We walk every day. We like to walk, and walking 10,000 steps or more daily is good for our health, so why not? We always try to find a place offering scenic views, presenting a choice of routes, and promising appealing destinations. Rome is one of those places.
On a quiet, drizzling Sunday morning in Rome, we headed for St Peter’s. We expected to see a crowd lined up in the square, but instead, we looked out over a sea of umbrellas.
Another day we agreed to wander back streets and window shop on our way to the Pantheon. Time quickly passed as we studied men’s shirts, sunglasses, and leather bags, all beautifully displayed in shop windows. Easily distracted by shop windows, we occasionally missed a turn or two. “No worries.” We stopped, looked at the map, and “recalculated” our course.
Finally the Pantheon appeared before us. What one notices first is its grand scale: columns, doorway, statues, and interior space with no supports.
The Pantheon, after all these centuries, remains one of the greatest works of architecture and still has the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.
On the return walk to our hotel, we decided we weren’t finished with window-shopping when we saw this arcade.
On several walks, we set out towards Castel Sant’Angelo, first built as the Mausoleum of Hadrian. From the Castel, we would continue over St. Angelo Bridge, a pedestrian crossing over the Tiber River. Lined with sculptures of angels, the bridge provides a wonderful place for photography with backdrops of the Castel and St Peter’s.
On a hot summer day, we walked along the meandering Tiber River on the shaded sidewalk lined by old sycamore trees. We kept our eye out for gulls on the river and photographed an odd flower or two.
We continued on to the trendy, old Trastevere neighborhood. We had no destination in mind and (happily!) stumbled upon the piazza of Santa Maria in Trastevere. Portions of the church date back to 340 C.E., making it one of the oldest churches in Rome.
Our everyday walks around Rome were not “every day” in the sense of “your average,” and, while we got our exercise (10,000 steps or more), we also observed history, architecture, art, nature, and enjoyed some people-watching, too.