgettable.

The time we visited Rome was during the “rest” between two peaks of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe. We felt lucky (and many of our friends told us that we were lucky) to spend time in Rome when it was not too busy in this city. If we visited Rome at another time without the pandemic, our experience would be way more different.

We spent our last day in Rome to visit Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona. All three places are unique and brought different vibes.

Trevi Fountain

In a world without the Coronavirus, Trevi Fountain would be full of tourists. It is not difficult to find photos of the place on the Internet, with many people standing around the fountain and trying to capture its beauty.

There was not many people so I had a lot of time to take photos 🙂

On the day we visited there, as I said, not many people were there. The pandemic changed the whole thing, including the traveling industry.

Trevi Fountain – image courtesy of the author

Trevi Fountain was built in the 18th century, with several restorations in the last two decades. It is the largest fountain in the city. The fountain was named after its position: the meeting points of three streets (Trevi = “Tre Vie” = Three Ways). As far as I know, Trevi Fountain appeared several times on movie screens, such as Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) and The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003).

There is a myth that you need to toss the coin to the fountain when you are there. The number of coins being tossed will indicate different wishes of the person doing so. If you throw one coin, it means you wish to come back to Rome. Two coins represent you will find your love in this city. And if you toss three coins, you will get married in Rome. As I read before visiting this place, we need to throw the coin(s) with the right hand over our left shoulder. We did the same (why not?), but only with one coin for each of us (yeah, we got married, so we did not need to throw more than one coin).

Spanish Steps

At first, it was strange (for me) that people named an iconic place of Rome the Spanish Steps. Then, I found out that the site was named after the Spanish Embassy there. The Spanish Steps were also built during the 18th century.

You will rarely see this place with less people like this.

Again, the place was not busy when we arrived. My wife’s cousin showed us a photo she took when she was there, and it was full of people. We were fortunate when we could take pictures without anyone in the background.

There were 135 steps that will lead you to a Catholic church on top of the place. Tourists could freely take photos there, but they were not allowed to sit on the stairs. It will be illegal, and this prohibition has come into effect from July 2019. If you do not follow this rule, you should prepare money for a fine, and it may be up to €400 (not a small amount).

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is a huge open space where it was used to be a city market in the 15th century. This place was also used to host theatrical events in the past.

Piazza Navona – Image courtesy of the author

In the center of the place, we can recognize the sizeable famous fountain named Fountain of Four Rivers topped by a huge obelisk. There are two other smaller fountains at this place: to the southern end was Fontana del Moro, and to the northern end was the Fountain of Neptune.

The Fountain of Four Rivers – Image courtesy of the author

Castel Sant’Angelo

We did not spend much time here; we just stopped by after we visited the Vatican. This place is located about one kilometer from Vatican City.

It used to be one of the tallest buildings in Rome. It was used as a mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family; then, it is currently a museum. Outside the Castle, there is a bridge named Ponte Sant’Angelo crossing the Tiber River, where you can have the best view of the Castel Sant’Angelo.

Amazing view of the Castel Sant’Angelo from the Pont Sant’Angelo – Image courtesy of the author

Food in Rome

We had a chance to enjoy some local food and dessert in Rome. Each of them brought us a different feeling.

La Base

We had our first meal at a restaurant named La Base. We just occasionally found this place near the Colosseum because we were starving at that time.

Outside the restaurant — Image courtesy of the author

You can find many Italian cuisines there. We ordered a Rocket salad with smoked salmon, a pizza, and a portion of shrimp pasta.

Wonderful meal – Image courtesy of the author

Overall, this restaurant was worth trying. We were satisfied with the taste of the food. Having dinner on the street of Rome, with delicious food, was a fantastic experience.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu is one of the most well-known desserts in Italy. We chose Two sizes, a small store located just less than 200 meters from the Piazza Navona.

Outside the store – Image courtesy of the author
Flavors you can choose – Image courtesy of the author

We ordered one original tiramisu and one Pistachio tiramisu. And what we felt? Hmmm, the taste was a bit sweeter than we expected. But it was worth trying.

Enjoy 🙂 – Image courtesy of the author

Gelateria

You should try Gelato in Italy, they said. And we did it three times. The first time we chose a cafe’s where they also offered Gelato. We ordered one mango ice cream for my wife and one pomegranate ice cream for me. It helped to cool us down in the hot summer of Europe.

The first gelato in town – Image courtesy of the author

The second time we went to Giolitti, which is located near the Pantheon. We chose lime and wild cherry flavors at that time. The ice cream was tasty. However, one minus point of this store was the way the staff treated us. It made us feel that we were not welcome. Although we were warned by some reviews we read previously, we were still surprised by the services’ quality.

Little cup of ice cream at Giolitti – Image courtesy of the author

The last Gelato we had in Rome was at La Romana Gelateria. This place is located near our accommodation, and it was a 10-15 minutes walk from the Rome Termini Station. This was the most impressive ice cream we had in this beautiful city. The staff was friendly to us. We had one ice cream with two flavors: banana and a flavor with chocolate and biscuit, topping with whipping cream. And it was worth every cent we paid.

Outside La Romana Gelateria – Image courtesy of the author
The last but the best – Image courtesy of the author

That is the last day we spent in Rome. Thanks for accompanying us to this fantastic city, the origin of one of the world’s greatest empire.

This is the last post of 2020. It is a year to forget for many people, but for me and my wife, 2020 is a year we would remember the most when we had chance to experience the life in Europe. During the time of Covid, we felt lucky to have opportunity to travel places we love in Europe.

2021 may be a year of domestic travelling. For this blog, there will be stories combining our travelling stories in Europe in 2020 and our upcoming trips. Hope that you will find them interesting and continue “travelling” with us.

See you in 2021, and Happy New Year!  

Peace.

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