Our first full day in Rome started with a short walk to the Spanish steps – just a couple of blocks from our hotel.
Then we climbed up the steps to the church of Trinita dei Monti – where we got this nice view of the city aand the Vatican. After a brief visit inside the 17th century church we were off to the Spagna Metro station. We wanted to visit St Paul Outside the Walls and that meant a ride on the Rome Metro. Even though it was midweek and after the morning rush, the Metro was absolutely jammed. When we changed at Termini things were even more jammed. It was a relief to arrive at the San Paolo Metro station and take a short walk to the Basilica.
The entrance to the Basilica is quite impressive.
And because it is a major basilica. St Paul’s had a Holy Door open in the Year of Mercy. So we went in that way.
The interior is also very impressive. St Paul’s is laid out like a typical 5th century Roman church, and the original Basilica was here since 380 or so. However the present church is a 19th century reproduction, since the old basilica was destroyed by fire in the 1820s. Nice job of restoration though.
And for all you Pauline fans out there, here is the tomb of the Apostle himself.
Back on the Metro we went, back to Central Rome. Since we were already being crushed, we stayed on to the Vatican for a quick visit. St Peter’s was even more crowded than St Paul’s so we just took a quick look around the square and then decided to walk back to our hotel. That’s when our mixup began.
It seemed straightforward enough. First we walked along a broad busy avenue to Castel Sant’Angelo.
Then we had to go across the Tiber. At this point the smart thing to do was walk along the river and go to Piazza del Popolo. But it’s been a while, we weren’t sure so we forged ahead straight into the bowels of Rome.
We were never that lost, but it was a longer walk than we thought. Maria stopped a couple of times to ask directions.
By the time we reached this famous church of Sant’Andrea we were within a couple of blocks of the Victor Emmanuel monument and the familiar Via del Corso. Up the well known del Corso we went.
We took a slight detour off del Corso to visit this strange fountain – which looks gorgeously restored by the way. Many people were busy throwing coins into it (don’t ask why.)
After that it was a pleasant jaunt through side streets to the Hotel Condotti. We took a foot resting break and after that we headed out to have dinner at Di Qua. We enjoyed some of the best gnocchi we have ever had and after that it was back to the hotel. Not a bad second day in Rome.