Rome: 20 pictures to inspire you to visit

Piazza Navona in Rome: 15 pictures to inspire you to visit

Piazza Navona in Rome: 15 pictures to inspire you to visit

Rome: 20 pictures to inspire you to visit – Travel Photo Mondays

I’m hanging out late in the afternoon at the Piazza Navona in Rome, and my timing is perfect.  This is the time for Passeggiata, the afternoon ritual of strolling and enjoying the end of day in many communities around Italy, even here in busy Rome. The afternoon light is casting this yellow glow everywhere and setting a romantic tone over the entire piazza. I noticed that everyone seems to be in a playful mood. Sitting alone, I observe everything by the fountains: nuns walking quickly and quietly, children playing on tricycles, a few people tossing coins in the fountains. I hear this gushing sound of water emanating from these remarkable animals and beasts around the fountain. How is it that all these ancient pipes seem to still work perfectly, I wonder?

 

 

Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi at Piazza Navona

Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi at Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

After spending a busy morning walking through the many ancient landmarks around the city, it’s nice to relax and unwind at the piazza. The smell of roasting chestnuts nearby makes me want to grab a bag and eat some of those plump chestnuts, sitting next to one of the fountains and just enjoy the scene at the piazza. There must be hundreds of people visiting the square and enjoying their end of day rituals with loved ones. I end up strolling the entire length of the square with its three fountains and approach the monumental  fountain created by its master, Bernini. The famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or fountain of the four rivers is topped with a grandiose obelisk from the remnants of the  Circus of Maxentius.  I take in the stunning details and photograph some of the striking vignettes and amazing sculpture.  Then I check out the other two fountains which are completely different and just as spectacular as Bernini’s masterpiece.  It’s so wonderful that all these  magnificent works of art are outdoors and free for everyone to appreciate, like many of Rome’s incredible landmarks.

It’s easy to sit and take an entire afternoon to appreciate all these stunning piazzas and monuments around Rome, but there are just too many other locations to visit. So, let me take you on some of my favorite hangout spots and famous landmarks around the city. Hopefully, this will inspire you to visit Rome soon.

 

 Here are 20 pictures to inspire you to visit Rome

 

PIazza Navona in Rome: 15 pictures to inspire you to visit

PIazza Navona in Rome: 15 pictures to inspire you to visit

 

 Campo Fiori

After visiting Piazza Navona, I decide to head out to another famous Piazza called the Campo Fiori. Walk to my next destination, I find the streets are filled with spectacular architecture,  more outdoor art and sculpture, with surprises tucked in many spots along the way. I think walking around Rome is a great way to explore the city, you never really know what you will see along the way, and usually it is always something unique and spectacular.

 

 

A stunning building façade in the Campo Fiori, Rome

A stunning building façade in the Campo Fiori, Rome

 

While wandering around the streets outside, the Campo Fiori, I saw this stunning portal (image above) looking straight into the façade of this ornate building, completely blown away by all the magnificent details and artwork of the exterior. Little surprises like this are one of the reasons why I love visiting this amazing city, again and again.

 

 

Daily flower market at Campo Fiori in Rome.

Daily flower market at Campo Fiori in Rome.

 

 

Late in the afternoon,  the piazza is still busy with the daily market. The vendors are barking their last sales of the day while starting to pack away all their perishables and finished goods into stacked boxes. Even when it comes to selling product at the market, there’s an Italian way of presentation with colorful displays and arrangements. Everything is artfully set and decorated, making it tempting for you to stop and pick up something delicious or even a souvenir to take back home. For me, markets are fun to explore and look locally made products and taste some new and interesting, and it usually is ‘Delicioso’.

 

 

Artful presentations at the farmers market in Campo Fiori, Rome

Artful presentations at the farmers market in Campo Fiori, Rome

 

I’m almost tempted to take this bike (below) on a spin around the Campo Fiori while eating some of those luscious oranges, or try eating some of the chestnuts which I’ve never tried eating raw before. Fortunately, the scene was a perfect vignette worth taking a picture. When the market is finally done, the cafes roll out their tables to extend the limited indoor seating to capture diners who want to see and be seen outdoors in the piazza.

