Posted by: Debra Kolkka | February 11, 2012

A glorious 2 degrees in Rome

After minus 14 in Helsinki, 2 degrees seemed wonderful in Rome. I got up early to visit my favourite spots before boarding the train to Florence and on to Bagni di Lucca.
It seems everybody had slept in so I had the city to myself.
First stop, Trevi Fountain with nobody about except the cleaners. Click here for more on the Trevi Fountain




The sun was just beginning to appear at the top of the fountain.


Most of the snow in Rome had melted, just leaving dirty little piles.


What is it with smokers who drop their butts???? It is a filthy enough habit without this.

My next stop was Tazza d’Oro for a morning cappuccino. Click here for more on Tazza d’Oro.



The nearby Pantheon is just a hop, skip and a jump from Tazza d’Oro, and once again I had it almost to myself. Click here for more on the fabulous Pantheon.




Raphael’s tomb is here.



I always say hello to the cute little lamb, who always has a smile for me.


I was practically alone in the Piazza Navona.





I’m not one to play favourites so I had a coffee at Cafe St Eustachio as well.



The little Bernini elephant behind the Pantheon is almost out of scaffolding. I couldn’t get to the base, but the elephant has been cleaned and looks like new.


He looks much happier and you can see the detail on his back.


The tassels on his rug are clean and bright.


The church behind the elephant is gorgeous.





It has its very own Michelangelo sculpture.


From here I headed to the Piazza de Spagna to see the Spanish Steps unadorned with people.



I love La Barca, the cute little fountain at the base of the steps.

Then it was time to retrace my steps to the Trevi Fountain, about to catch the sun.


The Eurostar from Rome to Florence only takes about 90 minutes…..nearly home.


  1. Debra,
    Ben tornata!!!toni

    • Graze! It is freezing here with a bitter wind. It makes Helsinki feel warm.

  2. Dear Debra… Beautiful photographs!!! Thanks for the memories!!!

    • How lucky I was to have Rome to myself.

  3. Debra, you have made me thoroughly envious. Two cups of coffee at both Tazza d’Oro and St Eustachio! And visiting all those favourite places of mine in Rome! And here I am, sipping my Nescafé, totally depressed!
    Anyway, good to hear that you are home. Enjoy!

    • I know! It’s really living isn’t it? How I love the coffee in Italy.

  4. Debra… lucky were you to be practically at one with Roma. Bellissimo! Isn’t Roma one of the best places on earth? Safe travels home. A bientot, Robyn.

    • Rome is wonderful, especially with nobody else around.

  5. How wonderful to see the city while everyone is sleeping, it looks so serene and at peace.

    • I was out and about from 7.00 am until 9.00 am. Europeans seem to get up late, especially when it is cold.

  6. Hi Debra, Fascinating to read of your travels from BNE to ROM and on your way to BdL. Can’t wait to go in June. Your photos are wonderful of Helsinki and Rome and bring back memories, the former more recent than the latter in 1967! I can’t imagine what time you had to be up to have those places to yourself but perhaps the Romans rise later than the Queenslanders. I’m in BNE for a medical procedure which left me sore and bruised but a good result so the trip is still on! Love, Dianne

    • People do get up later here, which is good for this early riser. I hope you are feeling better soon.

  7. It’s impossible to keep up with you! You seem to be on all parts of the planet at the same time. I thought you had left Italy until next Spring. Welcome back.

    • I always come to Bagni di Lucca at this time to escape our hot summer in Brisbane. It is very cold just now, with a freezing wind. I hope that stops soon, I’m not a fan of wind. I will be here until mid May so there will be some lovely weather to come.

  8. Bentornata in Italia Debra!!!! Sooo fabulous to have your freshly minted, beautiful photos!! Thank you! And everything looking so pristine after the snow… You are truly our intrepid reporter!!! Very proud of you!

    • Rome was looking good! Bagni di Lucca is freezing.

