Nik and I arrived in Rome at 7:45am on Monday morning after a pleasant overnight flight from Atlanta. We met our host, dropped off ourÂ bags andÂ immediately began meandering around Piazza Navona. The cobblestone streets glistened with new rainfall as shop owners prepared for their day, and we were immediately smitten with the place.
Understanding that we would fall asleep walking if we stayed out too long, we went back to the apartment for a nap. 5 hours later, we hit the streets again for dinner and an evening stroll. The rain had stopped and we lost our way a couple times, but it was magical.
On the second day, Via Appia Antica was our destination. On the way there, we found the Palace of Wisdom, walked into Nik’s childhood dream building – TheÂ Pantheon, happened upon an open plaza filled with the ruins of three temples that was also home to the cities rescue cat population, crossed the Tiber River onto Isola Tiberina, climbed Aventine Hill to peak through the keyholeÂ to see the dome of St. Peters framed throughÂ topiaries, stopped into a few churches, shared slices of pizza in a park with joggers, and still barely believed we were actually here.
Once we made it to our destination, we dodged cars and motorbikes for a few kilometers before the city faded away and the road opened up to a preserved farmland that maintains the scale and beauty of the original road. We daydreamed of living in the small stone farm houses off to the left and right, and smiled at our fellow walkers as we navigated the uneven terrain.
We turned left at Via del Casale Rotondo and made our way to the Capannelle train station past the horse racing tracks and ruins of the Roman Aqueducts even though I was tempted to continue along Via AppiaÂ all the way to Castel Gandolfo!
Two stops later, we disembarked into the hustle and bustle of Termini Station. We found automated kiosks and purchased train tickets for the next leg of our trip. From there, we meandered back to the apartment and somehow ended up at the Spanish Steps just in time to watch the sun fade off to the west.
Nik’s Blog (50+ Amazing Photos): Our First Two Days in Rome