We decided to do something different today. We woke up early (for us) and headed out onto the streets of Rome before most tourists and locals were up and about. Our destination this morning was the famous Trevi Fountain. We meandered through quiet and virtually empty cobblestone alleyways in an eastward direction. Along the way we happened to run into another well-known Rome landmark:


The Pantheon

The Pantheon was built by the emperor Hadrian and finished around 126 AD. It is located in the Piazza della Rotondo and you can’t miss it. It’s served many purposes over the centuries and has been in continuous use since it was built. It has the world’s largest unreinforced dome still to this day. Even though this wasn’t on our list of things to see, and we really had no idea it would be in our path, this is what we have found out about Rome. There is something impressive and historical around every corner. Rome is like one large outdoor museum. After perusing the Pantheon we continued on our way and were soon at the Trevi Fountain.


Ryan contemplating the Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is mesmerizing, romantic, and astounding. It delights all the senses. I felt like we could have stayed there for hours and never grown tired of it.


The sun popped up after we had arrived.

Even though we were there early, you’ll see that others had the same idea. But, I guess it’s nowhere near the deep crowds that are there later in the day. We were glad we had come early.


Ryan in the foreground and Oceanus (the God of all waters) in the central niche in the background.

You can see all the coins in the fountain behind Ryan. Supposedly the legend is that you throw 3 coins in the fountain with the right hand over your left shoulder. The first coin will cause you to return to Rome, the second to find new love, and the third to get married. We don’t mind returning to Rome some day but we have no need to find new loves or get married again – we’ve already done that twice with each other – so we skipped that part of the visit. It is said that about 3,000 Euros are thrown in the fountain each day.


Clint, making sure to “stand” next to the fountain

We saw several people attempt to sit on the edge of the fountain for photo ops and the polizzia watching over the site immediately blew their whistles at them and told them to get off it!


The rising sun illuminating the beautiful fountain

The fountain took 30 years to be finished, finally being inaugurated in 1762. It marks the spot where a former Roman aqueduct ended. The scene commemorates the supposed story of a young girl showing thirsty Roman soldiers where a source of fresh spring water was outside of Rome in 19 BC. Then, Emperor Caesar Augustus commissioned a new 22 kilometer long aqueduct to connect to the old at this point and help bring more water into Rome for its thirsty citizens. This spot in the city was known as “tre vi” (where “3 roads” meet) and that’s how it got its name.


Italian breakfast

Being that we had left our apartment without having anything to eat, our hunger finally got the best of us and we dragged ourselves away from the enchanting fountain. We found a nice place not far away serving typical Italian breakfasts. This is mine, with (from top right) plain yogurt with muesli, some chocolate sauce and little chocolate chips on top; bread with Nutella; peach pastry; and bread and salami. It also included fresh-squeezed orange juice. Ryan had a different selection but just as Italian: a ham and cheese sandwich, mixed fresh fruit, and a smoothie.


Piazza Navona

After our late breakfast, we walked back west toward the Tiber River. Ryan was going to go to a spa for some last minute R&R before our vacation ends and I was going back to the apartment to read and relax. As usual, we happened across another great scene, the Piazza Navona with beautiful fountains, an obelisk monument rising out of the most famous of the fountains, and another impressive church.


Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the foreground with the Church of Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore in the background

A number of artists were set up in the piazza painting and selling their wares. We always try and find some street art on our trips to add to a compilation we have on a wall of our home in Palm Springs. We found a small oil painting of the Trevi Fountain that will help us remember this fine day we spent in Rome.


Ryan arranging the purchase of a small oil painting from the artist in the Piazza Navona

From there we were soon at the spa where I dropped Ryan off. I continued on my way back to our apartment and spent some nice time reading. We met up later in the afternoon and are now relaxing together. We’ll go out for some dinner later tonight and then we have one more movie set in Rome we want to watch. It’s fun to see places on the screen where we are currently located and see what we can recognize. Tomorrow is our last day here. We need to be at the airport that (Sunday) night around 7:30 for our flight to Dubai. From Dubai, it will be a non-stop flight (yes, l-o-o-o-o-n-g flight!) back to Seattle.