Walking Rome – Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain

Walking Rome is great transportation for sightseeing the city center with many prominent monuments located minutes apart by foot. There are countless other sights you will find along city streets of historical and artistic value that are not likely on your tourist list, yet part of the fabric of historical and current life in Rome.

Aurelian Walls 271-275 built during the Rome Crisis of the Third Century. Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora seen behind walls.

This walk starts from Villa Borghese, central Rome’s largest park. The photo above is taken from Villa Borghese showing the Aurelian gate to Via Veneto, one of Rome’s prominent streets for upscale hotels like Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora and Westin Excelsior Rome. The U.S Embassy is also located here.

Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora entrance on Via Veneto
Harry’s Bar Roma

Harry’s Bar Roma was seen in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita. The place became a celebrity hotspot. Harry’s Bar is across the street from Marriott Grand Flora.

Via Veneto sidewalk cafes were busy with customers having coffee and breakfast on a Monday morning at 9am. I would likely be sitting at one of the cafes too considering the overpriced breakfast options if staying at the Marriott or Westin.

Rome Westin Excelsior

In several capital cities around the world I have recognized the U.S. Embassy by sight before sign due to high metal fences, uncharacteristic for the urban setting. Barricades make the compound stand out as a military garrison in the city center.

Rome US embassy on Via Veneto.

Following Via Veneto a few hundred meters past the Hard Rock Cafe and high end hotels, leads to Piazza Barberini.

Piazza Barberini Rome

Piazza Barberini and Piazza Spagna are Metro B line station stops. Trevi Fountain is about 600 meters from Piazza Barberini and the Spanish Steps are around the corner from Spagna Metro Station, another ten minutes walk from Trevi. These two sights are also easy to reach via Metro.

Trevi Fountain (1762)

Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world.

Trevi Fountain had large crowds. Of all the places I walked around Rome over two days, the streets around Trevi Fountain put me on highest alert for pickpockets. I am not overly concerned about pickpockets, but after having my wallet stolen in Prague last year and my wife having her wallet stolen in Amsterdam two years ago, I have seen how groups of thieves use crowded spaces where people are bumping into each other for positioning. Trevi Fountain was a place where many people pushed past each other to get photo opportunities.

All the people around the fountain limited photo opportunities for me and cloud cover filtered out much of the sunlight. The experience was less than ideal for admiring the beautiful space.

Trevi Fountain summer tourist crowd
Trevi Fountain

This area near Trevi Fountain is also a place to see portions of the ancient Rome aqueducts, but I did not notice for these features and was not searching for them as I walked streets between Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.

Trevi Fountain
Spanish Steps (1725) – Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti.

Spanish Steps are 135 steps opened in 1725 from Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinità dei Monti. The church at the top is Trinità dei Monti church.

Fontana della Barcaccia is the fountain at the base of the Spanish Steps.

Fontana della Barcaccia at Spanish Steps Rome.

Our trip to central Rome was a brief two days before heading to Rome Fiumicino Airport FCO for flights back to San Francisco via Munich. This was essentially an exploratory trip to see how we felt about Rome as a tourist destination conducive to our travel style.

To my surprise, my wife Kelley said repeatedly during the two weeks after we came back to California how much she enjoyed Rome. She wants to return again outside of busy summer season.

Rome is a great city for walks. And when walking is inconvenient or uncomfortable, there is an extensive and cheap public transportation network of Metro and buses (1.50eur/ticket).

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