After spending most of the morning inside the Vatican, we decided that we would take a bus to Trastevere. We wandered around an underground bus station and since no busses showed up and there were no people around, we decided that it must have been abandoned. It was bizarre. Just below the bustling cobblestone streets was this empty, eerie place that felt like a scene from a horror movie.
“Let’s just walk,” I said. After all, we had a map and 4 college degrees. What could go wrong? Well, the map failed to indicate numerous dead end streets leading us down street after street with no outlet. So eventually we gave up on the map and followed our instincts.
Then like a sign from God, I saw spray-painted graffiti pointing to a footpath that leads to Trastevere. Did the entrance to the footpath look a little sketchy… yes. Would I have followed the sign if I were alone…maybe not. However, since Kevin and I were together, I had the same thought as before….”What could go wrong?”
The footpath turned out to be lovely. It was a scenic walk through a field to the top of a hill. There was not another person anywhere to be seen, and the view from the top was magnificent. We were thankful to have discovered this shortcut, but our happiness was short lived. The footpath dead-ended to 6-foot tall fence with a locked gate. At this point we were hungry. We were hungry for adventure yes, but mostly for pizza. So naturally we decide that scaling a 6-foot fence in an isolated area without cellphone service was the most logical idea. We managed to scale the fence without any drastic injuries. I’m not saying it was graceful, but we did it.
Turns out we were still nowhere close to our destination. Several miles later we finally made it to Trastevere. The narrow cobbled streets lined by ancient houses were quintessential Italy. Just as we stopped for a late 4 O’clock lunch at Osteria No. 6 it started to rain. At that point, Carbonara and Cabernet were just what we needed. The restaurant was filled with quirky art and the chalkboard menus outside were perfect (the chalkboards were why I suggested we eat here).
When the rain passed we asked out waiter for directions to Trevi Fountain. As per his suggestion we headed to the “free” city Tram, but not before making a stop for gelato. Tucked into the corner of the cobblestone streets sits the unassuming Gelateria Regusto. We just happened to come across it. Had we known what a hidden gem this was, I would have camped out in front of it and eaten gelato there for the remainder of my days on earth. The gelato was delicious, crisp, refreshing and tart – not overly sweet, but just sweet enough. We spent the next 8 days looking for lampoon gelato (aka raspberry) but no other gelataria had it. If I return to Rome for no other reason, I will defiantly return for this gelato.
Gelato in hand we walked along the Tiber River on our way to the tram – which in hindsight we realized was not actually free. Next time we go we will pay twice ; )
Trevi fountain, the largest Baroque fountain in Rome, was completed in 1762 and is one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain stands tall at the junction of three roads where it is surrounded by restaurants and shops. It’s a bustling spot, perfect for people watching and of course another cup of gelato. To make the most of our last day in Rome, we then walked to the Spanish Steps. Unfortunately, the 135-step staircase was covered in plastic and scaffolding.
From the top of the steps we took a walk to view the city from a high vantage point. We finished our evening with a stroll around the Plaza de Popolo and wood fired pizza for dinner. After our 12-mile walk through the ancient city, we returned to our apartment with full tummies and sore feet.