Day 4 (22 December 2011)
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Today is our fourth day in Rome and we had a number of places to visit. The first thing in the morning was the Trevi Fountain. We went to Trevi during our first day, but it was in the evening.
The morning trip to Trevi was intentional. I’ve been wanting to propose to my girlfriend for a while now, but I couldn’t find the perfect setting for it. When we were planning the Rome trip, I decided that Rome was going to be it. I did my homework and found out the usual romantic spots (Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese, Trevi Fountain etc). I spent the first few days of our Rome trip doing some reconnaissance work at these venues to ensure they’re suitable (I also brought the ring all around with me, just in case I happen to find the perfect spot) .
When I saw Trevi on our first day, I knew it was the place. I saw a nice stone bench right beside it that would be perfect for the occasion. So, when we arrived there that morning, I asked her to sit down at the bench, while I pretended to sort out some stuff from my bag (I was actually getting ready to pull out the ring). Once the ring is set, I started by making some random statements, mainly summarizing our relationship, just to built up to the occasion. She looked quite blanked. And then after my little speech, I took out the ring, and pop the question.
She was so shocked that she started crying and said yes again and again. There were some onlookers and they smiled at us. A nearby guy was kind enough to take our photo, and we even took a video of the moment. I have never felt happier, seeing how happy she is and that I finally proposed. Naturally, we quickly updated our friends on Facebook and Twitter.
After that, we had gelato at a nearby shop, overlooking the fountain. From there, we walked to Spagna, buying some souveniers along the way. I got myself a massive ancient Rome map. You can see the map on the photo above.
At Spagna, we went to the Spanish Steps. We climbed all the way to the top to Trinità dei Monti church (the white building with 2 towers in the photo above). It had a nice view of the city. There were a number of conmans at the peak of Spanish Steps. Take my advise and do not talk to anybody over there, especially if they start talking to you first. More about this in a separate post.
From there, we went to Villa Borghese. It was a massive park. After seeing the Temple of Aesculapius, we had lunch at a nearby coffee shop. It was a massive park, kinda like the Hyde Park of Rome. Temple of Aesculapius was built in the 19th century as a replica to the real temple built in 293BC in Tiber Island.
From Villa Borghese, we walked to Piazza del Popolo and took the Metro to Circo Massimo. I’ve been wanting to see the great Circus Maximus and was quite surprised to see what is left of it. Apparently most of the structures are still buried 6 meters underground!
After that, we walked to the Baths of Caracalla. I was very disappointed to discover the Baths closed at 4PM, with last admission being at 3:45PM! We arrived there at 3:50PM! So we stood there for a few minutes, admired the remains of the largest Roman baths in the world, and made our way back. The Baths of Caracalla was built in 216AD during the reign of the Emperor Caracalla.
We took the Metro back to Piazza del Popolo. From there, we walked pass Portal del Popolo and along the shops leading to to Via dei Condotti, the famous shopping district. We had an early rest tonight as we plan to wake up early to maximise our last day tomorrow.