It’s been a hot minute AGAIN. My apologies, but la vita accade and here in Rome, life happens fast. Over the last month where I have been radio silent on the blog, I have been buzzing around Rome in the spring sunshine. During this lovely month of sun-chasing, I have been thinking of new blogpost ideas for you all. Today’s blogpost? My favourite things to do in Rome when you have no money to spend. Andiamo…
Street Art Walks
One of my favourite things about Rome, especially where I live, is how much street art and graffiti there is to be found. La città bursts with colour and talent. I put together two separate Street Art Walks that you can take on a lazy , fair-weather giorno when you’re broke in Rome. One floats you through my side of the city and the other brings you through Pigneto in giro. Throw these locations into your Goggle Maps and enjoy! (Check back for a more in-depth Roman Graffiti/Street Art post as well as a post on the work of the many CSOAs in Rome on Eterna Alternatività)
- Via dei Quintili, 1
- Via dei Quintili, 163
- Via Casilina, 528
- Via Capua, 7
- Via Cosimo Bertacchi, 16
- Opera Muri Sicuri di Carlos Atoche
- Street Art Diavù, Via Policastro, 21
- Via Lodovico Pavona, 48
- Via Antonia Tempesta, 215
- Murale Etam Cru, Via Lodovico Paroni, 171
- Via Prenestina, 189-187
- CSOA Ex Snia (Check out their FB in the link to see what events they are organising, what hours the cultural & social centre is open to the public & how you can support)
- Lokomotiv Prenestino (basketball court with graffiti)
Tormarancia, Garbatella, Ostiense, Testaccio:
- Tor Marancia Murals (Viale Tor Marancia, 63)
- Via degli Armatori
- CSOA La Strada (Garbatella)
- 999 Contemporary
- Isiderio Murales
- Porto Fluviale Street Art
- Hunting Pollution – Via del Porto Fluviale
- Via delle Conce
- Murale della Lupa
And if you have time… and courage…
- Xenos Ex MIRA LANZA
Parks and Public Spaces
There are so many open, well-kept public parks in Rome that it is hard to choose just a few of them. However, I do have my favourites for feeling at one with a piece of the city’s history.
- Villa Torlonia and Park
Sadly, a lot of the actual sites in the grounds are pay-in, like Mussolini’s War Bunker. However, the park itself is lovely and the historic Villa can be viewed from all sides on the outside. It requires a more inventive approach, but you can definitely provide yourself or your friends with an interesting historical tour with just Google to help you.
The Torlonia family had a fascinating rise to the elite ranks of Roman society and the Villa itself has undergone important changes to reflect the times through which it has stood.
- Parco degli Acquedotti
One of my favourite days in Rome so far. Easter Monday in the Park of the Aqueducts. It is Roman tradition on Easter Monday to hit the parks in droves, bringing BBQs, balls & games and your entire family or friend group to hang out in the sun and spend the day together. So, that is exactly what we did, mere metres away from the Ancient Roman Aqueducts.
- Borghese Gardens
If you have a group of friends and €5 to spare, I absolutely urge you to hire the group bikes they rent in Villa Borghese. A solid group of 13 of us rented these bikes and had a blast flying around the park. They warn you not to drive dangerously but…
Also, in the springtime, the whole park is bursting with daisies and the sound of parakeets. The sunlight comes through the trees in a way that is fit for a film. It is a picturesque way to lie about on a sunny-no-money day, talking and snacking with friends, like we did in this picture.
Free Sites and Sights
Largo di Argentina Cat Garden
Arguably one of the best things about Rome’s city centre: the cat garden. Located just 5 minutes away from the Pantheon and 10 minuti from Piazza Venezia (if even), Largo di Argentina houses a modest gatti sanctuary amidst ancient Roman ruins. There is a gift shop located within the sanctuary itself, found by stepping down into the sottoterra ruins where more cats can often be found, aspettando for a tourist to pet them or just lazying about in a sunny flower pot.
Just a stone’s throw from the Cat Garden, you will find the Pantheon. An architectural wonder that is absolutely free to visit. The queues during Tourist Season can be pazzo, so be prepared to wait. However, it is an absolute must-see for all those interested in Ancient Rome and architettura.
Another must-see “in Rome”: The Vatican City. And again, expect long queues into the museums and Basilica if you are so inclined to see them. However, wandering around in the main area of the Vatican City is also a fantastico way to spend an afternoon, even if you never step foot inside any of the Papal buildings. Walking away from the Basilica, you will reach a bridge bordering Castel Sant’Angelo. Usually, there are musicians and street artists who perform here. It is the perfect place to sit amongst the lazing crowds and ascoltare to free live music.
That’s it for this post! Hopefully it has inspired you to explore this beautiful città even when you are broke. There is no excuse for refusing a Roman adventure. One just has to get a little creative.
Ciara Aoife O’Síoráin (che desidera diventare una belladonna figa come gli italiani)