Termini – Piazza della Repubblicca – Diocletian Baths – Museo Nazionale Romano – Basilica di Santa Maria deli Angeli e Dei Martiri – Piazza del Esquilino – Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore – Domus Aurea – Colosseum – Forum – Circo Massimo – Bocca di Verità – Trastevere – Basilica di Santa Maria
For many people visiting Rome, the area of Termini – where the station is situated – will be the first district of the city they encounter as they arrive.
From Termini, you can set off to the centre of Rome easily – there are plenty of hotels for all budgets in the Termini area – and lots of eateries.
Cucina in Roma
Staying near the station at Hotel Gioberti some years ago, my companion and I managed to find a family-run restaurant just around the corner quite by accident one night, after returning from Pompeii. Normally the shutters on the restaurant were firmly closed but this evening they were open and in we went. The restaurant had around six tables – all occupied by Italian families – and was a complete throwback in time, with heavy wooden panels on the walls, a dark wooden floor and heavy wooden furniture. There were linen cloths on the tables and flowers and candles. We were the only tourists in the restaurant, it seemed – and we wondered if perhaps we should be there. We ate the best meal ever, however, including home cooked rabbit and the most wonderful handmade pasta. The next evening, enthused, we went to the restaurant again to find the shutters firmly closed again – they never opened for the rest of our stay, even though we went there faithfully every evening, hoping. Maybe it was something we said. But that is what Rome is – an adventure.
WALK ROME: Termini to Trastevere
In this blog we are going to walk from Termini to Trastevere, taking in the main sites along the way. It is a long walk – and the return journey from Trajan’s Market will be uphill. However, if you have limited time in Rome, two pairs of comfortable walking shoes and lots of energy, walking is the best way to see the Eternal City and have a few adventures of your own. You do not have to complete the whole walk in one day – pace yourself, stop for coffee breaks and snacks, take plenty of water and a change of comfy shoes and enjoy!
Piazza della Repubblicca
Start out from Termini or your hotel and head off to Piazza della Repubblicca, the vast piazza where the Diocletian Baths are situated. The piazza is a great place for breakfast if you have not eaten, with cafes and a small shopping mall situated within the columned arcade on one side of the building. In the centre is the Fountain of the Naiads, which was controversial when it was built, as it features naked nymphs frolicking in the fountain.
Here you can visit the Diocletian Baths and the Basilica of Santa Maria deli Angeli e Dei Martiri, which is actually a tepidarium of the baths designed by Michelangelo. The Museo Nazionale Romano is also nearby, stuffed full of artefacts from Ancient Rome.
Santa Maria Maggiore
Next stop is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore – head off down Via Nazionale and cross into Via Torino. Keep walking across Via del Viminale and straight ahead to Piazza del Esquilino and the Obelisk of Esquilino, marking one of Rome’s seven hills. At the far end, is the vast Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the largest Marian church in Italy which contains the 12th century relic of St Jerome. The basilica is 92m long and 80m wide.
Next make your way to Via Liberiana and turn down Via Paolina, then turn into Via Dei Quattro Cantoni and keep going until you reach Via Giovanni Lanza and look out for Via di Monti Palaccio on the left. Turn left at the bottom into Via delle Sette Sale to Parco Delle Colle Oppio. Be careful as you walk, as the narrow streets do not have pavements/sidewalks so watch out for traffic. Enter the park and keep walking right, to the Domus Aurea. You can buy tickets in advance, as for all the sites, which makes entry much easier and quicker. Domus Aurea means golden house and it was built by the Emperor Nero. The structure lies beneath the Baths of Trajan.
Forum & Colosseum
After visiting the Domus Area, it is a shortish walk to the Colosseum down Viale del Monte Oppio and then turn left at Via Delle Terme di Tito. Turn right at Via Nicola Salvi and you will find yourself at the rear of the Colosseum. If by now you feel in need of lunch, there are plenty of restaurants and bars in this area. If you turn right at Via Nicola Salvi, you will find the Forum and also the City Sightseeing Roma Infopoint.
You may like to spend your time exploring the Forum or the Colosseum, but once refreshed, if you want to push on to Trastevere, walk past the Colosseum to the Arch of Constantine and head for Via San Gregorio, which will take you to the Circus Maximus.
Bocca della Verità
Walk along Via Dei Cerchi and keep walking straight ahead until you reach Via dell’Ara Massima Delle Ercole. Turn left and then turn right into Via della Greca, which will take you to Piazza della Bocca della Verita, where you will find the famous Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth) sculpture. Liars who insert their hand into the sculpture’s mouth will lose it, so legend has.
Still determined to make Trastevere? Retrieve your hand and head to Largo Americo Petruggi, at the end of which is Lungotevere Aventino and the Tiber in full flow. Cross Ponte Palatino and you are on the very edges of Trastevere. Make your way across Piazza Castellani and head for Via della Lungarina.
Keep walking straight until you reach the broad boulevard of Piazza Sidney Sonino – a fine example of Fascist architecture.
Cross over and carry on walking straight – gorgeous shopping lanes will open up before you, with plenty of eateries and individual boutiques to reward you for your efforts. Eventually you will reach Piazza di Santa Maria with its central fountain and the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere at the far end.
Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
The Basilica contains stunning golden mosaics plastered above the altar and lining the cupola.
There are some lovely bars nearby – and Trastevere is the centre of bohemian Rome, with gorgeous people speeding about on Vespas and walking elegant pooches, while weary tourists collapse round the central fountain and fill the bars and restaurants for an early evening aperitif.
Relax and enjoy – you’ve earned it!
WALK ROME GUIDES
Download the other WALK ROME guides and the Campus Martius blog to find your way round Rome and make the most of your vacation!