Travel, Trying New Things, Via Francigena

Via Francigena: Rome

I may have previously mentioned that our travels on the Via Francigena were all about the daily journeys.  As we are discovering, the destination is also pretty sweet!

Day 1

When I left you last, Richard and I had just arrived in St. Peter’s Square. From there, we took a glorious taxi to our hotel, got settled, did some errands and then chilled out for the rest of the evening. Our hotel (listed at the bottom of this post) is actually located on the backside of a historic fountain. We found that to be very cool!

Day 2:

On the second day, we walked back to St. Peter’s Square, received our official walking certificates. met VF buddy, Pascal, for lunch and took a Hop On, Hop  Off Bus Tour. We also continued to discover why this country is often referred to as “Eataly”!

Day 3:

Up bright and early, we walked back to St. Peter’s Square, taking a labyrinth of alleyways and stopping by Trevi Fountain on  our way. We arranged for a 10 am (Skip the Line) tour of the Vatican Gardens, Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. As we were waiting for our tour, I persuaded Richard to endure the long lines so that we could attend some of the outdoor 9:30 mass. We were both very happy that I did. There was a spacial guest whom we hadn’t been expecting!

Day 4:

That’s today! We found an ‘All You Can Eat’ (US Style) Breakfast Bar (7 euros each). We then headed out on foot to the Colosseum and Forum, stopping in at the Basilica Di San Pietro In  Vincoli along the way. The Basilica houses the chains used to bind the Apostle Peter when he was held prisoner after the death of Christ.

At the Colosseum, we joined another Skip the Line Tour (have I mentioned that it has been a high of 36C/97F all  week?). Our tour guides were outstanding and the Colosseum and Forum both fascinating. One of our guides informed us that if you were Christian, and kissed the symbol of the cross (displayed above), Romans believed that you would be absolved of your sins. I was the only one in our group willing to do this! On our way home, we stopped by the famous Spanish Steps before heading for a much-needed siesta!

Day 5:

That’s tomorrow, and our last day in Rome. What would you do?  The temperatures are predicted to reach 39C/102F…and the summer crowds are intense. Although our hotel has a super cool fountain, it sadly does not have a pool!

Moses Fountain, Via XX Settembre 98L, Via Veneto, Rome, 00187, +39 06 679 6626. Small (6-room) hotel. Central location. Personalized service.  80 euros per night. We loved it!

Distances Walked While In Rome: 7 – 14 km per day. Crazy, I know!

73 thoughts on “Via Francigena: Rome”

  1. Hi Donna,

    Looks like you and Richard are having a great time in Rome. And the Pope was at the mass you attended? Wow. (I assume he was the “special guest” you mentioned – am I right?) I think your camino is ending on a high note!



  2. I was thinking about you when I heard how hot it was in Europe right now. Hope you are managing to stay cool. Aren’t you glad you aren’t still walking in that heat?!

    I’m surprised how quiet it was at Trivoli Fountain in your photo of Richard. I would have expected to see thick crowds there.

    My disappointment with “skip the line” tours is that it is still insanely busy. In the Sistine Chapel, it was so packed I could barely breathe. All I could think about was getting outside!


  3. What a great surprise seeing the Pope! I’ve heard about the incredibly high temperatures you’re experiencing. Maybe you should go wading in a fountain, Donna. That would make for some adorable photos! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Be safe!


  4. As I’ve been reading about the crazy-hot temps in much of Europe, I had hoped that Rome would be spared while you were there… I guess not. Other than in the picture of the Pope, I thought the crowds looked fairly small, but then you remarked that it’s been pretty crowded. I guess there are very few places we can go nowadays where there aren’t a ton of other people. Enjoy your last day there! I’m looking forward to hearing more when we get together!


    1. Hi, Janis – The crowds have been absolutely crazy, and are getting more and more intense each day. It is a shocking contrast to the mostly deserted trails that we traveled to get here. I’m looking forward to seeing you soon!


    1. Hi, Anabel – We had repeatedly heard that receiving the Via Francigena Completion Certificate in Rome was very underwhelming in the way that it was handled by VF office staff. But Richard and I had a great experience that was very uplifting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My memories of Rome in 1973 include Gelato+++, the Coliseum and the heat. I liked Florence better. Might an art gallery offer air conditioning? There might be some contemporary art.


  6. Great post. I would recommend that you seek out the Aventine Keyhole. You can find directions on the Italy Heaven website Rome section. It will give you yet another, spectacular view of St Peters and shouldn’t be too busy. It’s well worth seeing 🙂


  7. I am especially attracted to the “skip the line” tours. 🙂 Anything user friendly is A-Ok in my book. I’ve enjoyed reading about your journey and all of its surprises! These will simmer and settle in your heart space for a long time to come, I feel certain.


