Before we flew out from Italy, we had a few days back in Rome and spent some more time exploring.
The first thing we visited was the Largo di Torre Argentina, the place where Caesar was supposedly assassinated. We saw quite a few cats roaming around and discovered a cat shelter right next to the ruins, so of course I had to go inside. The healthy cats are able to come and go, but cats that need extra care are kept in a gated area. I spent quite some time (my husband would say too much time), cuddling these beautiful cats. We heard some of the stories of the cats, one was brought there in an emaciated condition by a little boy because he could no longer feed it, another had a constant sneeze, some had ear conditions, some had eye conditions, but they were all beautiful and so loving. I made the mistake of squatting down, and immediately I had a cat on my knee burying his head into me and refusing to let go. I wished I could have taken one of them home with me. While patting the cats and chatting with the volunteers, I found out that one of the ladies there was planning to move to the same rural city that I live in after she finished her time in Italy! It really is a small world.
Next, we visited the Pantheon, which was impressive, but crowded. There are a few tombs in there, including that of Raphael and also Vittorio Emanuelle II and his son Umberto I. Although we went inside during the day, I particularly enjoyed the sight of the Pantheon at night, but then again, I enjoyed everything at night in Rome.
Our apartment was very close to the Campo di Fiori which was filled with markets in the morning, filled with rubbish and pigeons from the markets in the early afternoon, and then spotless and surrounded with charming restaurants in the evening. Quite a transformation!
We also saw Piazza Navona at night, which was so pretty. The Fountain of Four Rivers was beautiful. The atmosphere was so lovely, with buskers and a merry-go-round next to some sideshow stalls and vendors selling freshly roasted hazelnuts.
Next up was the Trevi Fountain, which was beautiful but crowded. Touristy things aren’t really my thing, so we spent a little bit of time taking photos, watched people throwing coins with their backs to the fountain and saw a police officer chasing one of the hawkers away for some reason.
There were quite a few hawkers at the fountain, mainly the rose sellers and guys walking around with Polaroid cameras offering to take your photo for money. These same guys would also offer to take a photo of you using your own camera/phone and then demand money for it.
We managed to stumble across Trajan’s Column while wandering around Rome at night. Apparently we had walked past it at least 6 times during our first stay in Rome and never looked in that direction to notice it. Neither of us could figure out how we missed such a massive structure that many times!