There are many benefits of traveling to a major tourist area during “off season,” but one major downside is that the weather is extremely unpredictable. You could get beautiful sunny days or it could rain your entire trip. Up to this point we had experienced a bit of both. Our first day exploring the city we had great weather and our second day only had a few scattered showers. However, we were not so fortunate for the third day of our Rome trip.
Day 3: Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, Pantheon, and Piazza Navona
Even though they were calling for rain, we were excited to begin our day of exploring. We were really hoping the rain would be light like the previous day, but unfortunately that was not the case. As soon as we were on our way to the first site of the day the heavens opened up. If it wasn’t hard enough getting a clear picture of the Trevi Fountain, try adding in copious amounts of umbrellas! Even through the rain and umbrellas, we couldn’t help but admire the beauty of Trevi Fountain.
The Spanish Steps was next on the list. This was another impressive site, although I was a bit distracted by the beautiful lights along the street leading up to the Spanish Steps. After grabbing a few pictures, we were off to the Piazza del Popolo. Once we arrived at the Piazza, we decided that we needed a little pick me up (and a break from the rain wouldn’t be terrible either). We ducked into a little espresso bar and grabbed an espresso and snack to help give us the boost we needed to keep going.
The Pantheon was our next stop and my favorite site of the day. I didn’t know what to expect, but as we rounded the corner and caught sight of the building I was in awe. Thankfully, we got a slight reprieve from the rain as we were checking out the Pantheon, which allowed us to stop and soak in this incredible structure. Also, entrance to the Pantheon was free!
We were quickly losing steam, but had to keep going to check out the last few sites on our list. We made our way to Piazza Navona and enjoyed checking out the various sculptures, fountains, and shops there.
Ryan and I collect Christmas ornaments from the different places that we travel. I still had not found the right ornament for Rome and was starting to get a little nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to find what I was looking for. As we were roaming around, Ryan saw this little shop full of Christmas items and suggested we take a look inside. Thankful to get out of the rain for a minute, we went inside and admired all the hand-crafted Christmas decorations inside. I found a beautiful nativity scene carved out of a piece of wood (I later found out that it was hand-carved from olive wood which is native to the area). I instantly knew it was the ornament for us. I really wanted the word Rome added to the ornament, so Ryan encouraged me to ask the shop owner if she would add that for me. I went up to the shop owner and asked, “Parli inglese?” (Do you speak English), but she said she spoke little English. She did say that she spoke Spanish. I studied Spanish in college, so my face lit up knowing we could still communicate. I asked her in Spanish if she could add Rome on the ornament, and she was quick to do that for me. Before I knew it, we had spent 30 minutes talking in Spanish and learning more about Rome from this sweet shop owner. This is my absolute favorite experience from the whole trip.
By this point we were pretty drenched, so we decided to head back to the hotel to change out of our wet clothes and let our tennis shoes dry for a bit. It was a little frustrating of a day, but a memorable one nonetheless.