Tip: if your into the dining scene, then late in the afternoon to evening is the best time to visit when all the cafes around the piazza are set up for outdoor dining at its best in Rome.

 

 

Morning market at Campo Fiori, Rome: 15 pictures to inspire you to visit

Morning market at Campo Fiori, Rome

 

Continuing my walk pass the Piazza Campo Fiori to Trastevere, I happened onto this hidden church with these amazing sculptures from an unknown artist, but for some reason I lost my information (scribbled notes) about the church or the artist. In any case, this is what I saw from a distance (image below), with the wooden doorway and a few pieces of sculpture peeking through. I was quite curious and had to cross a busy street to check out the basilica and artwork scattered around the courtyard. I’ve tried Googling the church with no luck,  so if you know this church, please share it in the comments section below so I can update this post.

 

Are you tempted to take a peek inside?

Hidden church and sculpture on the streets outside Campo Fiori, Rome

Hidden church and sculpture on the streets outside Campo Fiori, Rome

 

Inside the courtyard of the basilica are these marvelous sculpture from a contemporary artist I have yet to know anything about, all the bronze figures are magnificent and each of them are unique in their poses. Stepping inside the basilica, I immediately notice the ornate altar and cupola. And looking up into the cupola were these huge stars and little cupids that  were floating up in the heavens, quite unusual and animated. The cheerful cherubs didn’t remind me of any of the stuffy or overly decorated churches around Rome.  I loved how the cheerful interiors also matched the exterior wedding cake like façade and tower.

 

**Update – I’m excited to receive a reply in the comments from Esther Urbano about this mysterious church which is named Saint Yves at Sapienza (as part of the University of Rome). More details on the church is shared by Esther below in the comment section including a wiki link to the site.

 

Beautiful sculpture and unknown basilica around the Campo Fiori, Rome

Beautiful sculpture and unknown basilica around the Campo Fiori, Rome

Angels and stars up in the heavens

 

Gorgeous angels and stars to this unknown basilica in Rome

Gorgeous angels and stars to this unknown basilica in Rome

 

 

A beautiful stone bridge connecting Isola Tiberina to Trastevere in Rome

A beautiful stone bridge connecting Isola Tiberina to Trastevere in Rome

 

 

Visiting the Trastevere

A short walk through a bridge crossing the small island, Isola Tiberina and you are in the edge of Trastevere. Once the ancient Jewish community of Rome, Trastevere is now a hip neighborhood with trendy bars and cafes along with some wonderful promenades and active street life. I love the small city within a city vibe of this neighborhood, especially at night when all the locals come out and enjoy spending some time outdoors, sitting in an outdoor café and taking part in ‘La Dolce Vita’ (the good life). The whole neighborhood feels intimate, alive and so much more relaxed than some of the more formal areas around the city.

 

 

 

A specialty delicatessen in Trastevere, Rome

A specialty delicatessen in Trastevere, Rome

 

 

I also love that Trastevere is an area with many specialty food ventures including this wonderful delicatessen (above) with a huge selection of local cheese and quality meats made from the region. This popular institution called Antica Caciara is a local favorite along with the local bread shop (below) called Forno Pane cotto A legna. When the oven is filled and ready to be opened, there are long lines out the door with dedicated patrons who want their bread fresh, crunchy and moist on the inside. I just wrote a wonderful post about touring the specialty food vendors, cafes,  wine bars and restaurants in Trastevere, take a look at my Trastevere post here for more details.

 

 

 

Visiting a forno and pane baker in Trastevere, Rome

Visiting a forno and pane baker in Trastevere, Rome

 

Of course the popular meeting and hang out spot for the evening in Trastevere is the main Piazza called Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere.  The square and surrounding buildings are wonderfully lit up at night including the central fountain. This fountain is said to be the oldest fountain in all of Rome and built around the 8th century.  Nowadays, the square is the main gathering place where people meet and enjoy the street scenes and maybe a nice meal from any of the trattorias around the piazza.

