Rome 2006



Description:

Although we'd visited Italy before, Rome was a whole new world: relatively familiar medieval and Renaissance Italy underlain by centuries of classical Roman civilization and crowned with the grandeur of the Roman Catholic church. It's a larger city, too. No-one could possibly see all of it on foot in a week, but we came close. (Next time we'll pay proper attention to Trastevere.)

Rome's most charming sights are its many small monuments from all eras: the "talking statues" where dissidents could anonymously post their political opinions, the obelisks looted from Egypt that outnumber those still in place, the famous fountains and more. We visited all that we could. If I put them all in to this trip it would be unreadably long, so get yourself a good printed guide (we like Cadogan and Blue Guides), walk everywhere and don't hesitate to detour a little to interesting spots. Eventually you'll see more than you thought possible.

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Author: Dave Schweisguth


Da Oio a Casa Mia

Location:

Via Galvani 43
Rome, IT


Da Sergio

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Location:

vicolo delle Grotte 27
Campo de' Fiori
Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 06 6864293


Al Pompiere

Location:

Via Santa Maria dei Calderari 38
Rome, IT


Day 1 - Rome


It took a while to find our hotel in the twisty streets around the Campo dei Fiori. The Campo was clogged with raucous partiers most nights of the week and broken bottles every morning, but the hotel was pleasant and quiet and lived up to its promise of exposed ancient ruins in the basement breakfast room. We may have come too late that night to properly appreciate Da Sergio, or perhaps we weren't familiar enough with Roman restaurant protocol yet. We'll have to visit again to see why it's so often recommended.


1

Hotel Teatro di Pompeo

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Location:

Largo del Pallaro 8
00186 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 06-68300170
fax: 06-68805531


Day 2 - Rome


On our first day we went straight for the heart of the city: the monuments of the Forum, the Palatine hill and the Colosseum. Well, not entirely straight; we visited the Largo Argentina, the Fontana dell Tartarughe (the Fountain of the Tortoises, the original of a fountain on Nob Hill in San Francisco), the Portico d'Ottavia, the Arch of Janus and other sights along the way to the entrance to the Forum on Via Foro Romano. After spending the morning in the Forum and the ruins and museums on the Palatine hill, we were ready for a long lunch al fresco at Tre Scalini, just east of the Colosseum, an atypically fine and low-key restaurant for the touristy neighborhood. Then to the Colosseum itself, a walk home through the Imperial Forums, a nap, and a late, light dinner at Cul de Sac, the crowded but irresistible wine bar to which we'd return throughout the trip.


1

Roman Forum

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Location:

Via Romolo Artioli
00186 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 06 3996 7700


2

Palatine (The)

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Location:

Via San Gregorio
00184 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 699 0110


3

Ristorante Tre Scalini

Location:

piazza Navona 30
00186 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 6 709 6309


4

The Colosseum (Colosseo)

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Location:

Piazza del Colosseo
Piazzale del Colosseo, Via dei Fori Imperiali
00184 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 700 4261 / +39 6 700 5469


5

Cul de Sac

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Location:

73 Piazza Pasquino
00186 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 6 6880 1094


Day 3 - Rome


In the morning, we visited the cathedral of St. Peter's and its crypt. St. Peter's is enormous and not, as a building, especially charming; its undeniable fascination comes from its history and that of the church is represents to the world. We found the most interest in the many monuments to past popes and the other details that only slightly clutter up the grand interior. Back to secular Rome for lunch, at Il Matriciano not too far from the Vatican, with perfect Roman specialties like ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms, and then after lunch back across the Tiber to visit some of the famous monuments in the Tridente neighborhood. Ditirambo, a cosmopolitan and creative but still recognizably Roman restaurant in the lively neighborhood near our hotel, was well worth the long wait on line.


1

Piazza San Pietro

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Location:

piazza San Pietro
00193 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 48 8991 (Tourist Information)
fax: +39 6 481 9316 (Tourism Board)


2

Basilica di San Pietro (St. Peter's Basilica)

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Location:

piazza San Pietro
Piazza San Pietro
00193 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 (0)6 48 8991 (Tourist Information)
fax: +39 (0)6 481 9316 (Tourism Board)


3

Ristorante Il Matriciano

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Location:

Via dei Gracchi 55
00192 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 06-3212327


4

Ara Pacis

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Location:

lungotevere in Augusta
00100 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 (0)6 8205 9127 (Museo le informazioni)


5

Mausoleo di Augusto

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Location:

piazza Augusto Imperatore
00186 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 48 8991 (Tourist Information)
fax: +39 6 481 9316


6

Piazza di Spagna

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Location:

piazza di Spagna
00187 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 48 8991 (Tourist Information)
fax: +39 6 481 9316 (tourist information)


7

Ditirambo

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Location:

Piazza della Cancelleria 74
00186 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 06-6871626


Day 4 - Rome


Up early today to line up for the Vatican museum. The half-mile-long line to the entrance moved fast, but didn't go away once we were inside; the museum is laid out to direct visitors through most of the exhibits before reaching everyone's goal, the Sistine Chapel. The trick is to take your time, see everything and just let the crowds stream past. Sated by the morning's masterpieces, we had a quiet afternoon. Dinner was a treat, simple Roman dishes in a restaurant packed with locals.


