Ah Rome, the eternal city. I've been to Rome on quite a few occasions but never on the cusp of summer. 

I wish I could say I enjoyed my time in Rome but I didn't. It all started badly. I was feeling unwell and asked for an early check-in to my apartment. When I arrived at the designated time, no-one was there to greet me. Once inside, the apartment hadn't been cleaned and it took another 2 hours before that took place. Instead of resting as I'd hoped, I spent 2 hours walking around the San Lorenzo district filling in time.

A few months earlier I'd bookmarked an apartment close to the centre of Rome but by the time I was ready to book, the apartment was no longer available. I chose another apartment but I clearly didn't do my research very well. The apartment wasn't within walking distance of any destination other than the main railway station; the walk to the station was through a dodgy location so I didn't feel safe walking at night time, so I had to rely on buses. Only one in three buses scheduled would arrive then would take such a circuitous route that it took on average 1½ hours to get to any destination, most of which were only 3-4 kms away. Each day I'd have to adjust my schedule as time would run out.

As San Lorenzo isn't near the historic sites, it probably reflects real Rome. Rubbish was piled up on street corners and some of the streets along which I walked were a bit smelly. This wasn't a Rome I remembered.

My sole reason for travelling to Rome, apart from catching my flight home, was to visit the Borghese Gallery. When I tried to book a ticket a week before arriving in Rome, the only tickets available were at 7.00 p.m. the night before I flew out. I knew I'd be busy packing so that idea went by the wayside. So what to do? 

I've been to Rome 4 times before and have visited the usual suspects, so suddenly I was at a loose end. I decided to do some self-guided walking tours and to revisit some of my favourite locations like the Pantheon and Campo de Fiori.

One can never tire of the Pantheon

nor the vibrancy of the markets,

busy with nonnas doing nonna things.

I walked from the markets to the old Jewish quarter passing this church en route.

I also found this quirky little hardware store housed in a centuries old building.

I visited a number of churches whilst in Rome on the hunt for Caravaggios.

I just loved the light in this church,

and the ceilings were fairly impressive as well.

My favourite walking tour was of Trastevere and I snapped away happily.

I visited plenty of old churches and convents,

photographed crumbling facades

and visited the markets.

My favourite find in Trastevere was the Ospedale Nuovo Regina Margherita. Whilst taking a photo of the adjoining church a lady asked if I'd been inside the hospital and when I said 'no' she told me I really should. I'm so glad I took her advice. The hospital is located within the walls of a former monastery with a beautiful central courtyard garden. It was lovely and I found a black cat grooming itself in the sun, orange trees and olives trees tucked away in the garden.

Then suddenly my battery ran out. I'd checked the battery level before setting out that morning and it was full so I'm not sure what happened and I'd not thought to bring along my spare battery.

I managed to capture these last few images before the battery died completely forcing me to head home. A fitting way to end my time in Rome I thought.

That's my last travel post for now until the itchy feet kick in, so I'll be back again next week with some baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


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