Tip: a great way to visit the Trastevere neighborhood is to take a food tour with many of the specialty food purveyors, cafes and bars in the area. One of my favorite food tours for the Trastevere is offered with Eating Italy.

 

Trastevere and the main piazza at night time

Trastevere and the main piazza at night time

 

 

 

 

 

National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II at Piazza Venezia, Rome

National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II at Piazza Venezia, Rome

National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II

At night the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II or Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II is quite majestic. Lit up brilliantly with its columns, statuary and majestic pediments, the monument in honor of Victor Emmanuel (first king of a united Italy), is a sight to see and walk through at night. Inaugurated in 1911, the monument is decorated with all the flourishes of a Roman monument: Corinthian columns, equestrian sculpture and goddesses, fountains and a monumental central bronze sculpture of Victor Emmanuele riding majestically on a horse.

Tip: there is a fantastic aerial view of Rome from the top of the monument which you can take an elevator ride. Before the elevator is an outdoor café, which is a perfect place for taking a nice break.

 

 

Pantheon and fountain in Rome

Pantheon and fountain in Rome

Pantheon

Eventually everyone makes it to one of the most popular attractions in Rome, the Pantheon. The entire piazza around the Pantheon is always packed with tourists from early in the morning until late at night and all the cafes are filled around the piazza and promenades leading up to the Pantheon. Typical of many significant ruins and monuments in Italy, the Pantheon was initially dedicated to the Roman gods, actually the 12 main gods of ancient Rome. Later, the Pantheon was converted into a Catholic basilica dedicated to St. Mary and various Martyrs.  Christian changes and chapels were added to the expansive interior, along with a choir nitch and many burial chambers, including the famous Italian painters Raphael and Annibale Carraci.

Tip: the Pantheon is still an active church and you can visit and see services every day. To find Raphael’s tomb, look for the golden twin doves facing each other.

 

Interior of the Pantheon, Rome

Interior of the Pantheon, Rome

Fountain details at the Pantheon

 

Pantheon fountain or Fontana del Pantheon, Rome

Pantheon fountain or Fontana del Pantheon, Rome

 

 

 

 Piazza Colonna

In the heart of central Rome, Piazza Colonna is named for the large marble column topped with a statue of Saint Paul. Surrounding the square are government buildings, shopping arcades, an elaborate villa and a basilica. These combined  create this grand and ancient square that has been in existence since the time of Marcus Aurelius where a temple stood to honor him and is now the site of the villa called Palazzo Wedekind.

 

Piazza Colonna in central Rome

Piazza Colonna in central Rome

 

 

 

Trevi fountain reconstruction in Rome

Trevi fountain reconstruction in Rome

 

Trevi Fountain

Unfortunately when I visited, the Trevi fountain was still in restoration with small bits of sculpture peeking out from the gigantic scaffolding covering the façade and sculpture, this is what you can see below. Summer 2015 is when it is slated for being reopened in time for the summer tourist season.  Close by, I spotted a beautiful medallion on the corner of one of the buildings fronting the fountain, so I am including that as an extra photo to compensate for this limited view of the Trevi fountain.

Tip: the fountain is very busy all day long even in its reconstruction phase. When the fountain is complete, the best time to actually visit is late in the evening when the fountain is illuminated and has a spectacular glow along with less crowds visiting this very touristy site.

 

Architectural detail and promenade by the Trevi fountain, Rome

Architectural detail and promenade by the Trevi fountain, Rome

 

Thank you for visiting today I hope this post on Rome: 20 pictures to inspire you to visit was educational and worthwhile. If you enjoyed the post, could you share it with any of the social media buttons on the post. Please do visit some of the other bloggers participating today for Travel Photo Mondays below.

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24 Responses to Rome: 20 pictures to inspire you to visit

  1. Marius Lunde November 28, 2016 at 5:52 am #

    Thanks for sharing

  2. Jo - Lifestyle Fifty June 27, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    We have just visited Rome for a day with Sea Princess. Wow, what an amazing (crowded) city, and so full of wonder. Our photos don’t do it nearly as much justice as yours Noel, which have made me want to return … but we were so lucky to see the Trevi Fountain renovated in its full glory. Very fortunate. Very special.

