First Impressions of Rome - An Introductory Itinerary of Rome
In a city like Rome you almost don't know where to start when it comes to exploring. But I was looking in an old guidebook from 1911 and here is their recommendation:
To get a good idea of Rome and its topographical situation, take a carriage and drive for three hours through the principal streets; more can be learned in this way than in any other.
Start from the Piazza di Spagna; drive down the Via Babuino to the Piazza del Popolo, up to the Pincio, for a view of Rome, looking west; then along the Via Sistina, up the Quattro Fontane, to the right, down the Via Quirinale; stop in the square for the view. Proceeding to the Via Nazionale, turn up it to the left as far as the Quattro Fontane; then turn to the right past S. Maria Maggiore direct to the Lateran, from the front of which see the view eastwards; then follow the Via S. Giovanni down to the Colosseum, passing by the most perfect part. Turn left, then, first turning on the right, through the Arch of Titus past the left hand side of the Forum up to the Capitoline Hill, crossing which, proceed down to the Piazza del Gesu; turn left, following the line of streets to the Ponte Sisto; crossing this, proceed up the Via Garibaldi to S. Peter in Montorio. Grand view of Rome and the Campagna, looking north, east, and south.
Return to the foot of the hill; turn to the left down the Lungara to S. Peter's; drive round the square; then down the Borgo Nuovo to the Castle of S. Angelo. Crossing the bridge, take the Via Coronari to the Circo Agonale; then on to the Pantheon, and by the Minerva to the Piazza di Venezia; thence up the Corso as far as the Via Condotti, up which street you return to the Piazza di Spagna, after having thus made the most interesting drive in the world.
Now in the very first sentence we already run into a problem with "drive down the..". You would not find it possible to do that in present day Rome I think. Many of the areas are closed to vehicular traffic. And the streets where vehicles are permitted would be so congested that you would have all your attention focused on the traffic instead of the sites. So that is out. But walking is certainly possible.
You will need good shoes. Whenever I am in Rome I find myself walking and walking and can't stop myself even thought my feed are tired. It is so fascinating that you just have to see what is around the next corner.
I tried to plot this route on a map. Not being in Rome made it a bit difficult as some things are left to the imagination in the itinerary above. And it may be too long for practical purposes and would have to be broken up.
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