Previous post: Via Spectaculi, or, the Road of “Wow”
After I’d realized I’d come full, sweaty circle, I admit I was getting short tempered. Impatient to return to the Pantheon area, I turned to my left and headed to Piazza d’Aracoeli and up Via d’Aracoeli, a narrow street to the left of the small tree-covered island across from the Capitoline.
Forgetting how the city’s layout can play tricks on you, in just a few blocks I stood in Piazza del Gesù, in front of the Palazzo Aliteri and beside the Jesuit home church, Chiesa del Gesù (1580). I went left . . . to Largo di Torre Argentina.
Crossing over the manic Corso Vittorio Emmanuel and dodging the crowds on the pavement, I traveled a few blocks, passing palazzos and churches, searching for the street that would lead me back to where I was staying. I walked right past it.
At Piazza di San Pantaleo, named for an imposing 15th century church, I gambled that I was getting closer to the flat, so I chose one of the two streets branching away from the piazza, Via della Cuccagna, a pleasant, and quiet, street in the shadow of an 18th century palazzo that houses the Museo di Roma (which was originally located in Piazza Bocca della Verità!).
I emerged from the alley to:
I made my way past the fountains and the looming billboards and stopped at one of the many cafes and restaurants ringing the piazza. I sat under an awning, fanning myself and drinking water; I also drank wine (not a good idea, really, but I had to purchase something). I considered ordering food, but I was so overheated I had no appetite. After some time, I opted to wander around the square and enjoy Bernini’s glories—but only for a few minutes. I had already decided I was returning the following morning.
I did, in fact, return to have my morning coffee among the fountains before our sojourn to the Vatican.
I returned to our lodgings via the Pantheon. I’d only put in five or six miles, but I was utterly wasted. As I wrote inthe previous post, it was a splendid walk—despite the heat, despite the humidity, and despite the hills. I actually recommend it. But if you’re there, and if Circus Maximus is open, you can just cut out the Aventine climb and go straight down Via dei Cerchi to Piazza Bocca della Verita. That route would also cut the loop down from five miles to three miles.