Although I knew the Spanish Steps weren’t really that exciting, I wanted to see them.
Yuck! The crowds were unbelievable. As they were along the shopping streets. In fact, it seems everywhere is crowded from 10am on.
Our tour guide of the ancient area advised us that if you want quite, head to the hills. Most are topped with church organisations and they are quiet for contemplation.
I think they are also quiet because people are generally too lazy to walk up the hills, and they only want to tick off the main attractions.
Mr S and I visited a number of quiet places. They all had much to look at. Also, not being pushed and shoved and negotiating around people was a relief.
The Protestant Cemetery
Just behind the pyramid, across from the Pyramid metro station lies the Protestant cemetery, which is also a cat sanctuary. It’s quiet and green and cool.
The statue of the Angel of Grief – shows such anguish which the sculptor Celt at the loss of his wife.
The poets, Shelley and Keats, and some family and friends are buried here.
The Aqueduct Park
A short metro ride and a short walk away from the centre of Rome is the Aqueduct Park. Locals are riding, jogging, walking their dogs. But there were no crowds. Just open fields with the aqueducts, trees and a pond. We walked around and marvelled at the skill of the Romans and how soil level rises and covers what are huge monuments.
The hill behind Trastevere
We walked up the hill and, as is our way, got lost and and wandered around, discovering things.
We had the path along the fence on the other side of the Botanic Gardens to ourselves.
There’s statues and memorials to people we don’t know. One we thought looked out of a western. Love the bird having a free ride on his shoulder. It was part of the statue.
The Knights of Malta Hill
On the way up, we walked around the streets, admiring the beautiful houses in the area. (OK, we got lost again but enjoyed the walk. OK, we really had a little blue over map reading. But we still enjoyed the end product.)
I read to expect a queue of people wanting to look through the keyhole towards St Peter’s. There were many people. (Though Mr S did get annoyed at one group of Americans, each of whom wanted to take a photo and one of whom tried several times with three different cameras.) The view is amazing. (I didn’t bother trying to take a photo. I knew if I googled it someone with a better camera would have put one out there.)
After we peered through the keyhole, a huge tour group turned up. Still walk a few steps away and we had parks and views to ourselves. They only come for the look through the keyhole.
Green and peace abound!