I know it’s been awhile, but Rome’s been around for a good long minute, so in the grand scheme of things, has it really been that long?
With gondolas in rearview, we headed toward Rome by train. Cue gazing out the window at the Italian countryside and getting lost in thought.
Occasionally, my thoughts strayed into contemplating why one of the bathroom lights near us glowed the whole time, indicating it was occupied, when we didn’t see anyone going in or out. Little did we know, as we discovered at the end of the trip, there WAS someone in there the whole time, leaving me fairly certain I’d seen my first real, live stowaway.
But I digress.
After arriving and checking into our hotel, our legs needed stretching and we ventured out on a walk.
A long walk.
Which we fueled up for with the best gelato in all of Italy, awaiting us mere steps from our hotel.
Having been back for some time, my cravings for this particular gelato shop have left me seriously contemplating a return to Rome to be able to visit this place again. So, while I really can’t speak for all of the gelato to be found in Italy, I would argue this place is a frontrunner for the best.
My mistake of following them on Instagram has not helped curb these cravings, either. Check them out here and follow, if you dare.
Onward to the Spanish Steps and the cathedral presiding over them.
From there, we navigated through side streets, alleyways, and piazzas, doing our best to take it all in without being whisked away in the hustle and bustle of an ancient-turned-modern metropolis.
But our wandering was not aimless, as we were making our way to the Trevi Fountain.
After squeezing my way through the hoards of people crowded around this famed fountain, I about-faced and threw a coin over my shoulder into it, guaranteeing my return someday.
From there, we meandered through a maze of Vias…
…ducking into a church we stumbled upon…
…as we approached the ancient Pantheon temple. [No, not the Parthenon.]
With the sun starting to set, we passed by some other interesting sights…
…and, having worked off that gelato and worked up an appetite, we took a seat and chowed down at Baccanale, looking out at the Campo de’ Fiori.
Fettucini Alfredo at its complete, utter, absolute finest.
At the beginning of the day, I was not anticipating that I would be consuming both the best gelato and the best meal in the same day. Hopefully that coin in the Trevi Fountain is my ticket back to both of these places.
Having been able to take in so much in such a short time, though the surface had barely been scratched, I loved how echoes of Ancient Rome reverberated throughout the city, mingling with the modern.
You can walk down a seemingly “normal” street, passing by everyday people doing everyday things, seeing everyday stores, then turn the corner and happen upon centuries-old, or even millennium-old, structures withstanding the test of time. At each bend stands a reminder that life and the world have not always been as we know them to be now.
It’s as if you get to peek behind the curtain of the world as it is and get a glimpse into the way it was, momentarily being transported to another time. Stay there long enough, and you might begin to realize how much has changed, and yet, simultaneously, confoundingly, so much remains the same.
A feeling that will only be underscored tomorrow as we delve deeper into the ancient ruins of Rome, visiting The Colosseum, The Forum, and Palatine Hill.