Rome in 0 dollar!!
Here are places that are absolutely free!
Now that you are in Rome and wish to explore without spending a single dime, where do you head to?
1) Quirinal Palace
This is the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic.
2) Trevi Fountain
I strongly recommend visiting this beautiful fountain both day and night as you get two very startling views.
Fun Facts that you are probably unaware of:
The fountain was built from 1732-1762 in a Baroque style by Nicola Scavi.
The fountain is located at the intersection of 3 roads giving it the name Tre Vie.
Oceanus (Neptune) occupies the space in the central alcove; he holds a wand on his right hand and a cloth over his pelvic region on his left. 2 tritions stand beneath Neptune, jockeying 2 horses.
On Neptune's left, stands Health, with a laurel wreath as a crown, holding a cup in which a snake can be seen drinking from. On the right, stands Abundance holding the Horn of Abundance ( a horn shaped container brimming with produces such as fruits and nuts) with a toppled vase next to her feet indicating the source of water.
The fountain's source of water is channelled by Aqua Virgo aqueduct named after the virgin who discovered and guided the soldiers to the source of water and this event is depicted above the statue of Health on the fountain. Above Abundance, General Agrippa is seen ordering the soldiers to build the aqueduct.
If you ever want to return to this place, be sure to make a wish and toss a coin into the fountain. I did it once 6 years ago and here I am again, tossing my second coin hoping for visit no. 3! haha..
Once you are down seeing the Fontana di Trevi, make your way to the Pantheon. This Roman temple turned church was built by emperor Hadrian and the rotunda shaped interior with its coffered dome is also the final resting place of renown Italian painter Rapheal. Entrance is free.
4) Piazza Navonna
Just 10 minutes away from the pantheon, stands Bernini's fountain of 4 rivers at the centre of Piazza Navona. The fountain represents 4 rivers around the world; Ganges, Nile, Danube and Rio de la Plata. This piazza is also a popular hangout spot for locals and tourist and has plenty of restaurants and pubs nearby.
5) Castel San Angelo
From the Vatican, make your way to the Castel and enjoy the scenery as you stroll along the Tiber river.
Ponte San Angelo is a noteworthy bridge built by emperor Hadrian to connect the city centre to his family's mausoleum (Castel San Angelo). The bridge is adorned by 10 angels bearing instruments of the passion.
6) Augustus Mausoleum and the Spanish steps
If you still have enough energy, make your way to Augustus mauseleum en route to the Spanish steps by foot.
The Spanish steps itself is an iconic monument as it has appeared in numerous Hollywood films and further made famous when Audrey Hepburn famously walked down the steps with an ice cream cone in hand alongside Gregory Peck in 1953's Roman Holiday. It was a scene everyone wanted to emulate but unfortunately, the monument has been closed for well over 2 years for restoration works.
Why is it called Spanish steps when we are in Rome? The 138 steps built with a mix of terraces, vistas, straight and curved flights of stairs was named after the spanish embassy to the holy see which is located nearby. It has now become a meeting point for artist, poets and visitors from all over the world.
At the bottom of the steps, Bernini's fontana della Barcaccia attracts throngs of tourists and locals. Here, I observed people from all walks of life, exchanging banters and laughters. A group of students and tourists even drank from the fountain which made me wonder if the fountain had healing properties.
English poet John Keat, resided next to the Spanish steps and it is now a museum in his honor.
Babington tea room: This tea shop located on the opposite side of the steps was established in 1893 and it is still serving some of the finest tea in the world. Bear in mind, that this establishment is expensive!!
Shopping: There are plenty of high end designer boutiques around this area and if you are fan of Italian designer wares then this is the place to be.
7) Monument of Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II was the first king of Italy and this monument was built in his honor. This National Monument is a remarkably large building made of white marble and it stands out from the rest of Rome's earthy coloured buildings. It is situated between the Capitoline Hill and Piazza Venezia and features statues, columns, and grand stairways.It also features the Altare della Patria, or the Altar of the Fatherland, where the tomb of the unknown soldier is found and it serves to commemorate all the fallen war heroes.