Rome, Italy, Part II

Last week, I posted the first installment of our recent trip to Rome, click here to read that post; today I’ll share more about this amazing city. As I mentioned last week, Rome has an overwhelming number of fascinating and historical points of interest, as well as hoards of tourists, even in November. But the crowds didn’t deter us; we hit the ground running each morning and saw many amazing sites.

The Spanish Steps were high on our list, and they also just happen to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome. The steps were designed by Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi, little known architects who won a competition initiated by Pope Innocent XIII. Built between 1723 and 1726 as a monument to the peace treaty between Spain and France, the steps were built to connect the Spanish Embassy with the church, Trinità dei Monti.

Trinità dei Monti

The steps, 135 in total, are stylish and elegant and have inspired artists, poets, and others with their elegance.

The Victor Emmanuel II Monument, built between 1885 and 1935 in honor of its namesake, the first king of unified Italy, was another stop on our adventure. It is the largest monument in Rome, and is sometimes referred to as the typewriter or wedding cake due to its shape.

As you climb the 243 steps to various sections, you’ll see statues, corinthian columns, fountains, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with the goddess Roma situated near the top.

The tomb is guarded by Roma, two soldiers and has an eternal flame.

Victor Emmanuel II

The tomb was unveiled in November, 1921 and was dedicated to lost and missing Italian soldiers. The Museum of Risorgimento is located in the building. Incidentally, it is illegal to sit on the Spanish Steps or the steps of the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, and doing so could result in a hefty fine, as much as 400€!

The Porticus Octaviae was another stop on our itinerary. Built around 27 BC by Agustus for his sister Octavia, this compound has many interesting ruins including the Juno Regina and Jupiter Stayer Temples, lecture rooms, assembly hall, and a library. It was used as a fish market for many centuries beginning in medieval times. The compound was referred to as Octaviae Opera by Pliny the Elder. The remaining ruins have survived wars, fires, an earthquake, and millions of tourists, but are still standing!

We had hoped to visit the Sistine Chapel, but by the time we arrived there mid-morning, the line was at least a mile long. We’ll just have to return!

And, as always, I love wandering through neighborhoods and snapping photos of anything that catches my eye.

theTravelsketcher and I had an amazing stay in Rome, and hope to return again someday to see even more of this iconic city.

As always, I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment if you’re so inclined.

Wishing you grand adventures,

Tricia

25 thoughts on “Rome, Italy, Part II

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  1. What a wonderful visit you had – you really did see so much and seem to have fallen in love with the city 🙂 You’re like me wandering different areas and just going where looks interesting to take photos – my husband always despairs of me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Hannah! After reading your post on Istanbul, I realized that we do have much in common. Although my husband is retired, he traveled to many countries on business, and when I could get away from my demanding position as a project manager, I tagged along. I’ve seen a lot of interesting places as a result, and am always many paces behind him because I’ve stopped to take photos! Now that we’re both retired, we get to travel whenever we want, our retirement dream come true! At the moment we’re in San Sebastián, Spain. That was a long winded reply to your comment. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, wow that is some line for the Sistine Chapel. It was a wise decision indeed to leave it for another time. The Porticus Octaviae is impressive, as is the Victor Emmanuel monument. Lovely shots again of quiet neighbourhood nooks and charming details.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We were equally shocked by the line, wow. We knew shortly after arriving that Rome is a place we would have to return to, so that attitude kept us going when faced with other long lines. ‘We’ll be back’ we said that many times. Thanks as always for reading and commenting; I always appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful benefit of living over there is to be able to say “we’ll be back” with confidence!

    You have such an eye for detail in both your words and pictures…thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just can’t get over the incredible artistry throughout this beautiful city in the architecture, the statues, the food, and in the daily life of the small streets. I think I would be in perpetual sighs of wonder being there. And the steps always makes me think of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It is a remarkable city, isn’t it….! Columns and fountains and carvings everywhere you look; absolutely dripping with history. Last time we stayed in Rome we were in a hotel just to the right of the top of the Roman Steps. It was fabulous (although I’d have a heck of time going up and down those steps now). You could make a coffee table books with just pictures of fountains and/or bicycles. Thanks for sharing this, Tricia. You are a FABULOUS photographer!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The pictures are amazing! I properly visited Rome this summer as my biyfriend came to meet my family and definitely saw the city in a new eye! I remember noticing that same terrace next to the Spanish steps and thinkibg that it would be amazing to live there too ahah ! I also really like the area around the Portico di Ottaviano and there are many good restaurants around!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Touristy as the place is, Rome is one of my favorite cities I’ve visited in Europe. I don’t recall seeing the Trinità dei Monti, but wow, that interior is gorgeous! Not a surprise the Sistine Chapel has a mile-long queue, but hopefully you can return to see it! All of that food looks mouth-watering, and I’m sure you ate very well. Glad you had a good time in the Eternal City!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was wondering … is there ever a time when there are no people on the Spanish Steps? Anyway, you have beautiful photos here of all the statues and views! I also like your stroll through the neighbourhood – those images of the bridges are lovely (and more picturesque bicycles)! Even though you shared Rome with many tourists, you still managed to get some stunning ‘still’ photos!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi, thank you for sharing great pictures and words of my favorite city. We were in Rome for 7 days this past November (2022). Our 3rd time. Here are some brief thoughts: The layers and layers of history. The fast-moving motorcycles. The food, the steaming cappuccino, the spirited people, the bustling open air markets, the gelato, the cozy cafes, late evening dinners, the packed museums, the infinite churches of all sizes, and the storied piazzas, street artists, olive oil, postcards, tourists everywhere, lots of walking…taking endless pictures, pizza, more pizza, tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain, staring up at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, wandering the narrow streets, pasta, the grandness of the Coliseum, the tiny cars, the airy beauty of Piazza Navona. Of course, there is more. Always more in Rome.

    Liked by 1 person

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