1

Musei Vaticani (Vatican Museums)

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Location:

Viale Vaticano
00165 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 (0)6 6988 3041
fax: +39 (0)6 6988 5236


2

The Pantheon

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Location:

piazza della Rotonda
Piazza della Rotonda
00186 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 6830 0230


Day 5 - Rome


To the top of our second of Rome's seven hills today, to see the Capitoline museums' fantastic collection of classical Roman statuary and one of the finest piazzas in the world. Cavour 313, behind the Imperial Forums, provided a light lunch and the archetype of what an enoteca should be. We might have visited the Trevi Fountain and the matchless Gelato di San Crispino earlier in the week -- we certainly did many times later in the week -- but this was the day we took a photo. Dinner was at one of Rome's finest restaurants, where we'd reserved before leaving home. Agata e Romeo's international-style cuisine didn't stand out among the best we've had, and perhaps had lost a bit of its sense of place. We wouldn't be the first visitors, or locals, to begin thinking that the glory of Rome's cuisine is rooted in simple traditional dishes.


1

Capitoline Museums

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Location:

piazza del Campidoglio 1
00186 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 6710 2475
fax: +39 6 678 5488


2

Cavour 313

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Location:

via Cavour 313
00184 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 066785496


3

Trevi Fountain (Fontana dei Trevi)

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Location:

piazza di Trevi
Piazza di Trevi
00187 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 06 060 608(Tourist Information)


4

Agata e Romeo

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Location:

Via Carlo Alberto 45
00185 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 06-4466115
fax: +39 06 446 5842


Day 6 - Rome


We started to warm up to longer walks today, visiting the Quirinal, Viminal and Esquiline hills. Along with many of Rome's finest smaller monuments, we saw the meridian of Santa Maria degli Angeli and discovered Marchegiano cusine. Dinner must have been another cisit to Cul de Sac.


1

Fontana del Tritone e Fontana delle Api

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Location:

piazza Barberini
00187 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 06 060 608(Tourist Information)


2

Capuchin Crypt

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Location:

via Vittorio Veneto 27
00187 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 06 060 608(Tourist Information)


3

Quattro Fontane (Le)

Location:

via delle Quattro Fontane
00187 Rome, Italy


4

Fontana dell'Acqua Felice

Location:

piazza San Bernardo
00187 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +30 6 48 8991 (Tourist Information)


5

Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

Location:

via Cernaia 9
00185 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 488 0812
fax: +39 6 482 0964


6

Trattoria Monti (La)

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Location:

via San Vito 13a
00185 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 6 446 6573


Day 7 - Rome


Up early to ascend the dome of St. Peter's today before the lines got too long. Then a long ramble through the southern hills -- the Aventine and Caelian hills -- beginning with a visit to the hard-to-find San Pietro in Vincoli and its Michelangelo Moses. Testaccio, a neighborhood built around a hill of broken wine jars and the city's former meat market, provided perhaps the trip's best food experience: Da Oio a Casa Mia, a gruff trattoria serving serious Roman soul food. We'd been looking for pajata (lamb tripe still with its mother's milk) the whole trip and weren't disappointed, but the nervetti (tendons) were an unexpected delight. The Protestant Cemetery was a great place to stroll while digesting before a long hike to the enormous Lateran church, then back home past a unforgettable sunset view of the Colosseum.


1

San Pietro in Vincoli

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Location:

piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli 4a
00184 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 488 2865
fax: +39 06 9784 4985


2

Santa Sabina

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Location:

piazza Pietro d'Illiria 1
Piazza Pietro d'Iliria
00153 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 06-5743573


3

Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta

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Location:

piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta
00153 Rome, Italy


4

Testaccio

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Location:

lungotevere Testaccio
00153 Rome, Italy


6

Protestant Cemetery (Cimitero Protestante)

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Location:

Via Caio Cestio 6
00153 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 574 1141


7

San Giovanni in Laterano

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Location:

piazza San Giovanni in Laterano
00184 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 0669 8643


Day 8 - Rome


On the last day, our only venture out of town: to the Appian Way, a flagstone-paved Roman road built to move armies but lined with villas and monuments. The catacombs are an obligatory and worthwhile tourist stop, but the real charm comes farther down the road amid the quiet and the pines and the impossibly atmospheric tombs. We walked as far as the enormous Villa dei Quintili. If you go, bring better shoes than we did -- those flagstones are hard -- and bring cash, as there are no ATMs. We fortunately had just enough cash for the catacombs and the combination ticket for the tomb of Cecelia Metata and the Villa dei Quintili. Our last dinner was at one of Rome's finest restaurants. As at Agata e Romeo the level of luxury seemed a bit at odds with the simple charms of Roman cooking, but the Troiani serve the finest (though not perhaps completely tradtional) pasta alla Amatriciana I ever expect to enjoy, flavored not just with the usual sprinkling of cubed guanciale, but wonderful long strands matching the shape of the pasta and perfectly fried to juicy crispness.


1

Appia Antica

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Location:

42 Via Appia Antica
00179 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 512 6314 / +39 6 513 0682
fax: +39 6 5188 3879


2

Catacombs of St. Callixtus (Catacombe di San Callisto)

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Location:

Via Appia Antica 110-126
00179 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 5130 1580


3

Tomba di Cecilia Metella

Location:

via Appia Antica
00178 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 6 48 8991 (Tourist Information)
fax: +39 6 481 9316 (Tourism Board)


4

Villa Dei Quintili

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Location:

via Appia Nuova
1092 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 0639967700


5

Il Convivio Troiani

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Location:

Vicolo dei Soldati 31
00186 Rome, Italy

Contact:

tel: 06-6869432


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