Early Morning in Rome

It’s 5am…I can’t sleep! I’d arrived in Rome the day before after a long 24 hour flight and the jet lag was setting in!
The only way to beat this was to get up and tackle the day! It turned out to be the best decision.

I had the streets of Rome to myself.

As we were staying near the Trevi Fountain, I headed that way. In the quiet of the morning, you can actually hear the water before seeing it.

The carabinieri were sitting in their car but no one else was around. I was taken back by the clear view I had of this masterpiece. I’m used to seeing it surrounded by throngs of people throwing coins in the fountain in the hope that they will return to Rome.

The sun was just hitting the top of Nicola Salvi’s monument. I took a few minutes to take in the details of this amazing baroque sculpture built at the end of the Aqua Virgo aquaduct that brought water to Rome. Sometimes you just miss seeing the little details..how perfect Palazzo Poli is as a backdrop to the fountain, the details of the sea shell chariot and the tritons on the side.


Early Morning at the Trevi Fountain in Rome


Trevi Fountain, Rome


Next stop the Pantheon! I cross Via del Corso and head down Via San Pietra, past Salotto 42, a cocktail haunt of past trips, and into Piazza Della Rotonda. Again I am alone!


The Pantheon, Rome


The cobblestones glisten from a recent hosing and I stand and wonder at this amazing building. I resist the temptation to go inside and have another look at the incredible dome, and keep walking! I wonder if Caffè Sant’Eustachio is open for an early morning coffee but instead head past one of my favourite restaurants, da Armando Al Pantheon on the way to Piazza Navona!


Have you ever seen Piazza Navona so empty!

Piazza Navona, Rome


The sun is just starting to rise and highlights the facade of the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone behind Bernini’s famed statue, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiume (Fountain of the Four Rivers).

Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiume in Piazza Navona, Rome


A quick snap of the finer details of the fountain and I’m off. I don’t want to be late to the markets!

Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiume in Piazza Navona, Rome


Rome’s outdoor market, Campo de Fiori, attracts locals and tourists at all times of the day. However on this occasion, I am too early! Boxes are only just starting to be unpacked, and the square is very quiet. I will have to return later in the day.



Instead I head to another of my favourite haunts that is very close by.

Near the corner of Via Vittorio Emanuele II and Via dei Baullari, Il Fornaio is the perfect place for an early morning snack or quick slice of pizza. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, cakes and desserts aren’t forgotten! Breakfast on the run!


Heading back to the hotel, people are starting to appear and the town is waking from its slumber. They have missed the best time of the day!



Salotto 42
Piazza de Pietra 42
4200186 Rome

Sant’Eustachio il Caffè
Piazza Sant’Eustachio 82
00186 Rome

Da Amando al Pantheon
Salita de’ Crescenzi 31
00186 Rome
Tel: 06 68803034

Il Fornaio
Via dei Baullari 5
00186 Rome


Do you like to take an early morning walk around the streets of a city? 

14 people like this post.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Pin It

, , , ,

24 Responses to Early Morning in Rome

  1. jan September 25, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Thank goodness for jet lag or you would have missed this special “alone” time with Rome.

    • [email protected] September 25, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      Yes Jan, it’s certainly one way to take advantage of jet lag though I try to do a morning walk wherever I am. It’s a great way to see a city in a different light.

  2. Debra Kolkka September 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    I never get jet lag, but I do often get up early to see Rome’s sights and have them to myself. It is definitely the best time to be in this gorgeous city.

    • [email protected] September 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

      Lucky you Debra not getting jet lag. What’s your secret? Early morning is really a fabulous time wherever you are!

  3. Life Images by Jill September 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Sometimes the best time to get out and about when you travel is early before the crowds and while the beautiful light is just starting to seep in. Thank you for taking us on this tour with you. Do you know I only just discovered recently that Trevi Fountain is actually on the front of a building! For some reason I always thought it was a round fountain in the middle of a square. Amazing.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog to say hi today – it was great to hear from you – have a wonderful week.

    • [email protected] September 25, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

      It was fabulous walking the streets as the sun was rising and enjoying the sights before the crowds started gathering- sometimes there’s just too many people in a photo! I’m sure your not alone- many people do not realise that the fountain was built infront of the palazzo. I really enjoyed seeing your photos Jill-they’re beautiful!

  4. Nancy from The Spain Scoop September 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    You inspire me for more mornings. A cool stillness prevails. Cats yawn on stoops. The smell of fresh croissants. Thanks!! Nancy

    • [email protected] September 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

      So true Nancy. As I read your words, I could smell the croissants! Sometimes I have to remind myself of the advantages of an early morning walk!

  5. Andrea September 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Whoa – that Piazza Navona is like Rome in the Twilight Zone… can’t wait to re-visit this city.

    • [email protected] September 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

      What a great analogy Andrea! I hadn’t thought of it in that way! I hope you threw a coin in the fountain to ensure your return to Rome!!

  6. Leigh September 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    That’s one of the few benefits of jet lag isn’t it – up with the birds for the first few days. I too love exploring a place when it’s quiet. There’s no waiting for people to move out of your photo either. Hope you have a great trip in Italy.

    • [email protected] September 25, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

      Too true Leigh! Taking photos without people popping their heads up in front of you was a real advantage! The early mornings are always so beautiful…I must do it more often

  7. Jackie Smith @travelnwrite September 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    As we prepare to head to Italy I have been dreading the thought of those first fog-filled days of jet-lag. You’ve put such a positive spin on it with this early morning tour that I am now (kind of!) looking forward to the opportunities it might bring!

    • [email protected] September 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

      Jet lag is the price we have to pay living so far away from Europe! It may not be the answer but it’s a great way to try and beat it. Have a fabulous trip Jackie

  8. Turkey's For Life September 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    That’s just amazing. We only had one full day in Rome (we know that’s not enough!!) and we saw all the sights while being pushed and crammed by other tourists trying to see the same things as us. I really feel like we didn’t ‘see’ Rome. Love your pics and it’d be great to go back and do something similar.

    • [email protected] September 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

      Early morning is the answer Julia, though I must admit that after a few days it gets harder to wake up early!Going in the off season is also a great way to beat the crowds. I’ve had some fabulous trips in March when the sun is shining.

  9. Edwina September 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Hello, wow your pics are so different to mine! We went in June/July and it was difficult to get a family shot without other strangers in the shot! Lucky you. Also, I will be moving to Perth in January. Would love to ask questions….

    • [email protected] September 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

      Hi Edwina. Great to hear from you. June and July are so busy in Rome but getting up early could be another option. These photos were taken in March…we had beautiful weather and whilst it was still crowded during the day, it wasn’t as bad as other times. Sarah mentioned you were coming our way…happy to help if I can….please email me. I look forward to welcoming you to Perth. Jenny

  10. Lou October 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I love this post because having battled the crowds around the Trevi Fountain just a few weeks ago I have been dreaming about walking the streets of Rome when they are empty! And I am sure the morning light was just magical. In fact I can see it in the photos of Piazza Navona. Bellissimo!

    • [email protected] October 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

      Grazie Louise. Early morning really is a special time, especially in Rome. You may just have to plan a return trip so you too can walks the empty streets of Rome!

  11. Katy Nikolaou June 19, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

    Great article Jenny – Last time I visited the city it was crowded as h**. My photos apart from me and my bfriend have various strangers in them :/

    I cannot wait to visit the city again (this time with the kids) 😛


    • Jenny Freedman June 24, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

      Thanks Katy. You have to get up early to beat the crowds! It’s the only time you’ll be alone! You’ll have fun showing Rome to the kids!

Leave a Reply