While I was living in Rome in the late 1970s, I would often walk the back streets of the city. Back then, it was completely safe day and night. The trek from the North American College to the Gregorian University was long, but something we did morning and afternoon each weekday. We also would often walk home at night after spending an evening in one of the restaurants.
The Roman sights, sounds and aromas were unmistakeable and unforgettable. I recall the summer before I went to Italy an old priest from our diocese wrote me a letter congratulating me for going and recalling his own experience in the Eternal City back in the 1930s when he was a seminarian. He strongly encouraged me to walk to and from class, not to take the bus. I took his advice and never regretted it.
One of the things that you see if you walk is multiple little street shrines to our Blessed Mother. Some are easy to miss because they may be located above eye level, but some are obvious. Five years ago when I returned to Rome for the first time in thirty years, I retraced that daily walk from the Janiculum hill to “the Greg” and so gratefully saw again a particular shrine at a street juncture, about 15 feet above ground, a shrine of Mary that I had seen each day so many years ago.
I ran across this video clip about the Marian street shrines in Rome. Log on and watch it. Wonderful stuff!