  9. I’m so with you on the cigarette butts! It makes me so angry, especially as I’m one of those people who have to clean them up!

    • I’m sure these people would not throw large pieces of litter to the ground. I wonder why they think this is OK. Smoking is becoming socially unacceptable in Australia, which is great. Europeans are much more likely to smoke. I see lots of school students smoking here. It is unlikely that they have part time jobs so we have to assume that their parents are paying for them to smoke ….. stupid!!!

  10. Hi Deb,
    Lovely to hear you are on your way to Bagni. We will be able to catch up this time, we arrive around the 26th of Feb., for now, we are sitting on a beach in Thailand trying to think of something to do each day apart from eating and swimming…. Tough life eh. See you soon.
    Mike and Shona

    • I will be here until mid May. I hope it is a bit warmer by the time you get here.

  11. Loved these pix. Cities are great early in the morning when they are almost deserted.

    • It was fun to wander about in an empty Rome. I love winter.

      • Oh, gosh, me too! I wish we couls have arranged our vist to Sydney in the cooler months.

      • I find it easier and more pleasant to walk around in the cold weather, provided it is fine or course. Snow and rain can make things difficult.

      • The heat really does me in quickly and I prefer the colder climes as well. However, the first winter we spent in Amsterdam we learned to walk like penguins. I found muscles I wished I didn’t know I had. Thanks goodness for down coats and good boots. (But the shopping isn’t as good as Italy!)

      • We will be in Amsterdam in mid May for a week. It should be warm by then.

      • Have you been there before? It should be beautiful then with the trees in leaf over the canals. In which area are you staying?

      • I haven’t been to Amsterdam before, I am looking forward to it. I’m not sure of the area we will be.

  12. Lucky? What a wonderful gift; your early morning ‘key’ to the city; not only for you but for us, your readers. And for me; I feel a mixture of envy and awe…as I went from photo to photo, favorite place to place, along with your comments it was close to peeking out of your handbag. Wonderful! You not only know how to capture the endless beauty in your observant eye but the skill to ‘get’ the essence…I could smell the coffee, ‘hear’ the silence of a barely yawning giant and felt that I too had experienced it. I found it very moving. Second hand smoke (along with the other offensive aspects) is gross to me, but living your experiences ‘second hand’ sure is a treat! Grazie!

    • Thank you for your kind comments. You can jump in my handbag anytime.

  13. Love the trip through Rome. I never think to take photos of shops or the coffee or food on my plate- I’m so glad you think to do so! It makes it feel very personal, or as someone said, as if peeking out your handbag. Thanks!

    • Coffee at Tazza d’Oro and Cafe Eustachio are two great things to do in Rome.

      • I’ve been to Tazza d’Oro but not the other – I’m putting it on my “to do” list.

      • They are both very good. Sometimes you have to line up to get in.

      • Oh, and there is a cafe on the edge of Trastevere near the Botanical garden that serves 100 different kinds of hot chocolate – that is a great place for a hot drink on a cold day. Worth a visit on your next cold day in Rome.

      • I will certainly look for it. I love that area

  14. The church is gorgeous! But, God, it looks cold. Stay warm, my friend, and safe travels to Bagni di Lucca!

    • It is freezing Herr in Bagni di Lucca, colder than Helsinki.

  15. Be careful and safe-I heard there is snow again near “home”. I have never seen the steps with no one on them-it is a lovely photo. Can’t wait to hear the latest news from Bagni.

    • The snow has melted in Bagni di Lucca, but we have a freezing wind blowing in from Siberia. It is colder here than I have ever known it to be.

      • I can only imagine how cold my poor stone flat must be-it may take months to get it to thaw out. Keep the news coming.

      • It will warm up soon enough. Spring is not far away.

  16. Ciao Deb, I’ll take 2C any day . We are at 15F. Baby it’s cold outside!!

    • That was Rome. It is bitterly cold here in Bagni di Lucca.

