OK you walked around Trevi, the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese yesterday. You had a good dinner and slept well. Now we are ready for more walking around the eternal city. Today, as each day, we start at the Trevi Fountain. Facing the fountain we will exit the piazza to the left on Via delle Muratte. This is a pedestrian and scooter street only. Some small cars will go on it for local deliveries. You will cross a major street, Via del Corso. Look to your left and you will see the Victor Emmanuel II building known in Rome as the Wedding Cake.V
Victor Emmanuel II Building
Continue on the road which has now changed names to Via di Pietra. In the small square ahead is a Murano glass jewelry store, bear to the left on Via del Pastini. There are many shops and restaurants along this road. Some of the restaurants are tourist type and the food is not the best. Continue into Piazza della Rotonda and the Pantheon. There is a beautiful fountain in front of the Pantheon. Enjoy this piazza and take in life around you.
Enter the Pantheon and look up. This is the first floating dome building built by the early Romans. It has a hole in the center to let in light. Even on a hot humid summer day, it is cool in here.
It was originally commissioned to be built around 27 BC but the current building was built around 118 AD. The Italian painter Raphael is buried here.
Outside in front of the Pantheon facing the fountain, look slightly to your right. There is a restaurant on the corner. It is usually very crowded and touristy but the food is good. In the fall they serve dishes with white truffles. Sit outside at a table with a good view of the Pantheon. Observe the people around you, the fashion, the smiles and enjoy your meal or drink.
Now we will proceed to the Coliseum and Old Rome. These are paid admissions but there is usually one day a week that admission is free. This walk is about 20 minutes and 1.8 km. At the opposite end of the piazza from the Pantheon head left on Via della Minerva. Then continue on Via del Seminario. Cross Piazza di Sant’Ignazio to Via del Caravita. Turn right at end of street onto Via del Corso. Turn slight left onto Piazza Venezia. At the other end of the Piazza take the road to the left, Piazza della Madonna di Loreto. Turn slightly right onto Via dei Fori Imperiali. Old Rome will be to your right, Continue straight ahead to the Coliseum.
Enter the Coliseum first. What a marvelous structure. You are sitting with early Romans watching Gladiators fight. Look at the columns around you. The marble facade of this building is long gone. It was taken by the Vatican to build Saint Peters Cathedral. As you leave the Coliseum, head across the street to the entrance of Old Rome. There are no building left standing but there are arches, cobblestone streets and foundations. You are walking the same streets as the early Roman citizens and the Roman Army did.
The Roman Forum is part of Old Rome. What a wonderful place to walk, meditate and think about history. As you leave look for a gelato store or a bar and cool down. There are also many restaurants near by. You are not far from the Vatican but that is another day.