A quiet place in Roma: Borghese Gardens & Spanish steps

In the past three days we had seen a lot of the highlights that Rome has to offer. Originally, on our fourth and last day in the city, we wanted to do a daytrip to visit another place for a bit. But by this time we had already walked so far, our feet blistered and our bodies tired, that we decided to spend a relaxing day in the most beautiful gardens of Rome instead.

I always like to find the quiet places in bustling cities and even though Rome was a lot less crowded than it usually is, it was still nice to get out of all the traffic into nature to just relax for a little bit.

The Borghese Gardens is one of the largest public parks in Rome. It’s part of the Villa Borghese, but you can visit it (for free) without visiting the Villa, which is what we did. We walked towards the gardens in yet another direction we hadn’t been to. I always love visiting different parts of the city on foot, so you can see all there is to see, though my feet weren’t too thrilled about it at this time.

We saw a statue of Goethe when we arrived (not sure what he was doing there, but okay) and a lovely little gazebo and we took a few pictures, walked among the beautiful trees and flowers. It was so gorgeous and quiet here, perfect for our last day in the city.

We found a little restaurant where we had some gelato (vanilla, coconut and lime) for lunch, for we didn’t want to break our streak now!

The entire park was filled with beautiful flowers and trees and we could hear the cicada’s and the birds. It truly was a paradise.

In the middle of the park we found this gorgeous pond with a temple in the middle. We stayed here quite a bit, admiring the achitecture and the statues that were almost hidden between the trees. It was possible to rent a rowboat here, to row over the water, but we didn’t want to disturb the birds and turtles that were chilling there.

If you want to spend a relaxing day or afternoon in a quiet place in Rome, I’d really recommend visiting this park. I don’t know how crowded it is in non-corona times, but there weren’t a lot of people around when we got there. Just some locals lying in the grass and reading books.

Maybe it was the heat, maybe it were the cicada’s, but this park reminded me of the Parque Maria Luisa in Sevilla, where we spent quite some time last year. The park didn’t really feel like Rome, because it didn’t have that ancient vibe we could feel all throughout the city.

Even though the park didn’t feel like Rome, it was still really special, with it’s gazebo’s, statues and archways. We spent quite some time here, just enjoying the weather, talking a bit, before slowly heading back towards our hotel.

We headed out of the park the other way than we had come in, and we ended up at Pincio hill which gives an amazing view over the skyline of Rome. Just like that, we were back in the ancient city. We rested here for a bit and then walked downwards, with the panorama visible through the trees now and then.

It was absolutely stunning. Again we saw beautiful trees and flowers, and lizards here and there. We walked downward and made our way towards the Spanish Steps, another one of Rome’s highlights. As of yet, we hadn’t felt the need to visit them, for they were just steps and we had so seen so many pretty gorgeous buildings already, that they didn’t really feel special enough to visit. But the steps aren’t far from Pincio hill so we decided to put them on our route back to the city.

We took the mandatory photo’s – and it was cool because there was nobody on the steps so I could take this awesome picture. It looks like there was nobody there, but truth is, nobody was as crazy as I was, sitting down on the steps, because they were practically aflame, heated by the sun. I burned my bum, took a quick picture, and then quickly stood up again…

I was actually more impressed by the fountain opposite the steps, the Fontana della Barcaccia, which represents a half-sunken ship with water pouring out. It was really big and one of the prettier fountains I have seen in the city.

After the Spanish steps, we headed back to our hotel to siësta for a bit, until it was time for dinner. This would be our fourth and final dinner in Rome so we decided where we wanted to go before heading out, instead of just randomly picking a place. It’s actually a funny story. I was craving tomato soup and boyfriend had been looking for some gnocchi the entire time we were in Rome. So we googled and googled for a restaurant nearby that served both dishes. We ended up at Benso. We saw that the online menu checked off both our requests, the place looked good, the reviews were good and it wasn’t too far away, so we set out.

When we arrived, it turned out that they had a different menu, or rather, one with way less dishes on it. What was left out of it? The tomato soup and the gnocchi, of course. We laughed about this a bit, feeling slightly disappointed but decided to still have dinner here. And the food was good. I had meatballs in tomato sauce (not tomato soup with meatballs, but meatballs with tomato soup, I joked) which were really, really good and all the side dishes they had some potatoes and broccoli. Boyfriend had ravioli that was also pretty good. And they had the best milkshakes.

It ended up being a pretty good meal, and we decided to not be bummed about the different meals we had, for even if this was our last day in Rome, we still had four more days in Italy ahead of us!

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