  17. Brrrr…. !!

    • 2 degrees is quite pleasant when you have blue skies and no wind.

      • More hot cappucino!

  18. How amazing to see these special Rome locations without the masses of people we experienced while there in June. You have created a wonderful life, Debra and we are all very fortunate to benefit from your view through your camera lense. Thanks so much for sharing and enjoy your Spring in Italy!

    • We have a couple of months of winter to go yet, and it is very cold just now.

  19. After Amalfi we lived in rome for a wee while, we had an apartment just down the road from the colosseum and early morning was my favourite time to walk, you could walk around and into town and back without any worries, I remember the absolute joy of having these magnificent structures to yourself.. c

    • It is really special to be alone in the Pantheon. I was once completely alone in the Duomo in Siena. It was magical. These things don’t happen often.

  20. No one on the Spanish Steps!??? Wow, what an experience!

    • You have to get up early to be the only one on the Spanish Steps.

  21. I have been away and missed this blog when you first put it up but anyway have read it now and particularly loved the Spanish steps without people – I have never seen it bare – I must always go at the wrong time of the day, Perfect to have Rome all to yourself.
    Lovely pictures again, as always


    • I do love Rome without the crowds, one of the reasons I like winter in Italy.

  22. How lovely; to have Rome to yourself on a warm spring day; to drink delicious Italian coffee; and to look up at the beauty that is a clear blue sky.

    • It was lovely to have Rome to myself on such a lovely morning.

  23. How lovely to stand in that beautiful church (behind the elephant) at that time of day it must have felt very peaceful.

    • These places take on a different atmosphere when there are few people about.

  24. Haha it’s a wonder the statues don’t look like they’re freezing cold too! 😛

    • Marble is obviously pretty tough.

  25. Debra, how wonderful to have all of that to yourself. Not a person in those photos… and cold to boot. Perfect!

    • Perfect would be the word I would use too.

  26. While everyone is sleeping is the best time to see Rome !!
    I was in Rome in September last year and I did the same, roamed around the streets early morning and who was at the Trevi Fountain filming!! Woody Allen and his film crew.

    • That must have been fun!

  27. Must have been absolutely magical to have the city all to yourself. Even in the frigid cold – it’s warm and wonderful!

    • I love Rome, and this is a great time to see it.

  28. Wow, you must have been up and about pretty early to have Rome all to yourself!! But what a treat! I always love exploring in the early morning, when only the maintenance people are out, and the sun is beginning to come up! The light and the the silence is magical! And I guess it helps when you’re still on Australia time! Beautiful pictures of a magical time in Rome!

    • I usually am up at 6.00am wherever I am. I don’t like to waste the day.

  29. Thank you so much for sharing your special moments with us.
    Like one of your readers said I feel a mixture of envy and awe when I see this great photos( minus the tourists. )
    To be inside the Pantheon at any time would still give me goose bumps,
    but to be there with no one around must be absolutely amazing.
    Up by 6 am and not wasting time when you are traveling is a must.
    We are having the worst summer ever in Sydney . It rains almost every day.
    Enjoy Bagni di Lucca , I hope it gets warmer for you soon.

    • We could do with some of that rain here. The river is very low. I wouldn’t mind rain for a few days. We have wonderful morning storms that rumble through the mountains.

  30. Deb, somehow you’ve managed to make a 2 degree day in Rome look warm and glorious! Fabulous pics, thank you. It’s been a lifetime – literally – since I stood at the foot of the Trevi Fountain..sigh..

    • It was great to be there without the hoards of people.

  31. How amazing to have the city practically to yourself! Note to Self: Go to Rome in winter…

    • I don’t come to Italy in summer, I prefer to have it to myself.

  32. So many wonderful photos of favorite spots around Roma; Piazza Navonna, Trevi and the fountains. The church on the piazza had been closed the last couple times we were there for renovation.
    Great camera work, love your close ups and details on statutes.

    • Rome is such a great place to wander about in the early morning.

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