Weekend in Roma: Timely Trevi, Tivoli, and the Powerful Pantheon
Updated: Mar 17, 2020
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings from Roma and my first stop, the magical Fontana di Trevi! I have been fortunate to visit Rome and all its wonders many times, but my very favourite point of interest has always been the Trevi fountain. The Trevi fountain is known as one of the most beautiful fountains in the world, but what many people don’t know is that we need to thank the Pope, and gambling, for its existence and magical powers of manifestation.
Some fun facts:
In 1762 Pope Clemens XIII officially inaugurated the fountain, and when he did, he also approved the introduction of a lotto game to pay for it - fun Pope!
Legend has it that if you throw a coin with your back to the Trevi fountain, (your right hand over your left shoulder), that will ensure a trip back to Rome. A second coin leads to a new romance, and a third coin leads to marriage. Yes, I threw in 3 coins; fingers crossed!
So, I was sitting by the fountain, texting my friend Colorado Kasey, telling her I was in Rome and that I wished we had more time together during our visit in Positano, and then it happened. She immediately texted me back: “Where are you?’ “I told you, I’m in Rome.” “No, I mean where are you exactly in Rome? “ “I’m at the Trevi Fountain.” “SO, AM I!!” It turns out her travel plans to Croatia changed very unexpectedly, and she made an unexpected detour to Rome; blocks away from me. What are the chances of that?? Afterwards, we both agreed we had to thank Pope Clemons properly for this manifestation miracle. As such, we celebrated with friends and lots of Italian food and wine -for two days.
On Sunday I headed to Hadrian’s Retreat and the Villa d’este (Tivoli Gardens) with Nina and our charming tour guide Giuseppe. Villa D’este is an incredible must-see destination. Bathed in history and beauty, Villa d’este is a 16th century Villa in Tivoli famous for its terraced Italian Renaissance garden and profusion of fabulous fountains. An engineering wonder, all the fountains function with zero technology; they were designed by architect Pirro Ligorio and his team to function using natural water pressure. For more information check out some of my videos below- incredible!
My very last morning in Italy I started with a power breakfast of pizza and gelato (when in Rome), and a visit to the powerful Patheon. The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, now church, completed by Emperor Hadrian in approximately 126 AD. I say powerful because entering the church, and standing inside, I was mesmerized by the grandeur and energy of it all. I also could not help but think of all the people who had made their pilgrimage here, and the intellect and manpower it took to conceive and build this massive, magnificent structure.
Yikes! I wish I had more time to chat, but I must catch my ride to Fiumicino (aka Rome airport). I’m not sad to leave, I’ve had such a lovely trip and I plan on coming back someday. Afterall, I threw my coin in the fountain…
Grazie for hanging in there with me…Ciao Amici!
P.S FYI 4 weeks after I wrote this piece, my friend Elda called to offer me a spot on her trip to Abruzzo Italy in June 2020, with a stopover in Rome of course! Just proof in the pudding my first wish was granted. Let’s hope for my sake we’re three for three on this one…stay tuned!!
Stay, Play, Dine and Shop in Rome!
Very safe and a block from the Trevi Fountain with clean comfortable rooms, great staff and breakfast included - what more could you ask for? Hotel Nazionale Roma is within walking distance of many attractions including the Trevi fountain, Pantheon, Coliseum, and Piazza Navona. Great price and great value with professional staff and service.
Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este in Tivoli is approximately 1 hour outside Rome. These destinations include Incredible architecture and breathtaking fountain and hillside vistas. I recommend booking with Viator who will pick you up at a designated meeting place in Rome. Our guide Giuseppe was very knowledgeable and facilitated a beautiful lunch and some great shopping for us in Tivoli. This is a fabulous daytrip off the beaten path that should not be missed.
Note to self: If you are planning on doing the iconic Vatican, Coliseum, or Sistine Chapel be sure to book a skip the line tour in advance. Lineups and crowds are prevalent, especially during summer months, and most tour groups get preferential treatment at these sought-after destinations.
Trattoria Da Teo (on Facebook) 39 06 581 8365
In my opinion that there are no bad restaurants in Italy- period. Yes, there are more touristy, expensive ones around the most popular destinations, however, I have never had a bad meal in Italy. If you are looking to go where the locals go, please try these suggestions. These restaurants are popular locally therefore reservations are recommended.
Just like there are no bad restaurants in Italy I don’t think there are any bad stores either. There is a saying that we count on the Italians to design, the Swiss to manufacture, and the Germans to deliver. My experience has been most items designed or sold in Italy are beautiful, well designed, and well made If you are looking for leather, jewellery, or shoes, Rome is filled with great spots. I would suggest asking the Concierge at your hotel, and then google from there. Great stores abound in different neighbourhoods and are not hard to find,