A Walking Tour of the City

In this article, written with Scottish pilgrims in mind, Martin Delaney offers some suggestions on how a morning in the Eternal City might be profitably spent.

st-peter-s-basilica-basilicaIt's an immense privilege to live and study in Rome. Nowadays many people from Scotland are taking advantage of cheap flights to come to Rome on a pilgrimage with parish groups, or on their own. It's always great for the students to hear a Scottish accent in the crowd, as I have a few times in St. Peter's Square; it reminds us of those back home by whose generosity we enjoy this privilege, and whom we hope to serve in the future.

We've put together this morning walk through Rome as a suggested itinerary for a busy morning's sightseeing! Starting from St. Peter's Square, walk down the Via della Conciliazione, then turn right and follow the river along into Trastevere. From Piazza Trilussa make your way into Piazza S. Maria in Trastevere and visit the Basilica, one of the oldest in the city.

santa-maria-sopra-minerva_3814From here make your way back to the river and across the Ponte Sisto, heading for Piazza Campo dei Fiori. This whole piazza should be turned into a market making for a colourful sight, but there are also cafes where you can give your legs a well deserved rest. Head next to Piazza Navona where you can see the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini and the church of St. Agnes in Agony.

The next stop is San Luigi dei Francesi, the French church in Rome which houses the stunning The Calling of St. Matthew by Caravaggio. Come out of the church and turn right to Piazza Sant' Eustachio and try the world famous coffee at the bar of the same name.

Next on your list are the Pantheon with its celebrated dome, and the beautiful Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva (Piazza della Minerva), where you can pray at the tomb of St. Catherine of Siena. Nearby on the via Maddalena you might want to try an ice-cream at Della Palma which has a massive selection of flavours - but don't let it put you off your lunch!

Roma - Piazza di SpagnaFrom here you can head towards the Spanish Steps, perhaps doing some window shopping on the via Condotti or indulging in an aperitif at the Antica Enoteca on the Via della Croce.

The last sight of the morning is the imposing Trevi fountain, and by this time you will surely be ready for lunch. But don't forget to throw a penny into the fountain which they say guarantees your return to Rome We recommend Sora Lucia for lunch, a tiny but friendly restaurant on the Via della Panetteria, five minutes from the Trevi.