Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk 2016 – An account

Let me start off by saying that it was an amazing day.  The weather was just perfect and the idea of starting the walk early in the morning, to beat the crowds, paid off.  Rome was all the more beautiful that morning.

Should you happen to be in downtown Rome for a short while and you’d like to take a picture-perfect route, read on.

This year I wanted to propose a slightly different itinerary than last year’s, so I thought the Trevi Fountain would make an excellent starting point.  Even though you could spend an entire day waiting for just the right light, we ended up spending 15 minutes or so.  The walk started at 8:45am in Piazza di Trevi by the pharmacy. The reason why I asked walkers to meet this early was to avoid the crowds of tourists, that literally flood the downtown area all year round.  Everyone was punctual and we started the walk as planned.

On our way to Piazza Colonna, we had an unscheduled stop at the “Arciconfraternita del SS Sacramento di Santa Maria in Via“, a mouthful I admit, a jem nonetheless, a beautiful little church with an amazing ceiling and great light.  With that under our belt, we carried on to the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Via.  This 9th century church has a long and beautiful history, surrounded by mystery and legends, a must if you wish to experience the mystical atmosphere of the church and behold a beautiful example of a neapolitan nativity, which is somewhat hidden.

Next on our itinerary, and literally across the road, was the Alberto Sordi Gallery.  It was a quick visit, though if you are into architecture photography, or on a shopping spree, that’s the right place.

The Temple of Hadrian, of which only one side with its 11 15-metre high Corinthian columns survives, was next and is best seen in person.

A word of warning here.  You will find yourself battling with lots of converging/diverging lines, tourists everywhere, and possibly too contrasty light. As a matter of fact, both its munumental size and the relatively small square the temple is in, combined, make it very challenging to take a decent shot, however, whatever the result, it will be absolutely worth your while.

No photowalk worth its salt is without a coffee break, and the famous Sant’Eustachio cafe is the perfect spot for a 10 minute well-deserved pitstop.  However, we were almost there, but not quite, when we stopped at Sant’Ignazio Church and Santa Maria sopra Minerva Basilica.  A simple google search will most definitely reveal the beauty and the richness of their interiours.

Be reminded to keep a low profile when visiting churches, as all religious places command silence, respect and discretion.

Finally, we ended up circumventing the Pantheon, and stopped only briefly, on account of the very many tourists that already were queuing up to get in.  And not because we so desperately wanted our coffee break.

The second part of the walk took a faster pace, as we had fewer attractions scheduled and because time was pressing on.  I must say that we covered a huge area and I was pleased to know that everyone took the somewhat long itinerary in their stride.

So with the taste of coffee still lingering in our mouths, we set off for Largo Argentina, a square that once hosted four temples, now in ruins of course, and that today is famous for its cat colonies.  Worth visiting, who knows, you might be lucky enough to bring home a portrait photo of a cute feline, in the middle of a siesta.

Our next stop was at the Piazza del Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill. I’d highly recommend the Campidoglio, for several reasons.  Firstly, it is one of the most beautiful squares, designed by Michelangelo, if memory still serves me. Secondly, it hosts the City Hall.  Civil weddings are also celebrated here, usually in the morning, which could present you with an opportunity for a great shot.  And if weddings are not your type of photography, fear not, because a few yards from the square is a terrace overlooking the Roman Forum.  An amazing vantage point, like few. That is a shot not to be missed.

Saved for last, the real “chicca” ( in Italian, a precious or pretty and attractive thing ) of our itinerary, is Parrocchia Santi XII Apostoli, The Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles, in the homonymous square.  I am tempted to tell you all about it, but I’ll refrain to do so, hoping, should you ever get the chance to pass by it, you would agree with me.

Fontana di Trevi was where we wrapped up our photowalk and bade our farewells. A few stayed on for a tasty lunch nearby.

Following is link to the itinerary in Google Maps.

For the record, the Sacristy photo was my contribution to the Leader Photo Contest.