Day 3: Italy 2018- Roaming Rome by Car

Sunday, June 17th:

We slept in a bit since our tour guide wasn’t picking us up until 9am. We breakfasted on the roof and then met Roberto, our guide for the day. He is one of the owners of Miles & Miles and a 4th generation Roman – so not technically a Roman, if you recall.

I must point out, literally every 50ft or so Roberto had a story about something we could see from the window. Unfortunately, I did not record him, but I will do my best to pass along some of the details to you.

Rome feels big and fast and crowded, but from the car it also seemed small and concentrated in a central downtown area. We passed some of the same sites a few times making our way around to various sites. I have walked most of the city over a couple of days in previous visits, but we deiced to save the kids’ legs (and ours!) and time since we really only had 2 days to cover it all.

Our itinerary was about 15 items long, but the first stop was something I’ve never seen before. We looked through a keyhole to see 3 different countries: Italy, Vatican City and Knights (Malta)Templar Property. The gardens were beautiful! It really was impressive. The blog, Where’s my backpack captured the pictures I couldn’t get:

Villa del Priorato di Malta, I Cavalieri di Malta, Rome, Italy, travel, travelogue, photography, keyhole, Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney



















Really something to see next time you’re in Rome. Next we headed to La Catacomba di San Callisto. This place was amazing. In the 3rd Century AD this site was designated as the official cemetery for the Church of Rome. Over 1/2 million tombs of Christians – including several popes and martyrs making this site a pilgrimage destination for centuries.   Like a maze down there. One of the guides said that a person got lost down there for a couple of days.  I don’t know if they say that to scare the kids into staying with the group or because it really happened! No pictures allowed inside, so you’ll have to do your own research! Very cool place.

After the catacombs we went to the first Roman road – The Appian Way. We actually stood on the original stones!

Appian Way


Then back in the car and around to see the Circus Maximus, the chariot-race arena originally and now they use it for outdoor concerts.  It could hold about 150,000 people! 

Circus Maximus site with Palatine Hill in the background


Circus Maximus


Then we went to see this fountain – can’t remember why it is significant, but it was large and lovely and have a spectacular view of the city. 

View of Vatican from this fountain I can’t remember the name of!

Tip on the railing opposite of the fountain. Such a great pic!











Then we stopped back by the Vatican to say hey to the Pope. He speaks every Wednesday that his is in town at exactly 12p after mass. He steps out on to this balcony off of his apartments and speaks for about 10 minutes and blesses everyone. The courtyard area holds about 80,000 people (I think) and there were about 30-40,000 there.

The Pope!

Back in the car after a quick snack and over to the Spanish Steps. For the record, I have seen the Spanish Steps 4 times now. I never can seem to remember what they look like because this is nothing like what I remember thinking they looked like. 


Tip on the railing of the Spanish Steps

Me on the Spanish Steps looking down on the gang in the middle.

Looking the opposite direction.











Back in the car to visit another things I have never seen before – The Capuchin Crypt. The crypt is beneath the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini church. There is a small museum that you wonder through before arriving at 5 tiny chapels ornately and artistically decorated with the bones over 3,700 friars. Remarkable. They do not allow pictures inside, and I don’t feel any pictures I could have taken would do it justice. It was fascinating, and I highly recommend a visit next time you are in Rome. Amazing experience. 

And you guessed it, back in the car… to a water fountain. All of the fountains in Rome great to drink from if they are operational and the water is pretty fantastic. This one was particularly fun.  Roberto told us the trick! You put your finger over the bottom of the spout and the water will shoot out of a tiny hole just above the bend.  You will never guess how many takes it took for us to get it right!  The fountain is just next to the Aurelian Wall -built between 271 AD and 275 AD by Emperor Aurelian. 

Water fountain tricks

Original wall of Rome – This is the northern gate of the Aurelian Wall











Just opposite of this fountain is another Egyptian Obelisk of Ramsesses II in the center of Piazza del Popolo.  Just beyond the obelisk lay the twin churches: Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria di Montesanto

Twin Churches: Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria di Montesanto

This square is a good example of how the original structure of the city had a square with roads radiating out from its center – All Roads Lead to Rome comes to mind, but in this case they lead us out. This wrapped up on extensive day in Rome. We covered way more ground that I captured here. Roberto with Miles & Miles made our day fantastic by driving all around his great city  and providing us with countless facts of all of its treasures. I just wish I could have remembered it all! Plus, he showed us several things off the beaten path which was especially nice for me. Can’t recommend them enough. 

Oh wait, on our way back to the hotel, we stopped in to visit the Pantheon. To say it was crowded would be a great understatement. 

Opening in the center of the Pantheon

I thought this ceiling was interesting, too.

Front view with Tip. The crowds had thinned briefly and then quickly filled up again. It was nuts











Then we wound our way back to the hotel and somehow got lost and ended up seeing several other cool spots. I took no photos! We rested and then headed back out for dinner and one last Roman gelato before turning in. Early start tomorrow.

Up next…Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii and Sorrento!





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3 Responses to “Day 3: Italy 2018- Roaming Rome by Car”

  1. Gail

    Oh, Jerretta, I love every post, and can’t wait till the next! It sounds like you are all having a fabulous trip with beautiful weather as well. Continued travel blessings! Much love to all! Mom, Gail, GG

  2. Jessica

    Hi Jerretta
    it’s so fun to see how much fun you guys are having!


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