  8. Hi Donna! Fun to see you and Richard doing the “tourist” thing after all your walking…but wow! I’m guessing that it would be rather shocking to be in the all the people, traffic, and sight-seeing after all those days out in nature and taking it slow. And then throw in the heat? I think you are doing well to just take it easy without a plan and eat gelato! I’m so looking forward to seeing you and hearing more of your adventure. Meanwhile, stay cool! ~Kathy


  9. It’s been a fabulous trip for you Donna and I’ve enjoyed the little highlights you’ve been sharing. Nice to see that you’re fitting in so many lovely memories before you come home.


  10. A fitting finale Donna! The Pope!!!! You’re right – sometimes it’s the journey but reaching the destination is another thing altogether. Eataly- that’s funny😀 enjoy the last day. Keep cool in the extreme heat.


    1. Thanks, Susan. We did a combination of everyone’s suggestions, and it worked perfectly. We escaped the city heat and crowds, headed to shade and water., took in a gallery and thoroughly relaxed. Sometimes you just have to ask a friend (or two)! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, Donna, what a way to end your Italy experience! You have some bucket list photos in this collection! The heat is so similar to what we experience in Sacramento this time of year, I’d be right at home. Hans visited Rome years ago and it’s on my long list! Safe travels as you get back home!


  12. First time I have heard the word “Eatalily”. One of the many descriptive words for this fascinating, beautiful city. The special guest gives me goosebumps, especially when you did not expect him. You and Richard managed to see a lot of Rome in a short time. The Skip the line tours likely helped. Hot, hot, hot!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In the Prudential Center in the middle of Boston (a high end shopping area) they have built an “Eataly” with all food Italian – to buy and restaurants to sit and relax and eat a LOT of pasta. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. You are looking especially slim and trim after all of your walking adventures. Glad you enjoyed some hearty meals in Eatly! We accidentally saw and heard Pope John Paul II in Panama in 1983. We were in a parking lot on a U.S. air base near where the pope was speaking. There was an almost eerie or supernatural quiet and then off in the distance, we could see an enormous crowd of people on an old tarmac. And when we stopped to listen, we realized the voice being broadcast over the speakers was that of the Pope. Very moving experience.


  14. Your adventures are so fun – I’m glad you’re sharing them. The food…oh, my, and the sites…I’m jealous. Enjoy every minute – safe travels to you!


  15. Again, I felt like I was there with you. We were last in Italy about 6 years ago. In July. And the temps were always 95-99 degrees F. Not a lot of AC in Italy, including Rome, Florence, etc. The villa we stayed in with friends had a delicious infinity pool, so in the afternoons we cooled off there after touring. You got so much in! It will take you days to relax and rewind, but oh, what a trip. Thanks for sharing it with us.


  16. Hi Donna, wow you really got the heatwave didn’t you? I hope you enjoyed your time in Rome, it sounds like you’ve made the most fo your time there. I really enjoyed your photos and stories as I’ve never been to Rome 🙂 Thanks for the tour and the tips!


  17. Hi Donna – love the banner … truly beautiful. You’ve really filled your days – and obviously had the pilgrimage of a lifetime … so pleased the Pope turned out for you – that was lucky. I’ve been there when it’s been hot … as Rome sits in a bowl … but I imagine you did something wonderful on your last day … and you ate! Delicious to see … so pleased for you both – cheers Hilary


    1. Thanks, Hilary – On our last day in Rome, we blended togethers people’s suggestions. We escaped the city crowds and heat, and headed for water and galleries… at Villa Bourghese Gardens. It was the perfect ending to an incredible journey.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds very appropriate … escaping the crowds and some of the heat … I’ve never been to the Gardens – next time! That’s great you felt the last day was just perfect for the last day.

        I posted about Siena and an artist, which/who I’m sure you’d be impressed with, found out about her as you were walking south … she works with Carrara marble helping to save the Tuscan seas from commercial fish plunderers …

        Cheers once again – Hilary


  18. HI, Hilary – I definitely recommend the Gardens to you — especially on a hot day, when you are sick of the crowds. I read your post about Siena as soon as I returned home. You are absolutely right – I was very impressed and inspired by her! She was a great choice for WATWB!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Donna! I’m slowly catching up on blog reading and commenting. What a fantastic time you had in Rome, despite the heat. And how cool you got to see the pope. That’s so special. Based on your post, Rome seems to be walkable, which I like. Do you think five days is about the right amount of time to explore the highlights of the city? I’ve never been there, but am hoping for a visit one day. We have a friend who sometimes lives there, which would be cool as a guide.


    1. Hi, Liesbet- Thank you for stopping by. Although one could literally spend weeks in Rome and still have tons of cool places left unseen, I believe that 5 days is a good chunk of time to see most key things — without overkill. Having a friend living in Rome would make the trip there even better! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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