Rome - Strolling, sightseeing, shopping

You know it's been a long day, when I start with a picture of the rising sun....
Our hotel room goes out directly to a big terrace from where  you can go up to the roof. 
What more convenient way to see the sun rise over Rome?

This meant that we got up before 7 AM and had an entire day's time to explore the city.
And the best way to do it is by walking, it lets you see the little things that make a place special.

As we had already noticed, there are few big cars in Rome. In fact, I think I have never seen so many Smart cars as here! 
3 in one picture and a small Fiat:
There was a market hall on the way into town where we got two apples for snacks.
A good part of our walk was along the old city walls until we arrived at the Villa Borghese - in the old sense, "villa" doesn't mean house but estate. So there isn't one big Borghese house but a large park with a few buildings in it.
Byron greeting us at the entrance - he was a big fan of Italy.
This park has so many pretty corners.
And a bunch of fountains of course.
The main attraction is the lake with its fake temple. You can even rent a boat and row around it.
Here's a short video:
Sunbathing turtles
So romantic...

On one end of the park there's a terrace with a great view.
In the distance: Capitol hill, where we would end up later in the day. It looked very far, but then we really walked a LOT that day!
The Spanish stairs are not to far - and there is no way to photograph them without hundreds of people in the picutre, so I didn't even try.
Olivier doing his best.
Strolling through the streets, getting into shopping mode...
There are some really small cars here! Their licence plates look like those of motorbikes, so I guess they're only used to get around town. One of the popular brands is Aixam.
You can easily see dozens of famous attractions in Rome without spending a single Euro - except for gelato and a pair of new shoes here and there....
The Trevi fountain is currently being renovated. Oh well, next time...
Just walk around and you will see soooo many great buildings. This is a rather humble one compared to others...
Entrance to the Dante Aligheri society. Where everything is written in marble.
Piazza Navona - now that's impressive! Well, that was the whole intention I guess. You can hardly see the fountains with all the market stands and street artists around here.
Clouds add drama to everything...
Just around the corner, for contrast: a less spectacular but still typical building.
Churches are EVERYWHERE! So we gave in and entered the one for St. Andrea.
The catholics don't dissapoint! You would never guess that this is a religion based on a man who preached poverty....

Decorations in every little corner
And on the floor
Beautiful ceiling
Much older and a little less intact: Roman temples, up to 2400 years old! Piazza Argentina (not named after the country).
San Marco church - a darker type. There was constant praying to the Virgin Mary over the loudspeaker.

Let's build a little decorative something on the hill...
Altar of the Fatherland - also called the Vittorianio, typewriter or wedding cake
You can go inside and walk up to the terrace - of course we did! 
From there an elevator takes you to the top of the building. It's the only attraction that we payed for all day, but it was so worth it!
Here we are!
And guess what - it was sunset time!
Also, the moon was rising. We took pictures of it through the telescope.

Traffic on the Piazza Venezia below
Moon over the Colosseum
Twin peaks...
Oh, and there is of course a Santa Maria church right next to the Vittorianio, which we entered through an unassuming side door.
Churches look different at night without the light coming through the windows, but still beautiful.

Coming out of the main entrance
Yes, I've been shopping!
We started our way home - just to stop after a few meters at the Trajan's column. Like half of the things today, we found this without even looking for it.
Forum Traianum
To show you how close it is - that's the Vittorianio right behind it.
From there we went on the Via 20 Settembre, a very long, very straight street lined with big palaces, which took us back to the hotel in about 40 minutes.
We ended the evening in the nearby park's restaurant.
Delicious pizza!