Italy: Day 4 / by Josh Trudell

Rome-1 After three days in Venice, - seen here, here and here - we made our way to Rome via train, arriving at the Hotel Golden in the late afternoon.

It’s a hive of unavoidable history – from our hotel window, we could see ancient city walls and a statue of General Belasarius (d. 565 AD), as tiny cars and mopeds buzzed along the street.

We quickly discovered that Rome is a great walking city, making our way to the famous Spanish Steps. The steps are an interesting social experiment – people actually sit and talk to each other. Who knew?

The steps – the 135 steps are the widest staircase in Europe - are a wonderful place to sit and absorb the culture. Watching the conversations and the passers-by are equally entertaining. No sign of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, sadly.

After a few minutes soaking it in, we wandered down to the Trevi Fountain, another of Rome’s great pedestrian landmarks. Even at a late hour, it was swarmed by tourists, voguing like supermodels as they threw their coins in to try and assure themselves of another trip to Rome.

Throwing technique is important here – back to the fountain, right hand throwing over left shoulder is how tradition claims to ensure a return trip. We tossed our coins in the fountain, and a few more coins at a gelato stand as we walked back to our hotel.

Holding hands, strolling down the street, gelato in hand, Rome all around us…it doesn’t get much better.