Here, there and everywhere when in Rome
Walk around in Rome is particularly fun, especially because you can find a treasure in every corner. Today’s post is about some small scenes worth seeing when in Rome. Let’s see what we got!
- Baths of Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla)
Although this is actually a big place, like public park big, you may pass it several times on the bus around the Colosseum without paying too much notice. The main thing to see here is the ruins of the ancient baths built in 212-216 AD.
Caracalla, the Roman emperor wanted to build a new bath as a piece of political propaganda. Romans from every social class enjoyed themselves in the impressive, exquisitely detailed building. It indeed improved the public’s opinion of Caracalla because they attributed their pleasurable experience and lavish surroundings to him.
It was interesting to see the remaining structure, imaging how they taking bath, talking political issues, sports activities, also a place for study. a fully functional social space for all Roman.
Tips for visiting Bath of Caracalla:
- Roma Pass helps on this case, show your pass to the staff for a discounted price.
- It may be worth to rent the VR gear to get the full idea. since we did self-guided with our own guide book, so we didn’t rent one, but as I observe other visitors who had VR, they are pretty satisfied with it.
- Summertime may be the best time to visit here, the central part of the bath complex is the summer home of the Rome Opera company. It is also a concert venue. so plan around this if you love opera as well.
- Please check their opening time on line, they have closed day. Recommend visiting period for 1 -1.5 hour.
Bocca della Verità (The mouth of Truth)
One of the most well-known Roman references from a movie- Roman Holiday, when Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck are both standing in front of the sculpture, Hepburn was afraid of putting her hand in it, then Gregory shocked her with his trick. It is truly a fun plot of the movie and made the mouth of truth famous.
It is located at the outside of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin, which is not far away from the Bath of Caracalla, about walk 15 mins but I will suggest you to take a bus and save time.
All visitors have to line up to wait for the picture, they don’t have restriction of donation so 1 or 2 EU is totally fine. the time we visit is at 4 pm, not a huge line but still, have to wait about 10mins.
I am truly happy to see the Mouth of truth, it reminds me of the joy of watching the movie.
Ah, btw, the only exit is by walking into the church, since it’s a little historical church from the 11th century, we took our time to walk around. Turned out, it’s actually pretty impressive with St. Valentine’s floral-crowned skull at the left side of the altar, don’t miss to see the patron saint of lovers if you are visiting the Mouth of Truth!
*Fun fact: The donation to Mouth of Truth saves this little church.
- Piazza Navona
We walk by this beautiful plaza several times during our visit in Rome since it is located at a pretty center in Rome. However, we always up to other destination in mind that we didn’t quite take a break at the nearby cafe or anything. But it still is a beautiful rectangle plaza that three unique fountains set in the middle.
It features important sculptural and creations: in the center stands the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers 1651 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, topped by the Obelisk of Domitian. the other fountains at the southern end are the Fontana del Moro with a basin and four Tritons sculpted by Giacomo della Porta in 1575. At the northern end is the Fountain of Neptune (1574) also created by Giacomo della Porta.
It is a nice plaza but I also noticed it is always crowded with tourists, and street vendors so if you would like to have some beautiful shot here, I would highly suggest you come by at early morning.
- Otherwise bookstore and Altroquando bookstore
Located near Piazza Navona, these two bookstores are our favorite shops in the center of Rome. I love their European small, independent bookstore style, yet they do provide pretty nice selections. If you like foreign language books Altroquando can feed you well, also they have a pub downstairs. if you would like to find some books in English, Otherwise bookstore is the one in Rome. both stores are on the same street opposite to each other.
- Trastevere neighborhood
This is right now the most popular neighborhood on the internet. As people said they are much more “local, authentic, peaceful” compared to the other side of the Tiber river. We did go there, however, the time we visited is at dinner time after seeing St. Peter’s Basilica, so we noticed there are actually pretty full of tourists… I mean, it’s not surprising that visitors following the recommendation come to visit this spot but that also causes the “not so touristy” become touristy, I believe it also depends on the time of visiting. We ended up having a dinner break in front of the church- Basilica di Santa Maria, which is one of Rome’s oldest churches.
People also have pizza battles about Trastevere v.s Center Rome. some said pizza are better in Trastevere, as they are more authentic and affordable. We have not proved is this true or not since we plan to eat at Sorbillo Pizzeria, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. so I will still suggest you visit here after visiting the big destinations in Vatican city, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican museum.
- Bar del Fico, meet up with chess players in Rome
This one is a personal favorite since we really look for it for a few days, and were glad it exists. My love is a chess player, and we always have this plan on our trip wherever we go.
Bar del Fico, located at Piazza del Fico, there are some chess players who come out here after work. the come by having some fun doesn’t less a bit, just grab a chair and play a few games is totally made our day! I love seeing my love had some fun with Italian players, they are super friendly and funny, and I did shop around a little bit at the nearby grocery stores, bought some Italian spices and noodles. I did recommend this plaza that you can find some boutiques and coffee shops as well.
I hope you enjoyed the sharing of today, I really like to walk around the town, I will always find something beautiful. Have you been to Rome before? What is your favorite sightseeing aside from the main tourist attractions? please share with me! 🙂