Home > Travel > Honeymoon, Day 16 — Walk Through Old Rome, Part II

Honeymoon, Day 16 — Walk Through Old Rome, Part II

May 5th, 2009

After we left the Piazza del Popolo, we walked due west. We had not intended to walk so far north and had planned to just go directly back into the old town to Plaza Navona, but since we had gone so far, we decided to cross the Tiber and walk to the Castel Sant’Angelo. We stopped along the bank when we found a nice cafe, and had some snacks–mine resembling a grilled-cheese-and-ham sandwich.


We then took the back streets to the castle, thinking we could walk onto the grounds from there, but you can’t–so we had to walk all the way around the star-shaped complex until we got to the front again. We decided not to go into the museum (we would not have gone halfway through our planned walk had we went into every interesting exhibit), but we did rest outside for a few minutes before crossing the Bridge of Hadrian. The castle was originally Hadrian’s tomb, though it and the bridge Hadrian built leading to it have been pretty completed taken over by Christian iconography.

Castel Sant Angelo-01

Bridge Of Angels-01



After crossing the bridge into central Rome, we took another tangent to lead us to the northern end of Piazza Navona. On the way, we walked along some of the old, narrow streets that we love so much.

Old Rome Street

The Piazza Navona was recommended to us, and was a nice stop, but nothing overly spectacular. The fountain in the center was nice, and we enjoyed the musicians playing at the south end of the plaza.

Piazza Navona-01

Piazza Navona-02

Navona Musicians

One thing you’ll see a lot of are street performers. Interestingly, many seem to be common between many cities in Europe–we saw almost identical acts in many places. A common one seen often is the Egyptian Sarcophagus, but an interesting one is the Invisible Man–a guy seated on a chair below a hat and sunglasses, with his head hidden beneath the collar. Here’s one such guy enjoying a break.

Invisible Man

Next stop: The Pantheon. From Greek meaning “every god,” it was originally a Roman temple for the worship of all gods, but nowadays it’s just used for the only one really left in Rome these days. The day we visited, it was closed, and everyone was reduced to peeking through a crack in the door. But the outside is impressive enough.

click on the image above for a larger version of this stitched-together panoramic view.



On the way from the Pantheon, we saw and stopped at the Basilica of Saint Mary Above Minerva, a gothic church built in 1280 over the remains of a temple for Isis (but thought to be for Minerva). This is where Galileo renounced his scientific findings. A beautiful church, with some less-than-beautiful history. And big front doors…

Bigger Doors

I was a bit surprised that they allowed photos inside.

Smaria Interior-00

Smaria Interior-01

Smaria Interior-03

This stained-glass window was particularly attractive.

Smaria Interior-02A

Smaria Interior-02B

Greater detail here.

The final leg of the walk coming next.

Categories: Travel Tags: by
  1. paul
    May 6th, 2009 at 12:34 | #1

    I think that they allow photos in locations where you’re far enough away from any paintings or tapestries that the flash from your camera doesn’t do any significant damage (bleaching out) of the colors in those works of art.

    Of course, that also means that your flash isn’t throwing enough light onto them to be effective for your pictures, so you might as well have the flash off, in which case… there’s no reason to ban photos. Hmmm.

    As for the weird entry/exit locations… I think that if you look at the overall map, there’s a flow that kind of directs you through the “typical” tourist route through the various monuments, the Forum, etc. The thing is, if you approach from any different direction… you’re out of luck and have to walk way out of the way to get in.

    I told you to get into walking shape ASAP prior to visiting Rome! Tons and tons of walking there. Looks like you guys have been having an excellent time, though.

Comments are closed.