Look Closer

Waking up in a hostel again is a strange feeling. I’ve just spent the past 12 weeks sleeping in a 2 person tent with my bag as the only other occupant and going from that to a room with 7 others is rather odd indeed.

The night itself was not too bad and I awoke at around 8 am. I got up and set out to explore Rome. Now I’ve been into Rome before but just for the day and I wasn’t wasn’t too bothered about the sights at that time. So my first objective was to properly inspect the sights I’d seen before and not just gloss over them again.

Leaving the hostel this morning, I set out in search of the Trevi fountain and after a little walk I was able to find it. This time there was nowhere near as many people as last time and I was actually able to get right up to the fountain. I’m guessing the lack of people this time is due to the on-off rain throughout the day and that the holiday season is over. As I was so close to the water, I threw in a coin and made a wish. In homage to my home country, and also because it’s useless in a country that only accepts the Euro, I threw in a 20 pence piece.

I then followed a path that I vaguely remembered from my last visit and once again, I ended up at the Pantheon. Due to the rain, the covered doorway of the church was pretty busy as people were trying to stay dry but I was able to wriggle between them and get inside. The inside of this is rather impressive, there’s a good number of statues and a lot of decorations across the walls. After this, I ventured out in search of the Spanish Steps (Spagna). As my phone was playing up, I had to rely on my gut instincts and street signs to find them.

I think my body wants to go back to the pool as my search for the Spagna Metro Station actually lead me to Flaminio station (which is the tram stop to get to Sant’Oreste) but from here I was able to get to the stairs. I didn’t know it before but when I was last in Rome, I actually walked past these steps and had no idea what they were until now! I walked up all 135 steps to the top and then took a stroll through the Villa Borghese.

The Villa Borghese is a massive garden with a lot of statues and galleries in, quite similar to Retiro Park in Madrid. Wandering through the park was nice but due to the rain, I needed to find shelter for a little bit, just to dry off. Luckily I was just outside an art gallery that said “Ingresso Gratuito” so I walked straight in. Inside were loads of statues dedicated to Middle Eastern, and North African leaders, and war memorials. Most of them were copies as the originals had been destroyed but it was still good to look at them.

Having walked for around the gardens for about 2 hours, I thought I would head back to my hostel to recover. However, I set myself the challenge to get back without using my map. Unfortunately as Rome is so big, it took me over an hour to get back when it should have only been a short walk.

Got back to my room and took a shower ready for the evenings activities.

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