WHEN IN ROME Photo Travelog: Renaissance Rome

During the Renaissance Era, Rome became something of a center of power. Many of the buildings that remain today, while now occupied by apartments, hotels, retail spaces, and offices, date from this time period and are still stunning. Side streets are narrow and winding, while major thoroughfares are clogged with vehicular and foot traffic. Everywhere, hallmarks of Renaissance artists leave lasting footprints, even on the most mundane corners of the city.

Here are some of the highlights.

From the top of Castel Sant'Angelo, the dome of St. Peter's Basilica stands against the skyline.

From the top of Castel Sant’Angelo, the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica stands against the skyline. In the center foreground, you can see a structure that appears to be an aqueduct, but in fact houses a secret passage linking the Vatican to Castel Sant’Angelo, should the Pontiff ever need to flee to safety.

Here we see one of many bridges that cross the TIber River. Ponte Sant'Angelo is the only one closed to vehicular traffic.

Here we see one of many bridges that cross the Tiber River.

Also visible from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo is the Altare della Patria, a national monument. It's visible from many of Rome's hills, in fact.

Also visible from the top of Castel Sant’Angelo is the Altare della Patria, a national monument. It’s visible from many of Rome’s hills, in fact.

The entrance to the Villa Borghese (or the Borghese Gardens) lies just a little northeast of Piazza di Spagna (more about that in a moment). We could never confirm it, but we guessed that gates once closed off the villa to the general public back in the day.

The entrance to the Villa Borghese (or the Borghese Gardens) lies just a little northeast of Piazza di Spagna (more about that in a moment). We could never confirm it, but we guessed that gates once closed off the villa to the general public back in the day.

Tree-lined gravel paths that make you forget modern Rome? Yes please!

Tree-lined gravel paths that make you forget modern Rome? Yes please!

One of many fountains tucked away in Villa Borghese. Somebody had left a bar of soap on the edge of this one - whatever floats your boat, I guess.

One of many fountains tucked away in Villa Borghese.

Resting on a flower-speckled hill (not unlike Kate and Domenic in WHEN IN ROME).

Resting on a flower-speckled hill (not unlike Kate and Domenic in WHEN IN ROME).

The Spanish Steps, as seen from Piazza di Spagna. Okay, so this landmark dates from the early 18th century, not the Renaissance. But much of the surrounding structures are older. 135 steps. We walked them. Both ways.

The Spanish Steps, as seen from Piazza di Spagna. Okay, so this landmark dates from the early 18th century, not the Renaissance. But much of the surrounding structures are older. 135 steps. We walked them. Both ways.

And I ate some gelato while sitting to one side of the Spanish Steps.

And I ate some gelato while sitting to one side of the Spanish Steps.

Trevi Fountain. We had a terribly hard time finding this beloved landmark. We were, in fact, trying to find the Column of Marcus Aurelius, got lost in some twisty Roman side streets, and found Trevi Fountain by chance.

Trevi Fountain. We had a terribly hard time finding this beloved landmark. We were, in fact, trying to find the Column of Marcus Aurelius, got lost in some twisty Roman side streets, and found Trevi Fountain by chance. We did manage to shoulder our way to the front to toss a couple coins into the fountain.

On our last night in Rome, the hubs (then the BF) and I walked up to Pincio Terrace, which has its owns set of stunning views of Vatican City, Piazza del Popolo, and beyond. But sometimes, you forget all the history and just savor the moment you're sharing with somebody you love.

On our last night in Rome, the hubs (then the BF) and I walked up to Pincio Terrace, which has its owns set of stunning views of Vatican City, Piazza del Popolo, and beyond. But sometimes, you forget all the history and just savor the moment you’re sharing with somebody you love.

Join me next time, when we take a jaunt to the road that leads to Rome, the ancient Appian Way.

WHEN IN ROME is available now for Kindle – and don’t forget to check out BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE (now available in print from Amazon and Barnes & Noble), the story that started it all!

Three friends. A broken engagement. A surprise elopement. A big secret. A lot of chocolate.

Three friends. A broken engagement. A surprise elopement. A big secret. A lot of chocolate.

Love isn't always picture perfect...

Love isn’t always picture perfect…

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