"Seen on the Via Veneto" Rome by TheWanderingCamel

Rome Travel Guide: 12,303 reviews and 27,507 photos

Photo: This one's for willy-wonka

George Bush came to town whilst we we in Rome. It just so happened that we'd opted for a well-earned coffee stop in a cafe on the Via Veneto that day. Carabinieri everywhere - parked on street corners by the van load, lining the roadway, tearing up and down on motor-cycles - what a circus!

The motorcade rolled by, returning from the Vatican to the American Embassy, and slowly the street returned to normal. We hailed a cab and made our way to our next destination, the beautiful little church of Santa Constanza, where we found ....

Click here

....more carabinieri

Photo: Line up

No workman-like fatigues or guns for these guys though. Cockaded hats and silver epaulettes were the order of the day as they stood honour guard for one of their colleagues whose wedding had just been celebrated in the church.

We watched and waited as the photos were taken, the wedding guests fluttered around the newly-wed couple, the old sexton berated all and sundry as he swept up rice and rose petals and the last of the guests left the church before we could enter.

New friends

Because of the wedding, we'd had to hang around a bit before we could go up to the church, but this was our last day and Santa Constanza was a must (both for the mosaics and because my companion's mother had been a Constance too) so hang about we did.... in the company of the elderly bocce-playing members of the the Santa Agnes Community Centre at their shady bar next to the church.

Isn't it things like this that we really remember most about our travels? The chance encounters, the unexpected, the out-of-the-way. Millions of tourists and travellers visit Rome each year and each and every one of them will almost certainly make their way to the Roman Forum, St Peters and the Trevi Fountain. Of course we did it too, and there are all the photos to show for it. Do I really need to post them up here? To add to the 920 photos of the Colosseum, the 737 of the Vatican?

I'm not sure how this page is going to pan out. My love of history will almost certainly take me down the traditional paths of recording Rome's extraordinary past but I hope by the time it's done you'll have enjoyed sharing my view of the eternal city and maybe found a thing or two you'd like to add to your ideas of Things to Do on your Roman holiday.

Clicking Member's Choice in the Things To Do section will reorder the tips into the sequence they were intended to be read .

  • Last visit to Rome: Jun 2008
  • Intro Updated May 3, 2012
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Reviews (42)

Comments (16)

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2014 at 4:25 AM

    Good page!

    I'm going to spend some days in Rome next month.


  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2009 at 6:08 AM

    More leyle - I am Italian, Catholic, will live my life in Rome & St Peter's IS cold - a testament to institutional excess. It is treated by visitors as an art gallery - not a place of worship. I dislike being there. Grazie for your keen insights, Carol

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2009 at 6:36 AM

    oh those poppies are so beautiful

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2009 at 3:03 AM

    Great food writing....I'm off to the fridge. LOL Glad you liked my Rome musings. I hope I'm not being too negative - we actually had a great time!

  • Apr 10, 2009 at 1:51 AM

    What a sensational tour of Rome! I absolutely loved every bit of info. you presented on your page, especially the info. pertaining to the Jewish ghetto.

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2009 at 6:01 AM

    Hi Camel. Someday someone is going to catch you in a city carrying the encyclopedia with you while you write your wonderful tips. Thanks again for bringing a better light to something less well covered by others.

  • Feb 18, 2009 at 3:05 PM

    i came back to this page to see if you had any updates, and lo and behold, my day is now complete seeing the carabinieri pic! i forgot this pic for me! haha. sigh... my day is now so happy! ;-)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2009 at 4:00 PM

    Wonderful Rome tips..going to Italy this Sept...can't wait, so looking at pics and tips ahead of time...thanks for sharing, norman :)

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    We'll be returning to Rome this September to revisit some sites...how interesting to hear there are some new historic sites to consider!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2008 at 4:44 AM

    Great mix of well-known sights and less so (how did I miss St Zeno's Chapel?!) and wonderful photos - I love the shot of the priest taken from your hotel window, and the view of St Peters from the Palatine Hill, among many others

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