  3. Paulo@Travel Bugs May 21, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. Rome is certainly top in my bucket list!

  4. Esther Urbano January 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    Great job Noel!. These photographs of Rome made me live the same moment twice . Let me tell you something about the unknown basilica (actually it is a church) near campo di fiori :it is ‘Saint Yves at the Sapienza (University of Rome)’) is a Roman Catholic church in Rome. Built in 1642-1660 by the architect Francesco Borromini, the church is a masterpiece of Roman Baroque architecture.

    The church is at the rear of a courtyard at 40, Corso del Rinascimento; the complIn the 14th century, there was a chapel here for the palace of the University of Rome. The University is called La Sapienza, and the church was dedicated to Saint Yves (patron saint of jurists). When a design was commissioned from Borromini in the 17th century, he adapted to the already existing palazzo. He choose a plan resembling a star of David – which would have been recognized at the time as a Star of Solomon, symbolizing wisdom – and merged a curved facade of the church with the courtyard of the palace. The corkscrew lantern of the dome was novel. The complex rhythms of the interior have a dazzling geometry to them.
    .to find out more go to :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sant%27Ivo_alla_Sapienza

    • Noel January 23, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

      Thank you so much Esther for that wonderful information you shared on the Church Saint Yves at Sapienza, I really appreciate your giving me more insight to this special place and its history including the plan to resemble the star of David.

  5. Lyn aka TheTravellingLindfields January 21, 2016 at 9:40 pm #

    I love the photo of the bicycle and all the vibrant colours in the markets.

  6. Leandro Lima January 8, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    Congratulations for the work the photos were beautiful, Rome is amazing!

  7. Suze - LuxuryColumnist September 15, 2015 at 4:39 am #

    Fabulous photos as ever, Noel – the Trevi fountain was also closed when we visited. We particularly liked Trastevere for the nightime ambiance

  8. Suzanne Fluhr September 14, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    Beautiful, Noel. When we took our sons to Rome in 2004, we stayed near the Piazza Navona. We pretty much walked the route you photographed here. Great memories—with your much better photos.

  9. Photo(geo)grapher September 11, 2015 at 2:14 am #

    Magical city. Lovely shots.

  10. Pinay Flying High September 7, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

    I did enjoy that magical hour in Rome as well when everyone seem to be more upbeat that the work hour has ended. 🙂
    Your photos are absolutely stunning!

  11. Donald Lamia August 28, 2015 at 3:37 am #

    I love Rome also, so many amazing sites to explore and cool hang out spots during the day and late into the night. Here are some of my favorite places to explore walking around the city.

  12. Sue Reddel August 14, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

    Such beautiful inspiration Noel! Those tomatoes look perfect. And I’d love to see that courtyard with the sculptures. When can we go? 😉

  13. Carol Colborn August 12, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    The pictures are awesome, details are present, and perspectives are refreshing. Thank you so much for an enthralling view of Rome.

  14. Muza-chan August 12, 2015 at 3:45 am #

    Lovely photos…

  15. The GypsyNesters August 10, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    Wonderful photo gallery of Rome. Makes us want to return to the eternal city. Thanks!

  16. Irene S. Levine August 10, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    Like your photography, Rome is nothing short of magnificent!

  17. Carole Terwilliger Meyers August 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    Your images do definitely capture the grandeur of Rome, but my favorite spot depicted, which I would go out of my way to visit, is the delicatessen in Trastevere.

  18. Suzanne Stavert August 10, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    It’s been years since we have been to Rome. I just love your Campo Fiori photos (the rest are amazing too)

  19. Paula McInerney August 10, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    These photos certainly inspire me to return to Rome. But I did throw 3 coins into the Trevi Fountain, so that was always going to happen.

  20. Donna Janke August 10, 2015 at 4:53 am #

    Beautiful photos. They certainly are an inspiration to visit Rome. I love the stone bridge and the unknown basilica.

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